From earthquakes to epidemics, AIDS to industrial accidents, the mass media continually bring into our daily lives the awareness of risk. But how do people respond to this increased awareness? How do people cope with living in what has been termed 'the risk society'? This book attempts to explain how, within a given social and cultural context, individuals make sense of impending crisis. In particular it tries to explain the phenomenon of a widespread sense of personal invulnerability when faced with risk: the 'not me' factor. Using a social psychological framework it highlights emotional factors which are a key component of responses to risk but have hitherto been neglected due to the tendency of much work on risk to concentrate almost exclusively on cognitive processing. This book will appeal to an international audience of post-graduates, academics and researchers in the areas of risk, psychology, sociology, medical anthropology and psychoanalytic studies.