This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Role Of Risk In Contemporary Society

1396 words - 6 pages

By alexthatcher69 | June 2014
In Learning Companion 3, Steve Hinchliffe suggests that risk can be considered as "the balance between the benefits of an activity ... and its costs", and further suggests that a risk society is one "where we are increasingly aware of the risks we face and the consequences of having that knowledge." (2009, p. 28). This report will look at some other definitions of risk and will examine the theory that we live in a risk society. Furthermore, it will offer some ways in which risk is managed by both individuals and experts and will explore the role of the social sciences in understanding risk. What is risk?

Risk is largely unavoidable in ...view middle of the document...

However, he further suggests that since expert knowledge is often contested, this can cause additional anxiety where none previously existed. In addition, risks from man-made disasters such as the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant do not respect national borders. Similarly, risks to the climate from the burning of fossil fuels do not only affect those doing the burning, but
also have repercussions all over the globe (Woodward, 2010, p. 165). A risk society, therefore, is one increasingly dependent on the often contested knowledge of experts to warn against sometimes invisible threats, where class and wealth can no longer protect against risks that may have global potential.

What are the effects of living in a risk society?
A characteristic of contemporary life is the easy availability of information and the levels of uncertainty that having access to this knowledge can bring. At a personal level this can include concerns about the consequences of consuming certain types of food, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight, indulging in unsafe sex and even sunbathing. These are all examples of risk over which the individual has a certain level of control. Lifestyle choices can have a positive or negative effect on the chances of developing illness but it is generally up to the individual to choose which life path to take.

In contrast, however, industrial or agricultural practices that negatively affect the environment, foreign policy that increases the threat of terrorism and the failure of improperly regulated financial institutions are all examples of risk over which the individual has little control. It is in these situations that expert knowledge is most valued. Risk management

The management of risk by experts
Experts manage risk in a very different way than individuals and are far more accountable for the decisions they make. The knowledge against which risk is assessed is largely socially constructed, that is to say that research is often driven by a specific need to known and whilst many important discoveries have happened by accident, Penicillin, X-rays and more recently, Viagra for example (BBC, 2002), most are the result of rigorous and systematic investigation. Each new piece of knowledge changes understanding and adds or takes away from that which is already known. Experts use knowledge in an attempt to manage risk by prompting changes in behaviour. By legislation, education and campaigns which target specific 'at risk' groups, and by the placement of material objects such as the concrete blocks outside
many of London's tourist landmarks to protect against terrorist attack. Decisions in this respect are made according to the best information available, but as has already been suggested, the best information may not stay 'best' for long and expert opinion is not immune to challenge or criticism. Risk management, therefore, can sometimes lead to solutions that are unpopular and contested and are out of date...

Other Papers Like Role of Risk in Contemporary Society

The Role Of Mass-Media In The Contemporary World

600 words - 3 pages The Role of Mass-Media in the Contemporary World The power of the mass media has once become so powerful that its undoubtedly significant role in the world today stays beyond any questions. It is so strong that even politics uses it as a means of governing in any country around the world. The mass media has not only political meaning but also it conveys wide knowledge concerning all possible aspects of human beings’ lives and, what is

The Role Of Women In American Society

1529 words - 7 pages The Role of Women in American Society Women and men are nestled into predetermined cultural molds when it comes to gender in American society. Women play the roles of mothers, housekeepers, and servants to their husbands and children, and men act as providers, protectors, and heads of the household. These gender roles stem from the many culture myths that exist pertaining to America, including those of the model family, education, liberty

The Role Of Religion In Society

1216 words - 5 pages The Role of Religion in Society The role of religion in society is definately a dynamic one. The relationship between both religion and society is always changing. Religion effects different societies in different ways and different forms, causing the forms of society to change according to a change in religion. Religion can be a driving force in society, but as a reactionary rather than in a radical way

The Role of Oil Futures in Risk Management

3654 words - 15 pages FInTHE ROLE OF OIL FUTURES IN RISK MANAGEMENT From: To: Senior Management - Airlines Company November 2011 0 University of Westminster - Westminster Business School International Risk Management COURSEWORK THE ROLE OF OIL FUTURES IN RISK MANAGEMENT Student: Student ID: Course: Word count: MSc. Finance and Accounting 2557/2617 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In the world today, oil is being used as the main source of energy for a

Womens Role In Society

1711 words - 7 pages I’ve decided to tackle something that I have never really looked into but have always wanted to. The role of women in society, and how prevailing orthodoxies have changed along with the cultural landscape to further shape this often misconceived topic. With the matter of gender equality ever present in today’s society, something that could not always be said, I feel now is a great time to investigate further what factors have ultimately sculpted

Essay on the Role of Education in Society

1036 words - 5 pages Essay on the role of education in society Education, has a great social importance specially in the modern, complex industrialised societies. Philosophers of all periods, beginning with ancient stages, devoted to it a great deal of attention. Accordingly, various theories regarding its nature and objective have come into being. Let us now examine some of the significant functions of education. 1. To complete the socialization process. The main

Evaluate Effects Of Globalisation On Medias Role In Society

857 words - 4 pages Evaluate the effects of globalisation on the role of the media in society over the past thirty years or so (33 marks) Over the last 30 years’ globalisation has influenced media in many different ways, however these effects can have advantages and disadvantages. One of the effects globalisation has that is visible is that communication has become wide spread. Over the last few years, magazines, newspapers, the internet and television have spread

The Role Of Communication And The Internet In Society

2180 words - 9 pages How are Americans being informed about the government? How do young adults form political opinions? The public communication is an important factor in today’s government. Politian’s, board leaders, organization leaders and members of each community all need to project their message effectively in order to operate in society. The way the public interacts and how it is applied to the social aspects of American leadership greatly impacts American

Debate: Business's Role in Society

961 words - 4 pages The great, long-running debate about business's role in society is currently caught between two contrasting, and tired, ideological positions. On one side of the current debate are those who argue that, to borrow Milton Friedman's phrase, "the business of business is business." This belief, most established in Anglo-Saxon economies, implies that social issues are peripheral to the challenges of corporate management. The sole legitimate purpose

“Discuss the Role of Power in Shaping the Distribution of Benefits and Losses in Consumer Society

1308 words - 6 pages Discuss the role of power in shaping the distribution of benefits and losses in consumer society. Today, there is a growing recognition amongst social scientists of the importance of consumerism in contemporary society. Namely because it can have an effect on all aspects of society. In modern times, the average consumer identifies him/herself by what they buy rather than their jobs. ‘Consumer society’ is a relatively new term that started

Risk Management: Role in Justice and Security Organizations

720 words - 3 pages Risk Management: Role in Justice and Security Organizations Introduction Risk, as it applies to justice and security organizations means “the uncertainty of financial loss, the variations between actual and expected results, or the probability that a loss has occurred or will occur” (Broder, 2006, p. 3). Businesses and organizations all across the country have risk management programs in place to help minimize losses. Risk most often is

Related Essays

Describe And Evaluate The Effectiveness Of Sociological Theories In Explaining The Role Of The Public Services In Contemporary Society

2940 words - 12 pages Describe and evaluate the effectiveness of sociological theories in explaining the role of the public services in contemporary society. Since the beginning of time (Giddens, 2009), human kind has constantly striven to reflect and improve their past behaviour and conducts, with aspiration that their knowledge will help create a better society. Charles Wright Mills an American Sociologist refers to this as ‘Sociological imagination

Health In Contemporary Society Essay

1356 words - 6 pages Health in Contemporary SocietyFinal Paper8-18-11Malaria is one of the most plaguing diseases in human history which has been around at least since the advent of agriculture. It is a disease with an extensive history with the human population. Because of it's many vectors and their ability to thrive in different regions and climates malaria has been a persistent burden to not only man kind but the rest of the animal kingdom as well. Throughout

Role Of Business In Society Essay

771 words - 4 pages ROLE OF LAW IN BUSINESS AND SOCIETY ROLE OF LAW IN BUSINESS AND SOCIETY LAW/421 Abstract The functions of law in society and role of law in business, differ in many ways, primarily in the area of punishment. Criminal laws relating to society and laws that govern business and the enforcement of these laws are not only based

Role Of Women In Society Essay

1148 words - 5 pages Women Role in Society Essay Women and rural development Women rarely have access to the resources that would make their work more productive and ease their heavy workload. Ultimately, it is not just women who are held back, but also their families, their communities and local economies. Rural women have many roles, and they have responsibilities and knowledge that differ from those of men. As farmers, they plant, weed and harvest food