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Risk and Culture by anthropologist Mary Douglas and political scientist Aaron Wildavsky proves that a whole is sometimes less than some of its parts. The book consists of two interwoven but separable parts: (1) an abstract theory of the relationship between risk and culture; and (2) an application of the theory to explain "the sudden, widespread, across-theboard concern about environmental pollution and personal contamination that has arisen in the Western world in general and with particular force in the United States" (a phenomenon that I will call "environmentalism").

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