Risks and catastrophes: Attitudes and behaviour in society
García Gómez, Andrés
Dirección General de Protección Civil y Emergencias Ministerio del Interior Madrid, Spain
The work here presented deals with the results and conclusions of a sociological field distributive study carried out in the area of the whole national territory, included the insular communities, between November, 2007 and January, 2008.
In that research we can find the blocks or batteries of traditional questions on training, information, perception, acceptability, and reactions of the population in catastrophic situations that provide us with updated information on the confidence levels of citizens in the institutions and organisms of intervention, related to the management of emergencies, at the three levels of the current administration of the State and others of private ownership.
Another interesting variable that is analyzed is the relation and role, so much at present as in the future, which the population plays between the development of the tecno-science, catastrophe and risk. It is of special interest the role that the citizens award to the technological and scientific progress, on the one hand as "reason" for future and new risks and on the other one as "solution" and minimization of the same ones. Role which oscillation between one and another saucer of the scale is going to determine with complete certainty our future as society in view of the weight that public opinion has in a democratic society. People think as if they were submitted to processes of destabilization and catastrophic situations whose genesis is out of their system and will. Catastrophes were viewed as events produced by an unpredictable nature or by the random caprice of a few transcendent gods who are in last instance rsponsible for the domination and control of catastrophic events. This attribution of reason to the transcendency, natural or divine, has being turn his accusing finger towards human activity itself, so that we have perceived in the last few years a great amount of reports of risks that threaten us, including the so called native risks, that can be conceived as autogenerated risks. In this regard, our society has shifted from praying the gods to claiming the administrations.