Communicating Safety - strategies and means

Olesen, B. R. (Lecturer)

    Activity: Talk or presentationLecture and oral contribution


    I will discuss strategies that are relevant to communicating about safety in two ways. One way of communicating is to campaign in the mass media and another way is to communicate with people face-to-face by talking with them about safety in everyday life. I will distinguish between two assumptions about the target group and claim that they refer to different scientific traditions. The two concepts that are crucial to my proposal is behaviour and action. I interpret behaviour and acting within the framework of behaviourism and phenomenology, respectively. In my discussion, I want to focus on how the communicators view of the target group influences her choice of strategies for changing the actions of the target group. I shall specifically concentrate on the way of thinking communication from a phenomenological view of the target group by introducing the American sociologist Brenda Dervin and her idea of a “Sense-Making Methodology”. It rests on two main assumptions: All communication must be regarded dialogically and knowledge is never true in an absolute way. The truth must be considered in relation to the context in which it is expressed and will be used. The message here will therefore be: • It is not possible to make changes with people, if they don’t find it relevant themselves • Common understanding of relevance is created through open dialogue • Open dialogue only occurs if knowledge is understood in relation to context, culture and experience • People are primarily sensitive to messages about changing their actions if they are met in the flow of their everyday-life
    Period8 Jun 2005
    Event typeConference
    Conference number16