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Worst CasesTerror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination$
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Lee Clarke

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226108599

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226108605.001.0001

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Power, Politics, and Panic in Worst Cases

Power, Politics, and Panic in Worst Cases

(p.99) 4 Power, Politics, and Panic in Worst Cases
Worst Cases

Lee Clarke

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes risk communication, the problem of panic, the greatest worst case risk that Americans face and the issues of scapegoating and blame. It suggests that politics and social conflict are never far away even in worst cases and even when there is urgent suffering. This chapter examines the conflicts that shape the character of danger and argues that power is exceedingly important in talk about disaster, the production of disaster, responses to disaster, and how people make sense of disasters after they happen.

Keywords:   risk communication, panic, worst case risk, scapegoating, blame, politics, social conflict, power

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