Inderscience Publishers

Communication surrounding the risk: nomadic concepts and plural definitions

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Risk nowadays is a social phenomenon that often makes the headlines. It has gradually emerged as one of the major themes of public debate following on from a number of disasters, but also risk appears at the heart of many scientific controversies addressed by both all the hard sciences and the human and social sciences. But risk is difficult to grasp as it is eminently subjective and depends on the period. Confronted by this diversity of concepts and the inventiveness of scientific production, we attempt to review the state of communication around risk. The goal is to show that the perception of risk communication is more important than the risk. A broad search was performed, covering the last ten years based on a lot of papers, books and texts, both electronic and manual bibliographic searches. Having given a brief historical overview and taken a look at a few attempts at classification, we give an appraisal of the state of the art in the scientific literature in the organisational communication sciences, seeking to trace changes in approach and identify possible channels for future research. The ambition of this article is to overcome the traditional dichotomy relating to theoretical specialisations.

Keywords: risk, communication, collective mind, risk management for system security, risk assessment, crisis communication, risk society, review

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