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Acknowledging risk, trusting expertise, and coping with uncertainty: citizens' deliberations on spraying an insect population
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1495-8346
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CUReS))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6735-0011
2012 (English)In: Society & Natural Resources, ISSN 0894-1920, E-ISSN 1521-0723, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 587-601Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The basis for this article is the growing interest in understanding how the public evaluates risk issues. The empirical case consists of an interview study of residents in an area that has experienced an outbreak of moths that has become a nuisance to humans. The study focuses on the narratives created by the residents to make sense of the situation, the risks they associated with regulatory options, and how these narratives relate to expert opinions of the problem. The analysis shows that the residents criticize specific experts and knowledge claims. This is done, however, without questioning science as such; there is still a belief among the residents that science is an institution that generally produces valid knowledge. The analysis also shows that citizen knowledge does not merely passively reflect science. Instead, citizens create meaning and construct knowledge by organizing personal experiences and knowledge claims into coherent narratives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2012. Vol. 25, no 6, p. 587-601
Keywords [en]
biodiversity, narrative, public trust, public understanding of science, risk, spraying
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-23368DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2011.620598ISI: 000304064100005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84859627301OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-23368DiVA, id: diva2:532325
Available from: 2012-06-11 Created: 2012-06-11 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The importance of trust.: a study of knowledge production of biodiversity.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of trust.: a study of knowledge production of biodiversity.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The loss of biological diversity is one of today’s greatest environmental problems. Scientific knowledge is typically presented as the premise to solve this problem. However, science alone is not sufficient to produce knowledge of biodiversity. Other actors are also involved in knowledge production. The aim of this thesis is to analyse how different actors create knowledge of the environmental problem of biodiversity loss and to further investigate the importance of trust in the relationships between these knowledge producers.

This thesis uses a discourse analytical perspective and conducts interviews and document studies to explore how actors use different narratives to legitimate their knowledge production. Through four papers addressing different aspects of knowledge production, this thesis discusses conditions for knowledge production, particularly the importance of trust.

The results show that actors other than scientific experts also have the ability to act in knowledgeable ways and to be involved in knowledge production of biodiversity. Knowledge is produced by making use of many different dimensions and aspects, such as global, regional, local, and science, politics, and everyday life. The result also shows how trust, distrust, and as-if trust are key activities in knowledge production of environmental problems, such as the loss of biodiversity.

This thesis argues that the actors involved need to realise and acknowledge that knowledge production is a mutual process in which actors must engage in trust and distrust activities. In so doing, it will be possible to understand the complexity of the loss of biodiversity and thus to better manage this problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2013. p. 94
Series
Örebro Studies in Sociology, ISSN 1650-2531 ; 16
Keywords
trust, knowledge, biological diversity, biodiversity, environmental problems, discourse analysis, Mode-1/Mode-2, SSK, STS
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32291 (URN)978-91-7668-969-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-11-08, Örebro, 21:09 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-11-09 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, KarinLidskog, Rolf

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