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Yeh, mon. No problem: An Ethnographic Study of Risk Communication and Social Trust in Jamaica.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMK).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine the impact of social trust in public risk communication in St Elizabeth, Jamaica. From a cultural rationality approach is social trust assumed to affect the public’s risk perceptions and consequently their risk behavior when it comes to natural disasters. Hence, social trust is assumed to have an effect of how the citizenry of Jamaica perceives public risk communication. The risk communication carried out by the local authorities (St Elizabeth Parish Council) is examined through participant observations and expert interviews. Furthermore, twelve citizens are interviewed to examine their risk perceptions, risk behavior and their perception of the public risk communication in St Elizabeth.

All twelve respondents express a low level of social trust in the local authorities. Instead they express a great trust in media to provide them with necessary short-term risk information (crisis communication). As a result of this, the respondents have little knowledge about long-term disaster preparedness. Findings in the present study can confirm that the level of social trust is affecting which communication channels the public chooses to utilize for risk communication. Therefore social trust is an important factor to have in mind when examining any risk communication. Also, the present study challenges previous studies emphasizing that dialogue is a requirement for building social trust in risk communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 57 p.
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-58929OAI: diva2:423936
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-07-25 Created: 2011-06-16 Last updated: 2011-07-25Bibliographically approved

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