Marginalization As the Social Context of Risk Perception in Everyday Life

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 3:56 PM
Room: Booth 52
Oral Presentation
Parisa JAFARI BERENJI , graduated from University of Tehran, tehran, Iran
Gholamreza GHAFFARY , University of Tehran, tehran, Iran
In this paper, by adopting a constructivist perspective, it is tried to address the question how experience of marginalization and a sense of exclusion could affect the ways individuals perceive risks in everyday life. In general, social constructivist approaches to epistemological status of risk emphasize that the perceptions of risk are socially constructed and cultural and political contexts impact on how risk are made sense by people. The methodology in this research is based on qualitative methods and the data has been obtained through in-depth interview with 28 students from the University of Tehran in Iran. In the interviews we asked the students to describe how they make sense risks in their everyday life. Furthermore, they were asked to describe their experience with a sense of exclusion as a consequence of being marginalized in society. According to the findings, the ways the university students perceive risks have been closely intermingled with their experience of marginalization in their everyday life. Although studying in university may potentially result in social inclusion, most of the students have had the experience of marginalization accompanied with types of perceiving social and economic inequality and also ethnic, gender and generational discriminations. This has led to exclusion and so provides a context for perception of risk and uncertainty. Particularly, when they try to build a desirable personal lifestyle, they face various social restrictions, which cause risks and uncertainty in their everyday life. In the other words, the social conditions of being marginalized lead to perceptions of some types of risk specially, those which are related to their lifestyle.