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Making sense of unfamiliar risks in the countryside: The case of Lyme disease

Marcu, A, Uzzell, D and Barnett, J (2011) Making sense of unfamiliar risks in the countryside: The case of Lyme disease Health and Place, 17 (3). 843 - 850. ISSN 1353-8292

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Abstract

The focus of this paper is on how popular representations of the countryside provide countryside users with a discursive framework to make sense of unfamiliar countryside-based risks, taking Lyme disease as an example. Sixty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted with 82 visitors in Richmond Park, New Forest, and Exmoor National Park in the UK. The data were analysed using thematic analysis and was informed by social representations theory. The analysis indicated that a lay understanding of the risk of Lyme disease was filtered by place-attachment and the social representations of the countryside. Lyme disease was not understood primarily as a risk to health, but was instead constructed as a risk to the social and restorative practices in the context of the countryside. The findings suggest that advice about zoonoses such as Lyme disease is unlikely to cause panic, and that it should focus on the least intrusive preventative measures.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Health and Place. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Health and Place, 17 (3), May 2011, DOI 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.03.010.
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Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 17:56
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:52
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/7908

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