Terrify and control: the politics of risk society

Kenny, Susan 2005, Terrify and control: the politics of risk society, Social alternatives, vol. 24, no. 3, 3rd Quarter, pp. 50-54.

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Title Terrify and control: the politics of risk society
Author(s) Kenny, Susan
Journal name Social alternatives
Volume number 24
Issue number 3
Season 3rd Quarter
Start page 50
End page 54
Publisher University of Queensland
Place of publication Brisbane, Qld.
Publication date 2005
ISSN 0155-0306
Summary The article presents information on the idea of risk management. The origins of the contemporary constructions of risk are found in the seventeenth century, with the development of maritime insurance. In the context of maritime trading, risk came to be seen in terms of the balance between acquisitive opportunities and potential dangers and calculations of future loss of a ship or cargo. Today perceptions of risk affect our actions and strategies in areas of our life as diverse as health, parenting, crime prevention, recreation and travel. Public policy tends to be focused around risk avoidance and risk management, particularly in areas of child protection and aged care. While most of the discussions of risk have focused on risks as bads in society, risk has also been identified as a good. Risk is deemed a good when it challenges people to think differently and creatively. From a neo-liberal perspective risk opens up opportunities for unleashing of entrepreneurial capacity. In the context of the modernist commitment to the idea that people have the potential to control their own destiny, identification of threats and dangers can energize people to be adventurous. The discourse of risk has framed all the reports of the outbreaks of new strains of infection and includes instructions on how to recognize the risk assessments of its spread and instructions on how to avoid its spread.
Language eng
Field of Research 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003348

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