The contextual dimension of risk dialogues: the case of water recycling weblogs in South East Queensland, Australia

Summerville, Jennifer A., Miller, Evonne, Bell, Lorraine M., & Buys, Laurie (2007) The contextual dimension of risk dialogues: the case of water recycling weblogs in South East Queensland, Australia. In Managing Knowledge, Technology and Development in the Era of Information Revolution. Greenleaf Publishing, UK.


In January 2007, the Premier of Queensland, Australia, made the controversial decision to introduce recycled water into South East Queensland’s (SEQ’s) drinking supply, igniting significant community debate. Using a Toowoombabased antirecycling weblog (blog) as a case study, this paper examines the discourse produced in relation to the water recycling proposal as a means to understand how bloggers’ risk dialogues were shaped. Using the Public Acceptability of Controversial Technologies (PACT) framework as a conceptual guide, this paper demonstrates how the political and institutional context played a significant role in influencing people’s position in relation to water recycling technologies. Specifically, through the construction of a David and Goliath-type battle between the ‘ordinary resident’ versus the ‘authorities’ (local council, government and experts), bloggers created a context whereby pro-recycling could be equated with pro-Goliath. Overall, the analysis highlights the salience of context in shaping risk dialogues about controversial technologies.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 12354
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: blogs, water recycling, public acceptance, risk dialogues, South East Queensland, Australia
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Urban Sociology and Community Studies (160810)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Greenleaf Publishing
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:36

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page