Reconceptualizing risk perception: Perceiving Majority world citizens at risk from ‘Northern’ consumption

Sue McGregor
Publication Date: 
The premise of this paper is that the consumption behaviour of ‘Northern’ citizens places Majority World citizens at great risk. A theoretical evolution suggested in this paper is the extension of the notion of risky consumption to include the impact of consumption on the human security of others.
Until people can envision that their consumption behaviour places others at risk of exposure to harm, they will not see the need to perceive, assess and manage the risk. The paper tenders a preliminary reconceptualization of risk perception, using the conventional consumer behaviour model constructs of personal, distribution channel and situational factors. From this new perspective, instead of judging whether the good or service is risky for a ‘Northern’ citizen to consume, risk perception scholars would examine people’s perceptions of whether their consumption places fellow citizens at risk, the people laboring and producing the goods and services.