People with foreign backgrounds express a higher level of risk than native people


To further investigate the 'white male effect', Olofsson and Rashid (2011) assessed risk perception of various risks, including the risk of natural hazards, in the citizens of Sweden. The idea was to compare results from Sweden with previous findings from the Unites States. Sweden was of particular interest to the authors because it differs considerably from the US in terms of equality policy and value systems. Namely, Sweden is a more gender-equal country than the US which enabled authors to test the hypothesis that social inequality is what causes the 'white male effect'. The results revealed that there is no difference between risk perception of men and women in Sweden, which could be explained by the equality between genders in this country (Olofsson & Rashid, 2011). However, the same study revealed that people with foreign background express a higher level of risk than native people. Therefore, it seems that in Sweden ethnicity, but not gender, is an indicator of inequality. People from Africa, South America, and Asia do face greater segregation in Sweden, which might influence their perceptions of risk and security (Olofsson & Rashid, 2011). Based on these findings authors argue that a 'societal inequality effect' is probably a better description of the observed difference in risk perception between different social groups than the 'white male effect'.

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