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.
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:
- Understand and apply contemporary sociological perspectives on risk
- Analyse the impact of existing and emerging risks on politics and policy, social inequality and individual identity
- Differentiate and compare the different constructions of risk at play in different settings and debates
- Evaluate policy responses to the regulation and control of risks
- Reflect on and discuss their learning in relation to the content of the course
Indicative AssessmentShort 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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Workload130 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
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.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|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|