Femke Hilverda: "Making sense of food risk information: The case of organic food."

Kurt Lewin Instituut
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Femke Hilverda: "Making sense of food risk information: The case of organic food."

On February 23, 2017 Femke Hilverda successfully defended the PhD thesis entitled "Making sense of food risk information: The case of organic food." at University of Twente.

Promotor
Prof. dr. Ellen Giebels

Co-promotor
Dr. Margot Kuttschreuter


Summary

When individuals encounter new information about food issues, such as organic food risks, they have to make sense of this information. Sense-making is the process by which individuals give meaning to the world around them. How the process of sense-making is influenced by the online social environment, and social media interaction in particular, is as yet largely unknown. This dissertation therefore examines the research question: How do individuals make sense of (online) risk information about (organic) food issues? Special focus is placed on the influence of the social environment and on online information exchange. Based on the new opportunities that social media offer to (risk) communication, a distinction in three types of online information exchange is made: information exchange via social networking sites (Facebook), direct online interaction via a chat, and actively sharing encountered information with others via online media such as (micro)blogs. A total of six empirical studies are performed to provide insight in sense-making regarding organic food risks in an online context.


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