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Los estudios de riesgo y de la vulnerabilidad desde la geografía humana. Su relevancia para América Latina

Author(s): Martin Coy

Journal: Población & Sociedad
ISSN 1852-8562

Volume: 17;
Start page: 09;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Risk | Vulnerability | Globalization

During the last years the incidence of environmental hazards and socio-economic in Latin American countries tends to increase. The same applies to the degree of vulnerability and this is, above all, a function of the social position of the actors. This paper is dedicated to the discussion of the several concepts of risk and vulnerability within an interdisciplinary perspective. Related to the risks, there are two basic positions: from the point of view of natural science, risk is considered as a funtion of the probability of an event and the magnitude of any possible damage. From this “objectivist” perspective, the risk analysis points to the quantifi cation and valuation. Instead, in the social science predominates the “constructivist” perspective of the risk, wich focuses in a qualitative manner, in the infl uence of the perceptions and decisions of the actors on the social construction of risk. Related to the vulnberability, the analysis distinguishes between the exposure (to the risk) on one side, and the ability of reaction (or domination), on the other. These two aspects form a “double structure” of vulnerability with an internal and external side. In the Latin American context the concepts of risk and vulnerability show their relevance not only by the exposure to natural hazards and climate changes, but also by the exposure of much of the Latin American societies to the dangers arising from the insertion in globalization and neoliberal policies.
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