325.2 Risk and resilience: Optimism and social (dis)order

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 1:00 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Peter ROGERS , Sociology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Resilience is increasingly used in discourses of risk but in very different ways depending on the field of research. This paper addresses the genealogy and etymology of resilience and applies the different approaches to an optimistic re-reading of sociological research on risk, social order and social disorder. Using the lens of disaster management to apply the concept of resilience and risk to empirical research the paper suggests that there is an opportunity for researchers, policy makers and practitioners alike to use the emerging metaphor of resilience to generate a positive and participatory approach to community engagement and organisational change. Likewise it sounds a note of warning that there is also potential to create a negative responsibilisation of the individual at the expense of wider social resilience in the name of societal security. Managing the kind of resilience that is institutionalised in reforms, for dealing with disasters but also other social issues, will be a key challenge for commentators on risk and resilience in the years to come.