Risk Work: Experiences and Challenges within Organizational, Professional and Policy Contexts

Friday, 20 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
TG04 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty (host committee)

Language: English

Many public and private sector employees are required to work with ‘risk’. This may involve assessing risk as a basis of interventions, interpreting and explaining risk to individuals or organisations and encouraging these clients to act to reduce this risk, or creating risk knowledge through research or compiling guidelines. These different forms of risk work appear rather distinct from one another yet they often share important characteristics: being held to account and holding others accountable; muddling through amidst uncertainty by combining more rational-calculative decision-making tools with emotions, trust and other means of handling uncertainty; pressurised experiences of carrying out such work within policy, organisational and professional contexts where accuracy and/or effectiveness is demanded but often unattainable. This session invites papers which explore these and related experiences of working with risk and uncertainty and which consider how individual experiences of risk work are shaped by and/or contribute to broader organisational, professional and policy structures. We especially welcome studies using forms of analysis which are sensitive to interaction processes and their influence, and moreover studies which pay attention towards historical processes and their impact on these forms of work.

Session Organizer:
Nicola GALE, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Oral Presentations
The Risk Work of Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment
Natalie ARMSTRONG, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Conveying Risks through Storytelling
Marie BARTELS, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, Germany
Distributed Papers
Safety and Cooperation in Complex Organizations
Olivier GUILLAUME, EDF Lab, France