Sociology's Unique Contributions to the Study of Risk
Tierney, Kathleen J.
Disaster Research Center
Sociologists tend to accept in an uncritical way that theories and research findings on risk, currently derived mostly from studies in anthropology and psychology. However, they should critically assess what these other disciplines take for granted, correct such biases as exist in the literature, and adopt a more distinctive sociological perspective on the topic of risk. More specifically, sociology can bring clarity to analyses of risk-related phenomena by studying in a systematic manner: how risk estimates are socially constructed, and how risk is socially produced. Sociologists are particularly qualified to show how social structural, organizational and institutional factors generate and socially distribute hazards and risks.
sociology , disaster research , risks , hazard