TUE4.2: Social media and linguistics as part of an integrative risk management
Session organized by Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Social media and linguistics as part of an integrative risk management
1armasuisse, Switzerland; 2Zurich University for Applied Sciences, Switzerland; 3Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany
Natural and manmade catastrophes are increasingly large scale and often affect major parts of our multilingual and intercultural societies. Authorities and citizens are facing threats that are new and fuzzy in quality and of impact. The higher the number of possible threats increases the prevention and reaction gets more complex. What actually means that it will become increasingly impossible to prepare a specific answer for each thinkable event? One approach to deal with the above outlined uncertainty is to build up a resilient society. Resilience may be defined in two different ways: In a technical sense it means to provide “robust” infrastructures and systems. “Political” solutions point at a more “robust”, say more “resilient” society. The planned session focuses on the latter understanding and tries to point out social, cultural and linguistic aspects of resilience building as part of an integrative risk management that predominantly bases on risk communication. Timely, professional and comprehensive risk communication that considers linguistic and cultural aspects as well as the exploitation of the potential of social media as well are keys towards a more resilient society. The authors believe – based on research at Zurich University of Applied Sciences and recent field studies – that there is still a huge unexploited potential to set free by using social medias systematically for risk and even crisis communication or for integration into alert conceptions as well. In addition the speakers highlight that it is important to integrate linguistic, cultural and demographic aspects of our societies into risk and crisis communication concepts. To reach at least the majority of people in our societies is the key to enhance resilience.
Integrative risk management
Natural and manmade catastrophes are increasingly large scale and often affect major parts of our multilingual and intercultural societies. Authorities and citizens are facing threats that are new and fuzzy in quality an of impact. One approach to deal with uncertainty and complexity is to build up a resilient society. Timely and professional risk communication that considers linguistic and cultural aspects and the exploitation of the potential of social media as well are key towards a more resilient society. There is still a huge unexploited potential to set free by using social media for risk and crisis communication.
Crisis, communication, social media
Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Social media may serve as relevant means of information and communication in times and situations of crisis. This will be exemplified from the case of a combined natural disaster – industrial accident – willful negligence of security and safety standards event (Official Report, Executive Summary: The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission): marine earthquake – tsunami – and the subsequent meltdown in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant following March 11, 2011.
Understanding risk communication: the acceptability of risk communication in a multilingual Europe
Bergische Universität Wuppertal
In 2012 CBRN catastrophes have become an even bigger threat to our society. It has therefore become increasingly important to communicate possible risks in this context more effectively and sufficiently in order to better inform citizens of such threats. In our societies today, we have an increase of individuals and groups that use varying linguistic codes and practices of communication. Such codes and practices are bound to increase and become even more complex as countries continue to connect and work together. It is based on these linguistic practices and the corresponding reference frameworks that information is understood and categorized. The English language remains to be important to bridge the gap between the various mentalities (cultural based mentalities, expert vs. lay person mentality etc.) present in risk communication. Risk communication is therefore dependent on the better understanding of these socio-linguistic factors. Until now, the importance of such socio-linguistic factors has not been analyzed sufficiently enough in risk communication research. This presentation aims to explore socio-linguistic factors as influences on risk communication and highlight the importance of a more in-depth analysis of such factors for a more effective and citizen oriented risk communication.