Demographic and cultural characteristics contribute to the social constructions of risks


Contrary to this study conducted in Canada (see source document for full reference), which has not been a target of terrorist attacks, other studies focused on areas with a high risk of terrorist attacks. In a study conducted in the Gaza region, Billing investigated how risk perception and a tendency to stay in the country are related to demographic (age, gender, the length of living in the region) and cultural characteristic (place and home attachment, ideology and religion). Despite the objective level of risk, people showed strong tendency to remain in the area (Billing, 2006). Religious beliefs, home and place attachment and ideology all positively correlated with a tendency to stay. Religion negatively correlated with perceived risk more religious people perceived the risk of terrorist attacks as lower. It was argued that this result reflected the dominant discourse among religious people regarding the Divine protection in dangerous situations. In other words, people are less afraid if they believe that God is protecting them. According to the author, these results illustrate how risks can be socially constructed (Billing, 2006).

Note: See source document for full reference.

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