In this provocative report on the study of risk, anthropologist Mary Douglas exposes a pervasive neglect of the social bases of risk perception. Researchers have concentrated on the individual's perceptions and choices, ignoring the social influences that direct them. The result is an inability to explore certain crucial questions—how standards of acceptable risk reflect moral judgments, for example, and how the acceptable distribution of risk is an aspect of social justice. Douglas' findings offer a challenge and a new agenda to all who are interested in the way risk is defined and managed in our society.
"An altogether brilliant piece of writing--far-reaching and a joy to read." —Amartya Sen, Oxford University