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  • 1.
    Bouvier, Gwen
    et al.
    Institute of Corpus Linguistics and Applications, Shanghai International Studies University, China.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Qualitative Research Using Social Media2022Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Do you want to study influencers? Opinions and comments on a set of posts? Look at collections of photos or videos on Instagram? Qualitative Research Using Social Media guides the reader in what different kinds of qualitative research can be applied to social media data. It introduces students, as well as those who are new to the field, to developing and carrying out concrete research projects. The book takes the reader through the stages of choosing data, formulating a research question, and choosing and applying method(s).

    Written in a clear and accessible manner with current social media examples throughout, the book provides a step-by-step overview of a range of qualitative methods. These are presented in clear ways to show how to analyze many different types of social media content, including language and visual content such as memes, gifs, photographs, and film clips. Methods examined include critical discourse analysis, content analysis, multimodal analysis, ethnography, and focus groups. Most importantly, the chapters and examples show how to ask the kinds of questions that are relevant for us at this present point in our societies, where social media is highly integrated into how we live. Social media is used for political communication, social activism, as well as commercial activities and mundane everyday things, and it can transform how all these are accomplished and even what they mean.

    Drawing on examples from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, Weibo, and others, this book will be suitable for undergraduate students studying social media research courses in media and communications, as well as other humanities such as linguistics and social science-based degrees.

  • 2.
    Höijer, Birgitta
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Making sense of violent events in public spaces: citizens' cognitions and emotions of society and self in relation to mediated violence2007In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 3-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Violence in public spaces gives headlines in the media and is an issue of great concern for the public. It is threatening both on the societal and private level and shakes our belief in the rational and secure social world that was formulated by modernity and the welfare state. The article takes it point of departure in unforeseeable violent events in public spaces that in the media are labelled acts of madness and in which the perpetrators are pointed out as suffering from mental disorders. Results are presented from a study of how citizens attach social and cultural meanings to such events and it is shown how the meanings can be understood in relation to transformations in the emotional-cognitive climate of contemporary society. A culturally conditioned fear and worry, dilemmas and processes of individualization are discussed as crucial dimensions in institutional and public thinking about society and everyday life.

  • 3.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    et al.
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Just, Sine Nørholm
    Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.
    Kjeldsen, Jens E.
    Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
    Mølster, Ragnhild
    Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
    Offerdal, Truls Strand
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Skogerbø, Eli
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Transparency beyond information disclosure: strategies of the Scandinavian public health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic2022In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 25, no 10, p. 1176-1189Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of transparency has been problematized in risk research. This exploratory study contributes to the risk literature by considering an established three-dimensional transparency framework (information substantiality, accountability, and participation) and discussing the opportunities for and challenges to risk communication in relation to the framework. Furthermore, we examine the strategies of Scandinavian health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the different levels of public trust in these authorities. In general, Norwegian authorities received higher levels of trust than their Swedish and Danish counterparts. We argue that this was partly due to differences in transparency management. Our findings support the importance of the three transparency dimensions and indicate that transparency regarding uncertainties positively impacts levels of trust.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Transparency beyond information disclosure: strategies of the Scandinavian public health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 4.
    Offerdal, Truls Strand
    et al.
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway.
    Just, Sine Nørholm
    Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Denmark.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway.
    “We Do Not Have Any Further Info to Add, Unfortunately”: Strategic Disengagement on Public Health Facebook Pages2022In: International Journal of Strategic Communication, ISSN 1553-118X, E-ISSN 1553-1198, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 499-515Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, communication with the public has been a central concern for state actors. One important question has been how to best use social media to ensure the sufficient uptake of their advice and recommendations to the public. With regard to such strategic communicative aims, a significant amount of attention has been previously devoted to the engagement, interaction, and dialogic forms of strategic communication on social media. This paper, however, focuses on an aspect that has not been discussed much in the literature: the need an organization might have to disengage due to a lack of resources or when a conversation has stalled. Using the communication that Scandinavian public health authorities carried out through their Facebook pages as cases, this paper employs a thematic analysis of the associated posts and qualitative interviews with employees to argue that these institutions use three disengagement strategies: 1) contradiction, 2) meta-discursive disengagement, and 3) disengagement through sympathy/empathy. Based on this, we consider the strategic potential of disengagement and discuss whether disengagement strategies can be considered legitimate tools for public health organizations’ crisis communication that can allow them to achieve the dual aim of ensuring citizens’ support for and compliance with authorities’ recommendations.

  • 5.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    A scenario-based focus group study on attitudes toward returning or migrating in the aftermath of radionuclide decontamination2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The present analysis of focus group discussions follows up on a survey study that showed clear demographic differences regarding the public’s attitudes to various measures after a possible nuclear accident with radioactive fallout in residential areas. Against the background of these attitudinal differences found along demographics, this focus group study recruited respondents who would likely differ in their chosen approach to risks and measures, but with the aim of studying how they choose to articulate attitudes in the discussions. What they all were asked to relate to was a scenario where radioactive fallout has prompted evacuation and decontamination, and later the possibility of continuing to live in their home but with certain rules of conduct because all the surrounding areas are not decontaminated and safe - a very likely outcome in the case of a radionuclide accident. Using concepts from appraisal analysis, the conversations from 12 focus groups were studied. With the exception of some elderly men, who articulate lower risk and greater acceptance of and attachment to the decontaminated home area, the results show that the respondents create a negative alignment with the scenario of living in a decontaminated neighborhood, and thus present more positive attitudes to moving permanently. The respondents acknowledge that the authorities make an effort in such a situation, but then raise critical questions, thus often using so-called concession/counter pairs to endorse balanced opinions. Overall, the objections, consisting of evaluative categorization and adjectives and modal choices in the upper scale of intensification, signal discomfort and worry on a number of themes including (1) the severity and magnitude of the risk across time and space, (2) the uncertainty of knowledge, (3) restrictions on the use of environments, and (4) children’s vulnerability and proneness to testing boundaries (including spatial restrictions, see point 3). These results demonstrate that the predominant, international government measures presented as restoration (with evacuation, decontamination, and the supposed return to normal life) are articulated and evaluated very differently and critically by most focus group participants. Thus, the study lastly discusses how risk governance in the area of radionuclide risk could be developed in order to incorporate, instead of counteracting, citizens’ understanding of risk and safety.

  • 6.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Attitudes in risk discourse2013In: Rhetoric in Society 4 Book of abstracts: Copenhagen January 15-18, 2013, 2013, p. -20Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Combining governmentality and discourse analysis: An application on focus groups discussing radioactive decontamination2023In: Risk Discourse and Responsibility / [ed] Annelie Ädel; Jan-Ola Östman, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2023, p. 40-64Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter introduces a governmentality approach to issues of risk and safety, and carves out an analytical framework that combines it with appraisal analysis. From the perspective of governmentality, responsibilisation is the social process whereby actors assign/assume various moral duties that benefit governing purposes. Institutions and organisations are also increasingly trying to involve and motivate people to manage risk themselves and thus ‘partner’ with them in large-scale tasks of improving health and safety. Appraisal analysis can help demonstrate how actors evaluate risks and safety measures and how they assume or resist positions of responsibility. The analytical model proposed more specifically aids an examination of how actors appraise (a) what are risks and what should be protected; (b) safety measures spanning collective and individual protection (or lack thereof ); and (c) safety measures spanning behavioural prompts and risk elimination. Choices along these dimensions stand in a dialectical relationship to certain pervasive, global discourses of risk governance. Focus group discussions on a nuclear power plant (NPP) accident scenario are analysed, for which state agencies plan to recover contaminated neighbourhoods. The analysis shows that an enduring inconsistency in the policy of governing risk through the logic of recovery and individualised responsibility is a risk mitigation strategy that requires that the risk be considered tolerable by those who are to face it – a condition that is met only partially. It is therefore likely that such a policy will be met with resistance in the event of a nuclear accident, as it was after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Combining governmentality and discourse analysis
  • 8.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Communicating safety programs: the power in shaping occupational identities and risks2008In: The IAMCR Congress of Media Research, 2008Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Communication and risks: Lessons for prompting protective behavior2022Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Conflicting interpretations of workplace accidents: A critical communication perspective2007Conference paper (Refereed)
    Download full text (pdf)
    Conflicting interpretations of workplace accidents: A critical communication perspective
  • 11.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Deliberative communications ethics, its criticism, and proposal for research on attitudes as expressive acts in risk discourse2011In: Risk, Uncertainty and Policy, European Sociological Association, 2011, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Download full text (pdf)
    Deliberative communications ethics, its criticism, and proposal for research on attitudes as expressive acts in risk discourse
  • 12.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Discourses and identity positionings in chemical plant employees' accounts of incident reporting2011In: Communicating risks: towards the threat society / [ed] Stig Arne Nohrstedt, Göteborg: Nordicom , 2011, p. 197-222Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Doing “Being” Responsible Risk Communicators at Work2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While previous research has demonstrated that an increasing burden of responsibility is placed on employees for the risks and health problems they face, less attention has been paid to the increased communication requirements this development involves. Bridging this gap, this article investigates how social interaction is used by employees and chair to negotiate employees becoming responsible risk communication subjects. Using positioning analysis (Bamberg 2005), the study examines five safety meeting episodes, and demonstrates how the responsibilization of employees’ risk communication extends questions of a) form – such as the duration of talk, b) paper-work, c) genuineness, d) contributing on-topic, e) economization, and f) reliability regardless of illness and place. The study contributes to research on both workplace meetings and changes in workplace communication.

  • 14.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Enabling selves to conduct themselves safely: safety committee discourse as governmentality in practice2011In: Human Relations, ISSN 0018-7267, E-ISSN 1741-282X, Vol. 64, no 3, p. 459-478Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A developing body of literature argues that workplace safety is increasingly becoming the responsibility of employees who are the potential victims of hazards. Although interaction is an integral part of enacting and justifying these responsibilization processes, previous research has not provided detailed analysis of organizational talk in this regard. Following Brownlie’s (2004) ‘analytic bridging’ of Foucault and close discourse analysis, this study centres on a safety committee meeting, and demonstrates how governmentality is exercised as senior managers seek the consent of other employees for behavioural-safety implementation. Three discursive strategies are analysed in detail, examining the construction and invocation of: 1) an equal partnership through collaborative and vague talk; 2) hierarchy through directives and declaratives; 3) competitiveness by the establishment of a factory-versus-factory contest. In sum, these discursive strategies forcefully combine constructions of reciprocal relations together with disciplinary discourse that mandates compliance with program implementation.

  • 15.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Fact and fabrication in interviews: a response to radical constructionist critique2007In: The 18th Nordic Conference for Media and Communication Research (NordMedia 2007), 2007Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    What qualititive research interviews can and cannot say has become an increasingly contested matter within the social sciences. Prominent scholars as Jonathan Potter and David Silverman adhere that qualitative interviews can not say much about neither inner cognitive processes nor an outer social reality. Their object of study is the micro speech act; what constitutes norms of interaction, how facts are constructed and preferred impressions achieved. Their far-reaching arguments for an anti-essentialist understanding of interview material, bring radical constructionism to the fore. Considering its impact and bold claims, radical constructivism require consideration and response. The position defended in this article claim that interviews may be valid not only considering what is done in a specific speech act. An immaculate representation of inner and outer realities is however out of the question. An interviewer rather embark on a task that involve both distance and relation, as Martin Buber has explained. Topics that are discussed regard culture expressed in interviews, as an instance of social reality, and as a hinderance as well as a positive force between interactors. Moreover, speech act theory and the proposed omni-presence of impression management are contrasted with theory of the self and Martin Buber's writings on being and seeming. Finally, and perhaps most important, qualitative interviews equal means for academia to approach and qualitatively and systematically learn about the circumstances of diverse citizens, which means that definitions of what is true and just may be formulated from a better view.

  • 16.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Frågor om tydlighet och samstämmighet i den svenska riskkommunikationen om covid-19 under våren 2020: Underlagsrapport till SOU 2022:10 Sverige under pandemin2022Report (Other academic)
    Download full text (pdf)
    Frågor om tydlighet och samstämmighet i den svenska riskkommunikationen om covid-19 under våren 2020
  • 17.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Governing safe operations at a distance: Enacting responsible risk communication at work2016In: Studies of Discourse and Governmentality: New Perspectives and Methods / [ed] P. McIlvenny, J. Zhukova Klausen & L. Bang Lindegaard, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2016, p. 179-207Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter argues that today's organizational risk management, where employees are to adopt routines for proper self-control, is fruitfully approached as what Rose and Miller (1992) term governing-at-a-distance. Governing that relies on internal control and the self-governing capacity of citizens requires people to be involved in communication that signifies responsible behaviour. If there is hierarchical monitoring, then it is communication that is supervised which makes the signifying practices all the more important. While previous research has demonstrated that an increasing burden of responsibility is placed on citizens for the risks and health problems they face or envisage, less attention has been paid to the increased communication requirements this development involves. Bridging this gap, this chapter investigates how social interaction in meetings works to facilitate employees to become responsible risk communication subjects. An intensive discourse analysis of five safety meeting episodes demonstrates how the responsibilization of employees’ risk communication extends questions of a) form – such as the duration of talk, b) paper work, c) genuineness, d) contributing on-topic, e) economization, and f) reliability regardless of illness and place. The study takes inspiration from positioning analysis (e.g. Bamberg, 2005), allowing for a detailed account of the moment-to-moment process of responsibilization, something that previous research on risk management tends to skim over.

    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 18.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Governing the workplace or the worker?: evolving dilemmas in chemical professionals' discourse on occupational health and safety2013In: Discourse & Communication, ISSN 1750-4813, E-ISSN 1750-4821, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 75-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyses occupational health and safety discourse, bringing special attention to dilemmas that emerge as employees name and negotiate particular risks and safety measures. The study is based on 46 interviews conducted with employees in three chemical factories, and combines Michel Foucault's conception of governmentality with a discursive psychology approach. The study demonstrates how dilemmas emerge when 1) respondents make others responsible for health and safety risks; 2) they personally assume responsibility as 'risky' workers; and 3) different rationalities - such as environmental and behavioural or hierarchical - appear in the same set of statements. Overall, occupational health and safety management tends to exclude egalitarian beliefs, which creates dilemmas that become visible as speakers find themselves compelled to excuse, ironize or systematically downplay discursive moves that may diminish or exclude themselves or others. Given that previous research suggests that behavioural approaches to health become increasingly widespread in working life, this article contributes by highlighting the presence of dilemmas that implies some flux and openness to change.

  • 19.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Governing the workplace or the worker?: Evolving dilemmas in chemical professionals’ naming conventions and in the negotiation of occupational health and safety2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyses everyday occupational health and safety discourse, bringing special attention to dilemmas that emerge as employees name and negotiate particular risks and safety measures. The study is based on 46 interviews conducted with employees in three chemical factories, and combines Michel Foucault’s governmentality approach with discourse analysis. The study demonstrates how dilemmas emerge when (1) respondents make others responsible for health and safety risks; (2) they personally assume responsibility as ‘risky’ workers; and (3) different rationalities – such as environmental and behavioural or hierarchical – appear in the same set of statements. Overall, occupational health and safety management tends to exclude egalitarian beliefs, which creates dilemmas that become visible as speakers find themselves compelled to excuse, ironize, or systematically downplay discursive moves that may diminish or exclude themselves or others. Given that previous research suggests that behavioural approaches to health become increasingly widespread in working life, this article contributes by highlighting the presence of dilemmas that implies some flux and openness to change.

  • 20.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Governing the workplace or the worker?: Evolving dilemmas in chemical professionals naming conventions and in the negotiation of occupational health and safetyManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Ideological horizons in the media: mental illness and violent crime2007In: Ideological horizons in media and citizen discourses: theoretical and methodological approaches / [ed] Birgitta Höijer, Göteborg: Nordicom , 2007, p. 95-117Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 22.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Incident reporting and employee identity: three cases of chemical manufacturers2009In: 19th Nordic Conference on Media and Communication Research, Nordicom, 2009Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Kommunikations- och tolkningsperspektiv på olyckor och tillbud i kemiska industrimiljöer2007Report (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Medborgares attityder till risker och åtgärder vid en kärnkraftsolycka2022Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The report reviews research on citizens' understanding of and attitudes to risk in connection with nuclear accidents. It begins by describing the need to adapt different safety measures to different types of risks, and that the choices are somewhat limited regarding nuclear accidents given how certain risk mitigation measures are regulated (remediation) whereas other measures that are preferred by some citizens (such as permanently relocating) do not have ratification by the state. This is followed by an account of community views on radioactive material as a risk, and on decontamination as a safety measure. In addition to the importance of demographic factors for risk perception and attitudes, additional situational circumstances are addressed that influence citizen attitudes to radiation risks and clean-up areas.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Medborgares attityder till risker och åtgärder vid en kärnkraftsolycka
  • 25.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Mediebilden av psykisk ohälsa i samband med terrordåden i Norge 2011: En innehållsanalys av nyhetspressens rapportering2013Report (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Multimodal analys: att förstå det visuella varumärket2014In: Kvalitativa metoder i strategisk kommunikation / [ed] Åsa Thelander & Jörgen Eksell, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 165-181Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Department of Media & Communication Studies.
    Recent research on the discursive construction of national identity  2017In: Journal of Multicultural Discourses, ISSN 1744-7143, E-ISSN 1747-6615, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 181-187Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 28.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Safety in the making: studies on the discursive construction of risk and safety in the chemical industry2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This compilation thesis aims to analyse how risk and safety are constructed, reproduced, and negotiated by communicative means in safety-critical workplaces. It conceptualizes these communicative moments of shaping and reshaping risk and safety as enmeshed in multiple forms of governing. That is, the management of risk and safety may not only be an employer’s responsibility delegated by the State, in a welfarist fashion, but may take different forms through a variety of institutional practices and communicative means. These defining practices seem particularly urgent to study, since it is through them that the locus of risk may be moved from one type of area or object to another, that attention is or is not paid to certain conditions of human exposure, and that parties are appointed responsible for safety measures.The thesis centres on three safety-critical factories located in Sweden that handle corrosive and/or explosive chemicals. It analyses interviews with various employees as well as recorded talk at a safety committee meeting. Previous research has addressed the existence of a tension between a strategy of individual responsibility and one of collective protection. This study makes a further contribution by demonstrating how these traditions are advocated and negotiated in discourse, and the dilemmas that emerge in the process. Although the study demonstrates that a discourse of collective prevention is reflected and reproduced in some narratives, it also makes evident that a great deal of responsibility is placed on the individual worker to avoid risk. The analysis has been able to show that this is due to the co-presence of traditional, hierarchical advice-giving and self-reproach, which amplify the importance of workers conducting themselves with greater caution, and of those newer concepts and technologies for worker involvement and responsibilization which are implemented in line with neoliberal ideas of human resources utilization.  Furthermore, the thesis demonstrates how employees’ risk and safety discourse exposes dilemmas, especially when, consciously or not, egalitarian norms are taken into account. For instance, the moralizing elements of behavioural discourse are regularly supplemented by mitigating, pronominal, or entirely agentless discursive choices, and thus by an anticipatory display of awareness of egalitarian norms. It is argued that this discoursal softening of workers’ risk responsibilities helps condition the sustained prevalence of a behavioural approach to risk and safety. It also exposes some of its fragility.

    List of papers
    1. Enabling selves to conduct themselves safely: safety committee discourse as governmentality in practice
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enabling selves to conduct themselves safely: safety committee discourse as governmentality in practice
    2011 (English)In: Human Relations, ISSN 0018-7267, E-ISSN 1741-282X, Vol. 64, no 3, p. 459-478Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    A developing body of literature argues that workplace safety is increasingly becoming the responsibility of employees who are the potential victims of hazards. Although interaction is an integral part of enacting and justifying these responsibilization processes, previous research has not provided detailed analysis of organizational talk in this regard. Following Brownlie’s (2004) ‘analytic bridging’ of Foucault and close discourse analysis, this study centres on a safety committee meeting, and demonstrates how governmentality is exercised as senior managers seek the consent of other employees for behavioural-safety implementation. Three discursive strategies are analysed in detail, examining the construction and invocation of: 1) an equal partnership through collaborative and vague talk; 2) hierarchy through directives and declaratives; 3) competitiveness by the establishment of a factory-versus-factory contest. In sum, these discursive strategies forcefully combine constructions of reciprocal relations together with disciplinary discourse that mandates compliance with program implementation.

    National Category
    Media and Communications
    Research subject
    Media and Communication Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-11509 (URN)10.1177/0018726710380976 (DOI)000287841200007 ()2-s2.0-79952270458 (Scopus ID)
    Available from: 2010-07-18 Created: 2010-07-18 Last updated: 2024-02-29Bibliographically approved
    2. Discourses and identity positionings in chemical plant employees' accounts of incident reporting
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Discourses and identity positionings in chemical plant employees' accounts of incident reporting
    2011 (English)In: Communicating risks: towards the threat society / [ed] Stig Arne Nohrstedt, Göteborg: Nordicom , 2011, p. 197-222Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Göteborg: Nordicom, 2011
    Series
    Research Anthologies and Monographs
    National Category
    Media and Communications
    Research subject
    Media and Communication Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-11511 (URN)978-91-86523-13-8 (ISBN)
    Available from: 2010-07-18 Created: 2010-07-18 Last updated: 2024-02-29Bibliographically approved
    3. Governing the workplace or the worker?: Evolving dilemmas in chemical professionals naming conventions and in the negotiation of occupational health and safety
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Governing the workplace or the worker?: Evolving dilemmas in chemical professionals naming conventions and in the negotiation of occupational health and safety
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    National Category
    Media and Communications
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-41820 (URN)
    Available from: 2015-01-15 Created: 2015-01-15 Last updated: 2024-02-29Bibliographically approved
    4. Understanding “communication gaps” among personnel in high-risk workplaces from a dialogical perspective
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding “communication gaps” among personnel in high-risk workplaces from a dialogical perspective
    2012 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 39-47Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Our primary aim in this paper is to argue for a discourse analytical take on questions of how risk and safety are managed by personnel in high-risk workplaces, with a special focus on constructions of “us” and “them”. Thus, we approach the same issue investigated in many other studies, i.e., diverging safety-related understandings between people representing various occupational groups. We choose to examine so-called communication gaps as they are “talked into being” in discourse, meaning that we treat them as primarily socially constructed. A case analysis based on interviews will be used to illustrate how we can understand this phenomenon from a communicative perspective inspired by Linell’s (1998a) dialogue theory. While previous discourse and safety culture research emphasizes broad patterns and differences between entire professions and departments, we argue that researchers should hesitate to reinforce the notion of homogeneous groups. Instead, there is great value in demonstrating collective social construction processes and commonalities so as to facilitate inter-group solidarity and possibly productive change.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012
    Keywords
    risk, safety, discourse, methodology, communication gaps
    National Category
    Media and Communications
    Research subject
    Media and Communication Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12697 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2011.06.009 (DOI)000296176200005 ()2-s2.0-80053177106 (Scopus ID)
    Note

    Funding Agencies:

    Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency 2009-57124

    Competence Centre for Energetic Materials (KCEM) 

    Available from: 2010-12-12 Created: 2010-12-12 Last updated: 2024-02-29Bibliographically approved
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  • 29.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Share a little of that human touch: The marketable ordinariness of security and emergency agencies' social media efforts2021In: Human Relations, ISSN 0018-7267, E-ISSN 1741-282X, Vol. 74, no 9, p. 1421-1446, article id 0018726720919506Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, communication specialists working for public security and rescue services increasingly use superficially personalized content, or apply 'a human touch', to promote their organizations in social media. To theoretically capture and understand such processes, the concept of marketable ordinariness is proposed. This refers to how the communication relates to everyday conceptions - through feelings, humor, cool vehicles or pet animals - and is made marketable, suggesting there is a promotional logic at work. Drawing on appraisal analysis of interviews with communication specialists, the article examines this strategy's discursive elements, including the semiosis of simplicity, emotion, promotion, storytelling and quantitative success, pointing critically to the ways they aid marketization - the process whereby promotional culture encompasses increasingly more sectors and areas of life. It then discusses a number of implications. First, the public sector employees' alignment with both informational and promotional values and communication may give rise to an authenticity paradox, leaving everyone else wondering when each standard applies. Second, a stronger promotional identity implies compromised professionalism, favoring certain abilities and choices and underutilizing communication efforts that (a) do not pursue big publicity and (b) involve any issue suspected to be challenging for the organization and mainstream culture.

  • 30.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    “Should each of us take over the role as watcher?”: Attitudes on Twitter toward the 2014 Norwegian terror alert2015In: Journal of Multicultural Discourses, ISSN 1744-7143, E-ISSN 1747-6615, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 197-213Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 31.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    The challenge of improving the public representation of mental illness: a case study of crime reporting and a call for radical change2015In: Public relations, values and cultural identity / [ed] Enric Ordeix, Valérie Carayol, Ralph Tench, Bruxelles, Belgium: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2015, p. 181-197Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 32.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    The challenge of improving the public representation of mental illness: A case study of crime reporting and a call for radical change2013In: Strategic Public Relations. Public Values and Cultural Identity: October 3-5, Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    "Trusting the public authorities is imperative": The role of national newspaper editorials during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Sweden2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 34.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Unpacking qualitative data in organizational trust research: An application to community appraisal of Covid-19 management in Scandinavia2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    “Welcome to Twitter, @CIA. Better Late Than Never”: Communication Professionals’ Views of Social Media Humor and Implications for Organizational Identity2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Security and emergency authorities have traditionally used an official language style in public, but currently social media have become an outlet for informal posts and humor. This article uses positioning analysis (Bamberg, 2005) to discuss the challenges that uses of humor pose for the identity of public officials and organizations. Four dimensions of social media use and humor are suggested to factor into organizational identity construction. Particularly some forms of humor stands contrary to a bureaucratic ethos of impartiality and confidentiality. Thus, dilemmas arise for public authorities that want to remain “in character”. The article contributes to the literature on organizational identity by considering the hitherto overlooked immersion of the use of social media and humor with organizational identity formation.

  • 36.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    ‘Welcome to Twitter, @CIA. Better late than never’: Communication professionals’ views of social media humour and implications for organizational identity2017In: Discourse & Communication, ISSN 1750-4813, E-ISSN 1750-4821, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 89-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Public authorities have traditionally used an official language style in public, but currently social media have become an outlet for humour. This article uses positioning analysis to discuss challenges that use of humour poses for the identity of public organizations. Drawing on interviews with communications professionals working in the emergency services sector, the article suggests six evaluative themes that factor into organizational identity construction, such as the frequency and type of humour in social media posts. Indeed, while humour helps fashion more flexible and risk-taking organizational identities, it can also stand contrary to a bureaucratic ethos of public servantship and equal treatment. Dilemmas thus arise for public authorities that seek to adjust to the times and still remain ‘in character’. The article contributes to organizational identity research by considering the hitherto overlooked immersion of social media use, humour and organizational identity formation.

    Download full text (pdf)
    ‘Welcome to Twitter, @CIA. Better late than never’: Commu-nication professionals’ views of social media humour and implications for organizational identity
  • 37.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Crisis Communication Centre.
    Eriksson, Mats
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Crisis Communication Centre.
    Martinsson, Johan
    Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.
    Citizens' Communication Needs and Attitudes to Risk in a Nuclear Accident Scenario: A Mixed Methods Study2022In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 19, no 13, article id 7709Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The potential devastation that a nuclear accident can cause to public health and the surrounding environment demands robust emergency preparedness. This includes gaining a greater knowledge of citizens' needs in situations involving radiation risk. The present study examines citizens' attitudes to a remediation scenario and their information and communication needs, using focus group data (n = 39) and survey data (n = 2291) from Sweden. The focus groups uniquely showed that adults of all ages express health concerns regarding young children, and many also do so regarding domestic animals. Said protective sentiments stem from a worry that even low-dose radiation is a transboundary, lingering health risk. It leads to doubts about living in a decontaminated area, and high demands on fast, continuous communication that in key phases of decontamination affords dialogue. Additionally, the survey results show that less favorable attitudes to the remediation scenario-worry over risk, doubt about decontamination effectiveness, and preferences to move away from a remediation area-are associated with the need for in-person meetings and dialogue. Risk managers should thus prepare for the need for both in-person meetings and frequent information provision tasks, but also that in-person, citizen meetings are likely to feature an over-representation of critical voices, forming very challenging communication tasks.

  • 38.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ewald, Jens
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    The Relation Between Socioeconomic Status and Risk Attitudes: A Nuclear Accident Scenario in Sweden2022In: Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, ISSN 2511-1280, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 541-555Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nuclear power plant (NPP) disasters are complex and dreaded scenarios. However, existingrecovery plans presuppose that citizens will return to live in decontaminated areas followingevacuation. Research on natural disasters has shown that high socioeconomic status (SES)influences people to continue living in their homes in recovery areas. This study examinesthe association between SES and citizens’ risk attitudes to a radiological emergency scenarioand demonstrates instead that high SES implies a greater likeliness to move away from theaccident-affected area. This is substantiated by survey data of Swedish citizens’ (N =2,291)attitudes to a scenario where an NPP accident, evacuation, and remediation occur. Morespecifically, the study provides statistically significant results to show that high income isassociated with less worry over ionizing radiation. Still, high-income individuals also appearto be more likely to move if their neighborhood is affected by radioactive fallout than low-income individuals. Moreover, the results for education show that low education is associatedwith remaining in the decontamination area, and the relation between education and worryover ionizing radiation provides some support for assumptions about the “anxious middle.”Overall, this study finds that decontamination is complicated by a majority of peoplepreferring permanent relocation as well as by indications that more resourceful citizens aregenerally more likely to leave the area permanently, which may impede the fulfillment of stateagencies’ plans for recovery.

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    The Relation Between Socioeconomic Status and Risk Attitudes: A Nuclear Accident Scenario in Sweden-migration
  • 39.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ewald, Jens
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Sterner, Thomas
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Gender and life-stage dependent reactions to the risk of radioactive contamination: A survey experiment in Sweden2020In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 15, no 4, article id e0232259Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article proposes and examines gender and life-stage factors as determinants of public worry and risk avoidance in a nuclear fallout scenario. Drawing on a survey (N 2,291) conducted in Sweden, the article demonstrates statistically significant results that women as well as parents with children at home are more likely to express high levels of worry for radiation exposure and have a preference to move away from a fallout area despite assurance of successful remediation. Moreover, a negative relationship is shown between age and both worry for radiation exposure and preference to move. These novel results from Northern Europe thus support a life-stage framing of public risk attitudes. As radiation physicists develop new methods showing that women and children are at higher risk of cancer than other groups at the same radiation exposure, we may actually see the precaution among women and parents as a regulating mechanism for the higher objective risk they face. The results are moreover in agreement with studies of public risk reactions in Japan, creating a strong knowledge base that human-induced radiation pollution is largely an intolerable risk to the public. Considering the public opinion, managing an intolerable risk through risk mitigation by remediation alone is likely insufficient in many cases. A viable strategy would offer a range of social support options that enable individual decision-making and the protection of risk groups.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Gender and life-stage dependent reactions to the risk of radioactive contamination: A survey experiment in Sweden
  • 40.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Höijer, Birgitta
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Medborgare om våldsdåd: reaktioner efter mordet på Anna Lindh och andra dåd2005Report (Other academic)
  • 41.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Höijer, Birgitta
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Media images of mental illness and psychiatric care in connection with violent crimes: a study of Dagens Nyheter, Aftonbladet and Rapport2005Report (Other academic)
  • 42.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Lessons from Norwegian emergency authorities’ use of social media2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Social media has evolved along with expectations that organizations, including public authorities, would create more dialogue with citizens. This policy brief argues for, first, the importance for public authorities to listen to, follow up on and use social media users’ responses and viewpoints to facilitate dialogue and organizational learning, and, second, the need to more systematically reflect on the causes, meaning, and consequences of the informal tone that some public authorities have come to use in social media.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Norwegian Emergency Authorities’ Use of Social Media
  • 43.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    Risk, Crisis and Social Media: A Meta-Study of Six Years' Research2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The literature on social media use in risk and crisis communication is growing fast and it is time to take stock before looking forward. A review of 108 empirical studies in the area shows how the literature is indeed increasing and focusing on particular social media plat­forms, users, and phases from risk to crisis relief. However, although spanning 40 countries, a large part of the world’s social media users are under-represented in the research. In addition, little attention is given to the question of who is actually reached though social media and effects of the digital divide are rarely discussed. The paper suggests more attention is given questions of equal access to information and ICTs, complementary media channels, and cultural diversity.

  • 44.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Risk, crisis, and social media: A systematic review of seven years' research2017In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The literature on social media use in risk and crisis communication is growing fast, and it is time to take stock before looking forward. A review of 200 empirical studies in the area shows how the literature is indeed increasing and focusing on particular social media platforms, users, and phases from risk to crisis relief. However, although spanning 40 countries, a large proportion of the world’s social media users are under-represented in the research. In addition, little attention is given to the question of who is actually reached through social media, and the effects of the digital divide are rarely discussed. This article suggests that more attention is given to the questions of equal access to information and ICTs, complementary media channels, and cultural diversity. 

    Download full text (pdf)
    Risk, crisis, and social media
  • 45.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Elmelund Kjeldsen, Jens
    University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
    Strategic COVID-19 management in communicational practice: At the crossroads to remain open or not in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines how leading politicians and representatives of the public health authorities in Scandinavia attempted to create consent for their strategic choices to adopt, or refrain from, collective prevention measures such as border and school closures when such measures became relevant in the region in March 2020. It thus also concerns the broader strategic choices of the administrations in their attempts to curb or stop the coronavirus. Based on a strategy-as-practice perspective (SAP), we assume that strategies are not artefacts that organizations only have, but they are shaped, consolidated, and made public communicatively. The study’s analysis of statements from press conferences shows how strategies are shaped communicatively through claims regarding a number of themes such as economic consequences; the validity of epidemiological measures; secondary public health effects; the issue of risk severity and in the Swedish case natural immunity; and risk management history. The paper also highlights the pragmatic arguments used and the dialogicality involved when a particular strategic choice is made viable through the presentation of alternatives. It thus helps to bridge a gap between, on the one hand, major response choices facing national and agency leaders, and, on the other hand, numerous micro-level communication efforts facilitated in part through press conferences.

  • 46.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ihlen, Øyvind
    Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway.
    Kjeldsen, Jens E.
    Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway.
    Strategic Covid-19 management in communicational practice: At the crossroads to remain open or not in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden2023In: Communicating a pandemic: Crisis management and Covid-19 in the Nordic countries / [ed] Bengt Johansson; Øyvind Ihlen; Jenny Lindholm; Mark Blach-Ørsten, Nordicom, University of Gothenburg , 2023, p. 73-95Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter examines how leading politicians and representatives of the public health authorities in Scandinavia attempted to create consent for their strategic choices to adopt or refrain from collective prevention measures, such as border and school closures, when such measures became relevant in the region in March 2020. It thus also concerns the broader strategic choices of the administrations in their attempts to curb or stop Covid-19. Based on a strategy-as-practice perspective, the chapter assumes that strategies are not artefacts that organisations only possess, but they are shaped, consolidated, and made public communicatively. The analysis of statements from press conferences shows how strategies are shaped communicatively through claims regarding a number of themes: economic consequences; the validity of epidemiological measures; secondary public health effects; the issue of risk severity (and in the Swedish case, natural immunity); and risk management history. The chapter also highlights the pragmatic arguments used and the dialogicality involved when a particular strategic choice is made viable through the presentation of alternatives. The chapter thus helps to bridge a gap between major response choices facing national and agency leaders on the one hand, and on the other, numerous micro-level communication efforts facilitated in part through press conferences.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Strategic Covid-19 management in communicational practice At the crossroads to remain open or not in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
  • 47.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Kroon Lundell, Åsa
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Understanding “communication gaps” among personnel in high-risk workplaces from a dialogical perspective2012In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 39-47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Our primary aim in this paper is to argue for a discourse analytical take on questions of how risk and safety are managed by personnel in high-risk workplaces, with a special focus on constructions of “us” and “them”. Thus, we approach the same issue investigated in many other studies, i.e., diverging safety-related understandings between people representing various occupational groups. We choose to examine so-called communication gaps as they are “talked into being” in discourse, meaning that we treat them as primarily socially constructed. A case analysis based on interviews will be used to illustrate how we can understand this phenomenon from a communicative perspective inspired by Linell’s (1998a) dialogue theory. While previous discourse and safety culture research emphasizes broad patterns and differences between entire professions and departments, we argue that researchers should hesitate to reinforce the notion of homogeneous groups. Instead, there is great value in demonstrating collective social construction processes and commonalities so as to facilitate inter-group solidarity and possibly productive change.

  • 48.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Crisis Communication Centre.
    Wikström, Petter B.
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Returning Home after Decontamination? Applying the Protective Action Decision Model to a Nuclear Accident Scenario2022In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 19, no 12, article id 7481Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies of the aftermath of nuclear power plant accidents show that affected citizens assess higher risks and adopt more risk-avoidant behaviors than authorities expect. This results in differences between the planned recovery and actual outcomes. Based on this knowledge, this study examined the factors that affect citizens’ preference to continue living in a decontaminated area. Testing the key aspects of the protective action decision model (PADM), this study analyzed Swedish survey data (N = 2291) regarding such an accident scenario. Several aspects of the PADM, from the layperson’s view of threats and protective actions, to stakeholders and situational factors, were strongly supported. The most influential variables affecting settlement choices are perceptions of radiation risk, perceptions of decontamination effectiveness, government information, living with certain restrictions, and attachment to an area because of one’s work. A novel contribution of this study is that it ranked the significance of such effects on behavioral intentions in an emergency scenario. Regarding the policy recommendations, this study concluded that a recovery program must facilitate most aspects of people’s lives and provide trustworthy information on decontamination efficiency. As some people will avoid potential health risks and leave a decontaminated area, planning to implement one solution for everyone would likely not be optimal. 

    Download full text (pdf)
    Returning Home after Decontamination? Applying the Protective Action Decision Model to a Nuclear Accident Scenario
  • 49.
    Rääf, Christopher
    et al.
    Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Translational Medicine, Malmö, Lund University, 205 02, Malmö, Sweden.
    Martinsson, Johan
    Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Translational Medicine, Malmö, Lund University, 205 02, Malmö, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Mats
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Ewald, Jens
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 40530, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Javid, Reza G.
    School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, 40530, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Hjellström, Martin
    Department of Medical Radiation Sciences, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 41345, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Isaksson, Mats
    Department of Medical Radiation Sciences, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 41345, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Rasmussen, Joel
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Sterner, Thomas
    Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 40530, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Finck, Robert
    Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Translational Medicine, Malmö, Lund University, 205 02, Malmö, Sweden.
    Restoring areas after a radioactive fallout: A multidisciplinary study on decontamination2023In: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, ISSN 0265-931X, E-ISSN 1879-1700, Vol. 270, article id 107268Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Land remediation is an important part of restoration measures after a radioactive fallout containing long-lived fission products such as 137Cs. In this multidisciplinary study, we focused on three main issues related to remediation of contaminated urban areas. First, we assessed how much decontamination contributes to reducing resident radiation exposure and how much this reduction depends on the timing of implemented measures. Second, we calculated direct and indirect costs of decontamination in an industrialized country such as Sweden. Finally, in a survey study, we considered reactions of Swedish citizens to being given the hypothetical option of moving to a site decontaminated after radioactive fallout and how this predicted response might influence the design of contingency plans. The main findings are that clean-up operations must be done within the first few years after a fallout to contribute significantly to reducing residual dose. If conducted within 1-2 years, large-scale decontamination can, on average, avert 20-200 manSv per km2 residential area and unit ground deposition of 137Cs (1 MBq). The estimated direct costs (in 2020 purchasing power) would amount to 100 million Euro per km2 decontaminated residential area (comparable to Japanese estimates after the Fukushima accident), generating 39,000 m3 of radioactive waste on average, mainly in the form of 137Cs-contaminated topsoil. In our survey study of 2291 Swedish respondents about their willingness to return to decontaminated homes, women, families with resident children, and high-income earners exhibited more skepticism about returning, even if authorities were to deem it safe. The demographic pattern in attitudes was similar to that found among evacuees in the Fukushima prefecture after 2011. We conclude that predefined ranges of measured 137Cs ground deposition can be used as guidance for rescue leaders in the early post-accident phase in long-term planning for affected areas. This planning should include timing and intensity of decontamination measures, duration of evacuation, and risk communication to citizens. Because some citizens expressed both high risk perception and risk aversion, however, timely and dialogic communication is unlikely to limit a shift after the incident to an older and more male-dominated population composition. There is a risk that those who can afford to do so will move away, whereas people whose wealth is locked in property (houses or businesses) will feel stuck. Perceptions of unfairness may fray the social fabric and complicate resettlement, which in some cases may mean inefficient outlay of decontamination costs. We believe that the issue of monetary compensation to affected residents requires priority in future work.

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