Risk cultures as reflexive communities constructed in the context of the institutional uncertainty of risk


Sects should be understood as an “anti-institutional type of association and action” and as organizations “with loose structures, even effective 'disorganizations'” (Lash, 2000, p. 49; see also McNaughten & Urry, 1998). Hence, risk cultures could be described as reflexive communities (i.e. 'sects'), that are “constructed in the context of the institutional uncertainty of risk, and which may work to identify environmental and other risks these are communities of risk sub-politics. ” (Lash, 2000, p. 50). The notion of 'sect', as developed by Douglas and Wildavsky (1982), can be used to illustrate and explain the character of non-institutional sociations as the locus of the emergence of risk cultures. However, this 'sectarian' type of risk cultures has to be distinguished from the 'hierarchical-institutional cultures' since the former tends to select the natural risks, while the latter tend to select social risks.

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