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Legitimacy Disputes and Social Amplification of Perceived Risk
Unformatted Document Text:  Legitimacy & Social Amplification of Risk Perceptions     17   interview in May 2 nd asserting the safety of US beef. The official press release and subsequent government’s and the ruling party’s efforts to promote the safety of US beef brought about huge reactions from issue publics online. So the second period of this content analysis starts right after the South Korean government officially started to engage in risk communication until the high-profile TV debates between commentators who represent government’s positions and those who claims high risk of US beef. In that period, South Korean publics started to hold the so-called candlelight vigils on the downtown street of Seoul every day. The participants for the rallies gradually increased. In period 2, both cognitive (36.0%) and pragmatic (38.0%) legitimacy disputes were almost equal in the proportion, while the normative legitimacy was on the rapid increase accounting for about 25.8%. It is notable that discussions related to cognitive legitimacy dispute have decreased as a function of increased governmental efforts. While government may have reduced some concerns related to unidentified claims or rumors in this period, it alienated the online publics by having been much obsessed with discrediting MBC PD Notebook’s claims. But the public starting from this period began moving onto new direction of movement that went beyond the claims from MBC PD Notebook. Online publics demanded renegotiation and withdrawing the agreement to lift the ban of US beef import, while ridiculing one-way advertising campaigns in the mainstream newspapers. In responses to governments’ ad campaigns, bloggers’ became more cynical at government’s efforts to defend the safety of U.S. Beef. For example, one blogger ridiculed Korean Agricultural Department’s advertisement in national newspapers to defend the safety of U.S. Beef. A blogger argued, “Whose government is Lee’s when it

Authors: Lim, Joon Soo., Mun, Kwansik. and Yang, Sung-Un.
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Legitimacy & Social Amplification of Risk Perceptions   
 
 
17  
interview in May 2
nd
 asserting the safety of US beef. The official press release and 
subsequent government’s and the ruling party’s efforts to promote the safety of US beef 
brought about huge reactions from issue publics online. So the second period of this 
content analysis starts right after the South Korean government officially started to 
engage in risk communication until the high-profile TV debates between commentators 
who represent government’s positions and those who claims high risk of US beef. In that 
period, South Korean publics started to hold the so-called candlelight vigils on the 
downtown street of Seoul every day. The participants for the rallies gradually increased.   
In period 2, both cognitive (36.0%) and pragmatic (38.0%) legitimacy disputes 
were almost equal in the proportion, while the normative legitimacy was on the rapid 
increase accounting for about 25.8%.  It is notable that discussions related to cognitive 
legitimacy dispute have decreased as a function of increased governmental efforts. While 
government may have reduced some concerns related to unidentified claims or rumors in 
this period, it alienated the online publics by having been much obsessed with 
discrediting MBC PD Notebook’s claims. But the public starting from this period began 
moving onto new direction of movement that went beyond the claims from MBC PD 
Notebook. Online publics demanded renegotiation and withdrawing the agreement to lift 
the ban of US beef import, while ridiculing one-way advertising campaigns in the 
mainstream newspapers.  
In responses to governments’ ad campaigns, bloggers’ became more cynical at 
government’s efforts to defend the safety of U.S. Beef. For example, one blogger 
ridiculed Korean Agricultural Department’s advertisement in national newspapers to 
defend the safety of U.S. Beef. A blogger argued, “Whose government is Lee’s when it 


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