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Trust, Risk Perception, and Policy-making in Drinking Water Problems

  • Korean Social Science Journal
  • Abbr : KSSJ
  • 2006, 33(2), pp.33-65
  • Publisher : Korean Social Science Research Council
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general

Seungkwon You 1 JIHO JANG 2

1University of Missouri-Columbia
2한국외국어대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to investigate how environ-mental risks associated with water problems are identified and assessed among Korean elites and general population. By doing so, this study is expected to introduce how the Koreans focus on different dimensions of the risks in Korea. Although Korea has improved its quality of life sig-nificantly as the country has developed, people do not trust the quality of tap water that they drink everyday. Despite efforts made by the gov-ernment, the public hasnt shown any confidence in water quality, due to a series of environmental accidents in the 1990s that included carci-nogen detection in tap water and phenol flows into Nak-Tong river in South Kyong-Sang Province. Using Q method, this study finds different environmental risk perceptions among elites and citizens and provides rich exploratory information about existing values in tap water prob-lems, which will be significant information to policy makers. The study finds three different types among Korean elites and citizens. First group is Anti-Capitalist, Techno-Skepticist, Critical Environmentalists. Second group is pro-technology, Optimistic Modernists, and finally, Political ecologists and Distrustful Modernists are the last group.

Citation status

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