Voluntary Risk Taking and Edgework

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 46 (Main Building)
TG04 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty (host committee)

Language: English

Late modern risks and uncertainties are often seen as generating an expanding sense of ontological insecurity and widespread anomic anxiety, consequently dominant theories of risk have devoted little attention to the increasing numbers of people who positively evaluate risk and view voluntary risk taking as a means to achieve creative expression, transcendence, transgression, and self-understanding. Evidence of expanding participation in volitional risk taking in late modern society has given rise to a line of empirical and theoretical study focused on the concept of “edgework,” a research stream that incorporates a wide range of disciplines extending from criminology and sports studies to economics and aesthetics. 
This session will explore voluntary risk taking, theorized in terms of “edgework” (Lyng), “action” (Goffman), “hyper-rational gaming” (Abolafia), and other conceptual frameworks, to achieve a better understanding of the connection between risk taking and reflexivity in the late modern context. The primary goal of this session will be to expand the empirical and theoretical boundaries of research on volitional risk taking activities by connecting these practices to the social conditions of late modernity.
Session Organizer:
Jens ZINN, University of Melbourne, Australia
Lifestyles of Risk and Infamy
Kristopher MURRAY, Concordia University, Canada
The New Subjectivities of Risk
Stephen LYNG, Carthage College, USA