“Development is always going to destabilize a fragile balance of social forces.”

I have moved away from posting great chunks of quote on this blog, or at least aspired to move away. I have found that, out-of-context, one selects what suits and ignores what doesn’t. Still, these bits are pleasantly thought-provoking in a Big Picture, View From The Heights kind of way

A Medical Education

Via the work of John Adams, I have had some familiarity with the Douglas-Wildavsky Cultural Theory of Risk. Like this reviewer, I find the Douglas/Wildavksy treatment of environmentalism rather crude, while their overall cultural typology of risk stimulating. As the reviewer points out:

Most readers will be struck not by the abstract theory but by its application
to the rise of environmentalism. This emphasis is unfortunate. The
attempt to “explain” environmentalism makes a few good points, but on
the whole this part of the book is crude, shortsighted, and snide.3 On the
other hand, the sections that consider the relationship between risk and
culture on a more fundamental level are sensitive and thoughtful.
Even at its best, Risk and Culture is not entirely successful at explaining
the paradox of risk-the problem of managing the unknown-but
parts of the book deserve to be read seriously by people interested in…

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