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Risk and Culture

An Essay on the Selection of Technological and Environmental Dangers

Risk and Culture by Mary Douglas
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Can we know the risks we face, now or in the future? No, we cannot; but yes, we must act as if we do. Some dangers are unknown; others are known, but not by us because no one person can know everything. Most people cannot be aware of most dangers at most times. Hence, no one can calculate precisely the total risk to be faced. How, then, do people decide which risks to take and which to ignore? On what basis are certain dangers guarded against and others relegated to secondary status?  This book explores how we decide what risks to take and which to ignore, both as individuals and as a culture.
University of California Press; October 1983
232 pages; ISBN 9780520907393
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Title: Risk and Culture
Author: Mary Douglas; Aaron Wildavsky