- Class Number 6456
- Term Code 3050
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Ben Hemmings
- Ben Hemmings
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 06/07/2020
- Class End Date 31/07/2020
- Census Date 24/07/2020
- Last Date to Enrol 09/07/2020
- Philippa Barter
As societies develop in complexity, so attention has turned to the problem of managing the ensuing conditions of risk and uncertainty. From global finance, climate change and terrorism to intimate relationships, personal health and management of the self, institutions and individuals are increasingly expected to perform 'risk work'. This course will examine how they perceive, define and mitigate risks, especially via the use of technologies and specific knowledge frameworks. It will also explore those who make and take risks. We will consider the most influential theories of risk, and then apply these to analyse a series of case studies. The course provides a sociological introduction to risk studies and it encompasses a detailed overview of an issue that impacts significantly on the experience and governance of everyday life.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Apply sociological perspectives and conceptions to explain the nature, function and significance of risk.
- Analyse the impact of existing and emerging risks on the organisation and experience of social life and relations.
- Evaluate institutional responses to the generation, regulation and management of risks.
- Produce independent, sociologically informed research on particular facets of the risk society.
- Reflect on and discuss their learning in relation to the content of the course.
Staff FeedbackStudents will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments
- Verbal comments
- Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups
Student FeedbackANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||What is Risk? Lecture outline: In our first lecture, we will begin with an discussion of the outline of the course, assessments and the structure of the course. Then, we will discuss what is a risk, examining how risk is used in contemporary society. Then, we will discuss a history of risk and how risk relates The Modern Dream of Rationality and Calculability.||Tutorial Participation No required reading|
|2||Risk Society Lecture outline: In this lecture, we will be examining our first theory of risk, Ulrich Beck's Risk Society. We will begin with an overview of Beck and some key ideas we need to consider when approaching this theorisation. Then, we will discuss the theorisation, particularly that are living in period preoccupied with management and prevention of the production of "bads" and the changing nature of risks and qualities of risks. Followed by a discussion of the structural changes such as the loss of trust in institutions, the rise of individualisation and reflexive modernisation. We will end with a discussion on Giddens influence and the limitations of this theorisation.||Tutorial Participation Required reading: Giddens, A. 1999, "Risk and Responsibility", Modern Law Review, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 1-10.|
|3||Risk and Culture Lecture outline: In this lecture, we explore the second theorisation of risk Mary Douglas' Cultural Theory of Risk. Similar to our lecture on Risk Society, we begin with an introduction to Douglas and a few key ideas to keep in mind when we approach this theory. Then, we will discuss Douglas' work on taboo and risk. Followed by a discussion paired with contemporary examples of Douglas' forensic model of Blame. Next, we will examine Douglas' grid/group model, a heuristic device developed to aid our understanding of this theory. To end, we will have a brief discussion on the work of Lupton and Tulloch on how social and cultural factors shape Australian's risk perceptions.||Tutorial Participation Required reading: Douglas, M. 1992 “Risk and Blame”, in M Douglas, Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory, Routledge, London; New York, pp. 3-21.|
|4||Governmentality and Risk Lecture outline: We will be discussing our final theory of risk, governmentality, examining how risk and be used as a tool of governance. Lecture delivered by Philippa Barter.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: Castel, R. 1991. “From dangerousness to risk”. In The Foucault effect: studies in governmentality, Edited by: Burchell, G., Gordon, C. and Miller, P. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester-Wheatsheaf.|
|5||Responding to Risk Lecture outline: In this lecture we will be exploring the different ways risk is responded to. Lecture delivered by Philippa Barter.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: O’Malley, P. 2013, "Uncertain Governance and Resilient Subjects in the Risk Society", Oñati Socio-legal Series [online], vol. 3 no. 2, pp. 180-195.|
|6||Risk and Health Lecture outline: In this lecture, we will be focussing on risk in the field of health and illness. We will begin with a discussion of how the introduction of health risk has reshaped our understanding of health and illness. Following, we will address the question of "who defines health risks?" Then, we will explore how the rhetoric of risk is used for social governance with an example of health promotion in response to HIV/AIDS. Finally, we will end on a discussion of how genetic risk has further reshaped our understanding and approach to health.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: Novas, C. & Rose, N. 2000, "Genetic Risk and the Birth of the Somatic Individual", Economy and Society, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 485-513. Assessment 1: Research Essay (17/07/2020)|
|7||Risk and Youth Lecture outline: To begin the second week of this intensive, we will have a discussion of youth and risk. We will examine how ideas of youth are socially influenced. Then, we will examine how youth are constructed to be both risky, through an examination of moral panics, and constructed to be at-risk. To end, Professor Helen Keane will give a guest lecture about Youth, Risk and Drugs.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: Turnbull, G. & Spence, J. 2011, "What's at risk? The proliferation of risk across child and youth policy in England", Journal of Youth Studies, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 939-959.|
|8||Risk and the City ?Lecture outline: In this lecture, we will explore how ideas of risk management have reshaped the city. We will begin with a discussion of how the city is framed to be a space of risk. Then, we will introduce a way of "reading" the city. Continuing, we will examine how spaces have been (re)designed under the motivation of risk management. Ending, we will explore two extreme cases of risk management and their impact on the city.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: Coaffee, J. 2009, “Urban Restructuring and the Development of Defensive Landscapes”, in J Coaffee, Terrorism, Risk and the Global City: Towards urban resilience, Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, pp. 13-37.|
|9||Risk and the Environment Lecture outline: We will be exploring in this lecture risk and it's relationship to the environment. Lecture delivered by Philippa Barter and a Guest Lecture by Dr Rebecca Pearse||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: TBA|
|10||Risk and Risk-Taking Lecture outline: In this lecture we will examine risk-taking. To begin, we will seek to define qualities of risk-taking. Then, we will be introduced to theories relating to high risk leisure activities. To end we will examine how social factors such as gender and class can influence risk-taking.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: Collison, M. 1996, "In Search of the High Life: Drugs, Crime, Masculinities and Consumption", The British Journal of Criminology, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 428-444.|
|11||Technology and Tracking Risk Lecture outline: In the third part of our course, we will be examining emerging topics in the field of the sociology of risk. We will explore how technology has emerged to manage risks, adding a sense of certainty that our perception cannot attain. Following, we will examine some self-tracking devices in the field of health and illness with Ben providing an example of these devices from his work on the Social History of Sex Addiction. Then, we will be introduced to the three key debates in the field of self-tracking. To end Associate Professor Gavin Smith will join us to discuss his work on Smart Cameras and tracking risk.||Tutorial Participation Required Reading: Kenner, A. 2016, "Asthma on the move: how mobile apps remediate risk for disease management", Health, Risk & Society: Digitised Health, Medicine and Risk, vol. 17, no. 7-8, pp. 510-529.|
|12||Risk and Contemporary Troubles Lecture Outline: Our final lecture will examine some contemporary sociology of risk research into troubles we have faced in the last 12 months. This lecture will be somewhat different from our others, as Ben will link some of the key ideas we have engaged with in the course to how we have sought to manage these troubles. Then, he will give a review of some literature that has been produced about these troubles.||No tutorial for this lesson Required reading: Zinn, J.O. 2020, "‘A monstrous threat’: how a state of exception turns into a ‘new normal’", Journal of Risk Research, , pp. 1-9. Assessment 2: Research Project (05/08/2020)|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Research essay||40 %||17/07/2020||27/07/2020||1,2,3,4,5|
|Research Project||50 %||05/08/2020||26/08/2020||1,2,3,4,5|
|Class participation||10 %||*||*||1,2,3,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
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Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
A research essay (2000 words), related to the first section of the course theories of risk, using one (1) of the provided topics. Due on the 17th of July at 11:59 pm. This task is worth 40% of your overall mark. [Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Refer to Rubric Below.
Criteria 1 - Have you addressed the assessment task in an effective and comprehensive manner?
Criteria 2 - Does your essay demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical lens?
Criteria 3 - Have you supported your arguments with appropriate evidence and examples? Are these claims being made sufficiently supported?
Criteria 4 - Have you referenced accurately and consistently (both in-text and in the reference section?)
Criteria 5 - Have you written in a clear, precise, and grammatically coherent manner?
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
A research project (2500 words), using one (1) of the provided topics. This essay assesses your ability to engage with sociological approaches to understanding the risk and everyday life that we have discussed in the second and third part of the course. This task is worth 50% of your overall mark. This will be due on the 5th of August at 11:59 pm. [Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5] Refer to Rubric.
Criteria 1 - Have you addressed the assessment task in an effective and comprehensive manner?
Criteria 2 - Does your essay demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological approaches to risk?
Criteria 3 - Have you supported your arguments with appropriate evidence and examples? Are the claims being made sufficiently supported?
Criteria 4 - Does your essay demonstrate evidence of broader reading?
Criteria 5 - Have you referenced accurately and consistently (both in-text and in the reference section?)
Criteria 6 - Have you written in a clear, precise, and grammatically coherent manner?
Criteria 7 - Have you demonstrated an ability to critically engage with and evaluate the utility of the ideas being applied/developed?
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5
Assesses the preparedness, quality of contribution, engagement, and involvement of students in-class activities. Students are expected to contribute to all activities. In the event of illness, students must contact the course convener and discussion alternative, commensurate assessment. Attendance in class is marked. This task is worth 10% of your overall mark.
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Resubmission of Assignments
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Health and Illness, Qualitative Research Methods, Online Health Forums, Critical Theories of Mental Health and Medicalisation