HISTORICITE DES REPRESENTATIONS SOCIALES DU RISQUE SISMIQUE. UNE INSCRIPTION CULTURELLE ET PSYCHOSOCIALE DANS LE CONTEXTE ROUMAIN

ANDREEA GRUEV-VINTILA

 

                 ABSTRACT. - Historicity of the Social Representations of Seismic Risk. A Cultural and Psychosocial Articulation to the Romanian Context. This paper suggests a psychosocial understanding of the social representations of seismic risk by reference to the specific historical, sociological, ideological and cultural conditions of population that lives in a risk-prone country  (Romania). The key question concerns Romanian citizensí apparent indifference to the laws and regulations that encourage the paraseismic retrofitting of vulnerable buildings. We suggest an answer based on the idea that social representations of collective risks are inseparable from the social context of the Romanians. During the communist regime, everyday life required from them distinct sets of official and private social practices, which were dissentive in official versus private matters and settings. This set of dissentive representations that Romanians maintained in a complex social world, which required from them flexible reactions in different situations, is called cognitive polyphasia. Cognitive polyphasia allowed contradictory practices to co-exist in public and private matters and settings. Romaniansí risk-related conducts, far from being irrational, are anchored in this system of social representations. Therefore, the rationale of their risk-related conducts may be understood by recalling the role of factors known as driving the psychosocial processes involved in the making of social representations: social practices, personal involvement and sociability.   

 

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