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|Title:||Newly Emerging Environmental Health Risks in a Risk Society: A case study of the public perception of food allergies|
|Authors:||Harrington, Daniel W.|
|Advisor:||Elliott, Susan J.|
Newbold, Bruce K.
|Department:||Geography and Earth Sciences|
|Keywords:||Environmental Health Risks; Emerging Risks; Food Allergies;Human Geography;Human Geography|
|Abstract:||<p>Pre-modern societies were subjected to risks attributed to fate, and human-made hazards that were considered manageable. Late-modern society is increasingly exposed to emerging environmental health risks that are products of the modernization process itself (e.g. genetically modified organisms). These risks result from broad changes in the environment and/or human activity. Some of these provoke high public perceptions of risk, and often institutions and communities must respond to these in the absence of scientific knowledge.</p> <p>This dissertation explores the determinants of the perception of food allergies – a recent addition to the environmental risk landscape. A recently assembled national database on food allergies was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression (n=3,462). In parallel, a media analysis of nine years of Canadian newspaper coverage of food allergy issues (n = 598 articles) explored the role of a primary source of risk communication.</p> <p>Results revealed a number of important determinants at the individual-level , as well as a number of experiential (e.g. exposure to food allergy-related information) and attitudinal covariates . The policy environment, was also implicated as an important modifying factor for risk perceptions. The media analysis revealed how food allergies are being constructed by different social actors through the news media, with substantial implications for public understanding. The dissertation concludes with a description of a conceptual framework for characterizing public response to emerging environmental health. This tool may prove crucial for increasing the understanding of the links between people, perceptions, and places as new environmental risks continue to emerge on the landscape.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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