The concept of cultural rationality in disaster communication


Disaster management may be more effective where rationalities are considered from a holistic or cultural perspective, not just a scientific or technical one. In the field of risk communication for example, Plough and Krimsky (for literature reference see original source document) introduce the concept of “cultural rationality”. They point out that “scientific rationality” had dominated discourse in risk communication, in particular in risk assessments. It is described as a framework that dictates communication in one direction, aiming to “bring public beliefs in line with expert views” and operating “as if it can act independently of popular culture in constructing risk analysis”. A cultural rationality, on the other hand, is one that acknowledges cultural values and cultural context, as well as scientific or technical knowledge, as integral to decision-making. As such, it is a more holistic but complicated approach to making decisions in disaster situations.

Note: See source document for full reference.

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