• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Sociology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Aino Suomi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

Risk has become a central theme of sociology as the forms of uncertainty experienced at a global, collective and individual level have proliferated in scale and intensity. From global finance, climate change and terrorism to intimate relationships, personal health and management of the self, institutions and individuals are increasingly expected to negotiate complex scenarios with imperfect knowledge. This course will examine how individuals and organisations perceive, define and manage risk and uncertainty in everyday life, drawing primarily on sociological perspectives. It will begin with an examination of the most influential sociological theories of risk, then move on to examine a series of case studies: risk and globalisation, risk and the environment,  risk and security, risk and government, risk and data, risk and the self (including health and risky forms of consumption), ‘risky’ groups and the politics of risk. Overall, the course provides a critical introduction to the sociology of risk field and it encompasses a detailed overview of an issue that impacts significantly on the experience of everyday life.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Understand and  apply contemporary sociological perspectives on risk
  2. Analyse the impact of existing and emerging risks on politics and policy, social inequality and individual identity
  3. Differentiate and compare the different constructions of risk at play in different settings and debates
  4. Evaluate policy responses to the regulation and control of risks
  5. Reflect on and discuss their learning in relation to the content of the course

Indicative Assessment

Short essay, 1500 words, on key concepts and theories (30%)  LO 1
Research essay or project, 2500 words (50%)  LO 1,2,3,4  
Learning journal, 1000 words (10%) LO 1,3,5
Tutorial participation (10%) LO 5

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
  • 38 hours of contact: 26 hours of workshops and 12 hours of tutorial-like activities.
  • 92 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Sociology (SOCY) courses, which can include CRIM1001; or permission of the convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Hopkins, A. 2005. Safety, Culture and Risk. CCH: Sydney.

Gunter, V. and Kroll-Smith, S. 2007. Volatile Places: A Sociology of Communities and Environmental Controversies. Pine Forge Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9897 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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