De la perception à la représentation du risque : Le rôle des médias

Hermes 41:121 (2005)

Abstract
Les questions de communication sont au coeur des «perceptions du risque» car la grande majorité des risques ne seraient connus que de ceux qui l'expérimentent n'eut été les médias. Le champ historiquement individualiste de la «perception du risque» a manifesté peu d'intérêt pour le contenu des mass media et leur rôle dans la construction d'une pensée sur le risque. Bien au contraire, le processus de «l'information» sur le risque était situé dans la pensée individuelle, la question centrale étant: pourquoi certains risques sont-ils grossis par les individus tandis que d'autres sont minimisés? Les médias jouent un rôle essentiel dans l'amplification de certains risques et les récepteurs de l'information sont considérés comme passifs devant les stimuli médiatiques. Il faut en fait nuancer l'approche pour saisir la dimension profonde de l'appréhension du risque. En passant de la notion de «perception du risque» à celle de «représentation du risque», on peut davantage cerner les liens entre médias et pensée profonde.Issues of communication lie at the heart of "risk perception" since the vast majority of risks would be known to only those who experience them were it not for the mass media. The historically individualist field of "risk perception" has tended to pay little attention to the contents of the mass media and the role these played in constructing risk-related thinking. Rather, the processing of risk "information" was situated within individual’s minds with the central question being: why are some risks overplayed by certain individuals while others more serious risks are underplayed? The media are seen to play a major role in the amplification of certain risks with those who receive such information being viewed as rather passive followers of media signals. The starting point of this paper is the need for a more nuanced approach to the lay dimension of the apprehension of risks. The paper outlines how a shift from "risk perception" to "risk representation" highlights the links between media and lay thinking
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DOI 10.4267/2042/8962
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