Flashcards in Introduction Deck (35):
Which three sociological approaches to risk according to Arnoldi?
1. Beck/Giddens: risks are complex and uncertain
2. Douglas: cultural Logic determines what we fear
3. Foucault: governmentality and risk as Technology of government
(+ voluntary risk taking)
Why are sociologist interested in the objectification of risks? Acc to Arnoldi
It is interesting how risks are made calculable, and what the purpose of this is
Paradox of risk society acc to Arnoldi?
Our society is not neccessarily more dangerous than earlier e.g. Increased life expectancy
It's about potential instead of actual threats
How are risk concerns distributed acc to Arnoldi?
Often according to existing political lines, e.g. Right wing does not see nuclear energy as a risk in the same way as left wing
What does Arnoldi mean with social risks?
Because a risk is about whether we know that there is a risk - if we don't, we are not responsible. E.g. Lightning strikes
Risk becomes a way of exerting power, since we do not want to act irresponsible e.g. Eating healthy
What is the psychometric (psychological) approach to risk?
Focuses on factors that triggers fear and uncertainty --> magnify 'objective' risks
How can the psychometric approach be criticized?
It implies that there is an objective risk, and that the subjective understanding of it is irrational + risk perception is shaped by intersubjective as well as subjective values
What epistemology does sociologists studying risk often have according to Arnoldi?
Social constructivism. Human knowledge is influenced by what is known, culture, meaning etc and sc often focuses on power and discoursive processes
Why is risk linked to modernity and post-modernity acc to Arnoldi?
Before modernity people talked about acts of God instead of risks. With modernity people came to see themselves as master of their lives, and therefor wanted to calculate the outcome of their actions
The idea of risk helped to construct the concept of society as an entity which could be governed by humans
When did probability theory start to emerge?
In the 1650s
Which new meaning has risk gotten over the last 30-40 years?
It has gone from being about calculability to also be things that cannot be calculated and are uncertain
What does Arnoldi mean when he talks about a shift from danger to safety?
Earlier you had the responsibility to prove that something was dangerous, whereas now you have to prove that it is safe
Is there a threshold for when technology is safe enough?
No, it is ultimately a political process, and might be based more on values and ethics than on facts
What is risk acc to Douglas?
The threat of breaking down the classificatory system, which leads to moral transgression. Risks gives a community a shared enemy, and can therefore be used to mobilize
What is risk in modern society a.t. Douglas?
Concerned with the violation of right if individuality, why the U.S. Is more concerned with risk than eu countries
Are risks constructed in Douglas' view?
She is a social constructivist, but she believes that real risks does exist, but our perception of them is culturally biased
Real risks but not objective risks!
How does Douglas feel about psychological approaches?
Critical, because they are looking at individuals, hence not taking culture into account
Which four cultural types does Douglas talk about?
Stems from her grid-group analysis: grid= degree of autonomy and group= degree of incorporation
See p 42 in Arnoldi
How does Beck distinguish between dangers and risks?
Dangers are caused by nature, risks are man made
How does Beck describe the new risks?
They are incalculable!
They are intangible, latent (will only show over time), often global, catastrophic and difficult to attribute responsibility
Arnoldi: Beck's new risks are therefore uncertainties
How does the risk society differ from the industrial one a.t. Beck?
In industrial wealth was distributed, in risk society risks are distributed
What is the relationship between science and uncertainty?
Risks are made known to the public through research, but science also created the technologies that now produce side effects
Are risks real a.t. Beck?
Yes, cause technologies are creating side effects, however socially constructed, as they invoke values and politics
Do beck and Douglas agree on risks?
To some extent, but beck does not agree that risks can be reduced to culture as Douglas do it
Which types of risks does beck talk about?
Ecological, financial, terror and to some extent social/biographical risks
Terror risks differs from the others, as it is intended
What is the conduct of conduct?
E.g. Through collecting data the population can be made a governable object
What does a governmentality approach to risk entail?
It means studying the concepts of risk and their usage rather than real risks or the perception of these
How is the distinction between uncertainty and risk within governmentality?
They are analytical concepts, and it is studied how they are constructed
How can insurance be used to govern?
E.g. By collecting data, thereby being able to say what is normal behavior + the companies seek to influence the insured + makes risk profiles for customers resulting in different premiums which gives incentive to avoid risky behavior
What is manufactured uncertainties?
Stems from Giddens.
= new high-consequence risk produced by high modernity
They are global (like Becks)
What is necessary to understand the economic system a.t. Knight?
To examine the meaning and significance of uncertainty - we live in a world of uncertainty
How can we a.t. Knight arrive at a probability judgment?
1. A priori which assumes logical and mathematical probability (e.g. Throwing a dice)
2. The empirical method where Calculation is impossible, and the result is reached by applying statistics to actual instances (e.g. Whether a building will collapse)
What is the Starr text about?
How to determine the benefits of technology versus the risks, I.e. How much society will pay for safety
What kind of societal activities do Starr distinguish between?
Voluntary: individual decides themselves, and the feedback happens quickly on how much risk the person will take
Involuntary: society forces something on the individual, feedback happens slow. Gives example of war, where there is a great distance between the decision makers and the ones affected