ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Thematic Group on
Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty, TG04

TG04 main page

Program Coordinator

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 18.

 

Proposed sessions

in alphabetical order:

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Crime and Risk

Session Organizer
John Martin CHAMBERLAIN, Loughborough University, United Kingdom, J.M.Chamberlain@lboro.ac.uk

Session in English

The study of risk-taking and risk-management strategies in the domain of crime and criminal justice provides an invaluable opportunity to explore trends internationally in crime control and the comparative organization and operation of criminal justice systems.

We particularly invite submissions of papers that critically explore Risk and Crime in relation to:

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Education and the Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty

Session Organizer
William BRADLEY, Ryukoku University, Japan, william@world.ryukoku.ac.jp

Session in English

Educational contexts (compulsory through to higher education) have historically been analyzed from sociological perspectives for their contributions to reproduction of class, race, and gender disparities. Additionally, education has been instrumental in the formation of national identities. Given that globalizing neoliberal models of educational value are increasingly ascendant, even convergent, through standardization, testing, ranking, audit practices, and privatization, sociological theories of risk are tools to analyze and critique the new models of education, in a complementary fashion to class and other analyses. Risk is utilized as a resource for driving education at the macro level of policy (A Nation at Risk, 1981) and the micro level of individualization, students compelled to create DIY biographies (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2002) and in between.

This session invites empirical and conceptual papers that look at risk in educational contexts, how risk is formulated, mobilized, used and evaluated for educational ends.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:30 PM - 7:20 PM

Emotions, Trust, Hope and Other Approaches to Coping with Vulnerability Amidst Uncertainty. Part I

Session Organizer
Patrick BROWN, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, P.R.Brown@uva.nl

Session in English

Sociological approaches emphasise that risks do not simply exist, indeed perceptions of ‘risks’ are embedded within various processes of valuing and categorising. In this light risk becomes one way of coping amidst uncertainty but other mechanisms are also applied in everyday life, such as trust and hope. Zinn has developed a spectrum running from the more calculative risk-oriented approaches towards the less calculative, including hope and faith. In-between we find further processes such as trust, emotions and heuristics which combine the rational and non-rational.

This session welcomes papers which explore one or more of these different ways in which organisations, groups and individuals attempt to cope with uncertainty. We especially welcome studies which consider various ways in which different processes, risk and hope for example, exist alongside one another; or where, for example, trust and mistrust are experienced concurrently in certain situations.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:30 PM - 7:20 PM

Emotions, Trust, Hope and Other Approaches to Coping with Vulnerability amidst Uncertainty. Part II

Session Organizer
Patrick BROWN, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, P.R.Brown@uva.nl

Session in English

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Expert Decision-Making in the Face of Uncertainty: The Influence of Organisational, Inter-Personal and Professional Factors

Session Organizer
Patrick BROWN, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, P.R.Brown@uva.nl

Session in English

Health and social care professionals, policy-makers and a range of other ‘expert’ actors are required to make important decisions in the face of multiple unknowns.

This session would involve research into how different experts ‘bridge over’ uncertainty when making decisions and moreover the organisational, interpersonal and/or professional factors in which these different tendencies for coping with uncertainty are embedded. Attention may be focused upon various ways in which uncertainty is reflected upon and/or ignored/bracketed away, and how the known-unknowns are approached through various ways of ‘knowing’ – from more encoded forms to more tacit approaches .

We especially welcome studies using forms of analysis which are sensitive to interaction processes and their influence, and moreover studies which pay attention towards historical processes and the way these lead to the inculcating of certain professional or expert dispositions.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Health, Illness and Risk

Session Organizer
Alphia POSSAMAI-INESEDY, University of Western Sydney, Australia, alphia.possamai@uws.edu.au

Session in English

Risk, as a force of social change, can be seen to actively shape our concept of health, responsibility, trust and our relationship to experts and technology. This occurs in the face of the breakdown of traditional norms, beliefs and expectations which in turn is said to free the individual from these ‘constraints’ and allows more flexibility in the life course. At the same time it burdens and shackles the individual with choices and responsibilities by exchanging the constraints of traditional commitments to those of the labour market and consumerism.

The proposed session seeks to examine the impact of this re-embedding by exploring the increased dependence upon fashion, social policy, economic cycles and markets on issues of health and illness.

It is these themes which can provide insight into behaviours and attitudes of individuals in relation to health and illness, particularly in contemporary Western societies where health status can be argued to be a central theme of existence.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Indefinite (In)Distinctions? The New Ontology of Matter in a World of Inequalities

Session Organizers
Luigi PELLIZZONI, University of Trieste, Italy, pellizzonil@sp.units.it
Marja YLONEN, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, marja.k.ylonen@jyu.fi

Session in English

Risk and uncertainty are increasingly central to society, yet in largely unanticipated ways. Visions, imaginaries, speculations have replaced planning, prevention, calculation. Risk taking is allegedly supplanted by reaction to unpredictable contingencies. Ecological restraint is challenged by a brave new world of ‘geoengineering’ and ‘converging technologies’ – or the plain request to adapt to inevitable socio-environmental changes. Cultural constructionism is superseded by a reconsideration of materiality.

Actor-networks, ‘speculative realisms’, feminist post-humanisms, consumption practices, accumulation processes, energy strategies, technoscience advancements: new ontologies emerge everywhere, according to which matter is anything but stable or passive, being infused with agency, liveliness, recalcitrance, even indifference to human affairs.

Yet these ontologies advocate diverging programs or claims: ‘improved’ or decentered humanities, emancipatory opportunities or expanded powers of control, downshifted ecological footprints or projects of imperial domination. This ambivalence calls for a thorough exploration, theoretical and empirical, with special reference to the interconnections between ontological positions and political implications in a world of growing inequalities.

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Open Session

Session Organizer
Adam BURGESS, University of Kent, United Kingdom, A.Burgess@kent.ac.uk

Session in English

The sociology of risk and uncertainty is a growing area of research. With this open session we would like to give papers a chance to be presented which address issues not covered in the other sessions. The only requirement necessary for papers submitted to this session is their clear positioning in the conceptual framework of risk, uncertainty and ignorance.

 

Researching Risk. Methodologies and Methods

Session Organizer
Jens ZINN, University of Melbourne, Australia, jzinn@unimelb.edu.au

Session in English

Risk, uncertainty and ignorance have become key issues in societal debates. A growing amount of research addresses such topics and refers to mainstream approaches such as the risk society, governmentality and a cultural approach to give research a conceptual foundation. However, the underlying methodological implications and how specific methods are used and combined when one is doing risk research has been less addressed.

This session invites papers which consider methodological aspects and discuss issues related to the use of specific methods and methodologies when researching risk, uncertainty and ignorance.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Risk and Social Inequality and Social Inclusion/Exclusion

Session Organizer
Andreas CEBULLA, Flinders University Adelaide of South Australia, andreas.cebulla@flinders.edu.au

Session in English

Beck’s thesis on the risk society stated a change in societal reproduction mode from a society mainly driven by class differences to a society mainly driven by risk. Even though this assumption was continuously criticized there is still a lack of newer studies of the reproduction of social inequalities in the risk society and how risk and inequalities interact, whether they mutually amplify or weaken inequalities.

The recent shift from discourses on inequality and poverty towards social exclusion and inclusion indicates a conceptual shift in the societal management of social inequalities. At the same time there is an increasing awareness that social inequalities in the world risk society are increasingly linked to environmental changes; while the global financial crisis has highlighted the connectedness between corporate and household risk behaviours and management, and their socially inequitable effects.

This session invites papers which address new forms of social inequality in the world risk society.

 

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Risk and the Media

Session Organizer
Renata MOTTA, Free University Berlin, Germany, renata.motta@fu-berlin.de

Session in English

The media are a key institution in the communication and understanding of risk in present day societies. There are a number of attempts to understand risk discourses and media coverage from the ‘social amplification of risk’ approach to cultural media studies.

We welcome papers in either tradition which contribute new empirical insights as well as papers which try to advance theorizing e.g. by cross disciplinary approaches to risk, discourse and the media.

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 05:30 PM - 07:20 PM

Risk and the Transformation of the Political: Social Movements, Subpolitics, Political Consumers

Session Organizer
Jens ZINN, University of Melbourne, Australia, jzinn@unimelb.edu.au

Session in English

Risk society theorists such as Beck and Giddens assume a transformation of the political in recent decades. From the ‘coalition of anxiety’ as a new form of social movement to political consumers and subpolitics a number of concepts have been used to describe these changes of the political in late or reflexive modernisation.

This session invites theoretical and empirical papers on the transformation of the political. They may refer to one or more of the above mentioned concepts or introduce new concepts which characterise the transformation of the political in societies concerned about risk.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Risk Governance and Regulation

Session Organizer
Jens ZINN, University of Melbourne, Australia, jzinn@unimelb.edu.au

Session in English

The emergence of the risk approach to managing uncertainty and the implications for governance and regulation across public and private sectors and personal life have been extensively analysed. This section invites papers which draw on these themes, and those which consider current developments, including but not limited to:

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 03:30 PM - 05:20 PM

Risk in a Life Course Perspective

Session Organizer
Dan WOODMAN, University of Melbourne, Australia, dan.woodman@unimelb.edu.au

Session in English

The life course is being reshaped in many parts of the world. People are staying longer in education, marrying and having children later, working to later in life and living longer. They are also more likely to be mobile, have mixed socio-cultural roots or live cross-national lives. The responsibility for managing the new and old risks and uncertainties are arguably being shifted on to individuals and families while social institutions appear to struggle to keep up with changes on a national and global level. In this context, the notion of emerging new biographical risks and how to avoid or manage them is central to current sociological work on identity and the structure of contemporary society.

This session will showcase research investigating how new divisions and uncertainties, and a discourse focused on risk and risk management, are reshaping the biography and the life course. Papers are called for that use sociological theories of risk and social change to discuss life course and/or biography. Papers drawing on empirical research are welcome, as are papers making primarily a conceptual or theoretical contribution to sociology and social policy.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 07:30 PM - 08:50 PM

TG04 Business Meeting

Session Organizer
Jens ZINN, University of Melbourne, Australia, jzinn@unimelb.edu.au

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Theorizing Risk and Uncertainty

Session Organizer
Adam BURGESS, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom, A.Burgess@kent.ac.uk

Session in English

Risk has become a common issue in everyday life and expert debate while some scholars have already started questioning the usefulness of the concept for describing recent societal developments.

This session invites papers which aim to advance conceptual work on risk, uncertainty and related concepts such as social resilience or sustainable decision-making.

The session will also discuss recent developments in risk theorizing in more general terms regarding the limits of common approaches and further contributions to advance theorizing.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 08:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Transparent Subjects: Risk, Surveillance and the Citizen

Session Organizer
Peter ROGERS, Macquarie University, Australia, peter.rogers@mq.edu.au

Session in English

How do the frameworks of risk, uncertainty and surveillance come together? This panel will draw on common themes in the sociology of risk and uncertainty with the growing field of surveillance studies to tease out research links and forge new research agendas. various social effects and impacts resulting from the general suffusion and naturalisation of data capturing technologies into everyday life.

Such systems of surveillance routinely expose, illuminate and circulate in every finer detail previously hidden aspects of social relations. These may include: The processes of information gathering and communication are stimulated and legitimized by organisational demands for an intensified depth and scope of information to better manage services and improve both profitability of diverse economic and industrial endeavours but also the orderly flow of commercial capitalism in everyday life.

This runs alongside and is permeated with increased cultural demands for authentic entertainment and pleasurable performance of the everyday by subjects, as both providers and consumers of information.

By sharpening the focus of research through a series of case studies that unpack these problematics we are able to offer insight into how these information gathering and communication practices inform, affect and transform everyday life, often creating hidden assemblages of bio-political outcomes rendering visible the links between risk, uncertainty and surveillance.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Voluntary Risk Taking and Edgework

Session Organizer
Jens ZINN, University of Melbourne, Australia, jzinn@unimelb.edu.au

Session in English

Late modern risks and uncertainties are often seen as generating an expanding sense of ontological insecurity and widespread anomic anxiety, consequently dominant theories of risk have devoted little attention to the increasing numbers of people who positively evaluate risk and view voluntary risk taking as a means to achieve creative expression, transcendence, transgression, and self-understanding.

Evidence of expanding participation in volitional risk taking in late modern society has given rise to a line of empirical and theoretical study focused on the concept of “edgework,” a research stream that incorporates a wide range of disciplines extending from criminology and sports studies to economics and aesthetics.

This session will explore voluntary risk taking, theorized in terms of “edgework” (Lyng), “action” (Goffman), “hyper-rational gaming” (Abolafia), and other conceptual frameworks, to achieve a better understanding of the connection between risk taking and reflexivity in the late modern context.

The primary goal of this session will be to expand the empirical and theoretical boundaries of research on volitional risk taking activities by connecting these practices to the social conditions of late modernity.

 

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