Making Risks, Taking Risks: Risks in Economic Life

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 19:30-20:50
TG04 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty (host committee)

Language: English

While in other spheres of society, risks are predominantly regarded as dangers that should be minimized, economic actors are supposed to take risks in order to profit. They supposedly invest in innovation, in uncertain products and markets, in short, they embrace risk. Even more so, financial and insurance industries are concerned with finding and assessing risks in order to either insure or trade them. They do not only take risks, they “make” them. In this panel, we want to explore the specific relations between the economy and its conceptions of risk. Economic risks have a multitude of aspects. They are created through calculations and assessments and used in- and outside the economic spheres. Besides that, all sorts of risks are marketised. They are thus multifaceted and found in different contexts, from financial markets to insurance to the applications of economic risk assessments in wildlife prevention. Papers looking at one, or more, of these aspects would be encouraged.  We have identified three, non-exhaustive, themes for applications. First of all there is the conception of economic risk, where actors assess, determine and calculate those risks. Secondly, there is the specific usage of economic risks in economic and non-economic circumstances. The last theme is the market dimension, with markets where risks themselves can be bought and traded as products.

Session Organizers:
Natalia BESEDOVSKY, University of Hamburg, Germany and Anne VAN DER GRAAF, Sciences Po, France
Oral Presentations
Transforming Uncertainty into Manageable Risks: Conventions in Financial Education
Daniel MAMAN, Department of Sociology and Anthropology Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; Zeev ROSENHEK, Open University of Israel, Israel
Consumerism, Risk Commodification and Transformation in Nigeria: A Reflective Discourse
Charles BASSEY, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria; Samuel O. OGEGE, Delta State University, Nigeria
Playing with Risk: Video Games, Virtual Goods, and Volatility in Markets
Martin FRENCH, Concordia University, Sociology & Anthropology, Canada
Distributed Papers
Insurance Risks As Fictitious Commodities: The Ongoing Construction of the Cyber-Insurance Market in North America
Mathieu CHARBONNEAU, Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy, Concordia University, Canada