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Communicating at the edge: Risk communication processes and structural conflicts in highly industrialized petrochemical areas

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This article, grounded in an empirical study carried out in the Tarragona petrochemical complex (Spain), explores how key actors operating in this specific social and organizational context perceive petrochemical communication activities. Data compiled from a set of interviews with stakeholders and focus group discussions with citizens were analysed from an interpretative perspective in an effort to capture underlying situationally specific logics. The results enabled us to discuss the advantages and limitations of different theoretical models of petrochemical communication, providing elements for a critique of overly simplistic normative models of risk communication. We highlight the potential contribution of interpretative research to the social perception of petrochemical risk and its implication in petrochemical communication processes.
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Keywords: interpretative approach; petrochemical industries; risk communication; risk governance; risk perception; social accounting practices

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona. 2: CIEMAT, Sociotechnical Research Centre. 3: Universitat Rovira i Virgili.

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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