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Japan's 'Safety Blanket' of Flu Mask Wearing

Dr Adam Burgess
University of Kent
Date: 11 December 2012
Time: 1pm - 2.30pm
Venue: KSW 3.01


In this seminar we examine a micro level risk behaviour that appears nationally specific: the distinctive Japanese practice of wearing flu masks. The behaviour is interesting as it appears detached from the hazard against which it ostensibly offers protection, having now become routinely worn by at least a proportion of the population. Based on historical and survey research in Tokyo we consider the actual extent of usage and its social meaning, and analyse the various pressures that have encouraged its normalisation.

About the speaker

Adam Burgess is Reader in Social Risk Research at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent and is a CARR research fellow.