sociology: the treadmill of production, risk society, and ecological modernization. We conclude that these theories are not clear about either what expertise is or how to balance scientism and powerism. Therefore, we turn to science and technology studies
Environmental Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies
Rolf Lidskog and Göran Sundqvist
Early twenty-first century North American journalists often claim that social changes such as women's liberation and civil rights have had a dark side for girls. For supposedly abandoning the safety of their traditional role in the home, girls are disproportionately characterized as being at risk of victimization, while also being increasingly cast as risks to themselves and others. Using mixed-methods content analysis, this article demonstrates that the social construct of risky girls crystallized for Toronto news after the 1997 murder of Reena Virk in British Columbia through a raced, classed, and gendered moral panic over bad girls. Discourses changed from talk of youth violence before the murder to talk of risky girls after it. By conflating victimization with offending, risky girl discourses prioritize risk management over needs. This conflation results in the increased policing and incarceration of girls and youth of color, ultimately reinforcing social inequalities like racism and patriarchy.
The Anthropocene can be understood as a crisis of blame: it is not only a geological era but also a political zeitgeist in which the marks of human agency and culpability can be perceived nearly everywhere. Treating global climate change as a metonym for this predicament, I show how life in the Anthropocene reconfigures blame in four ways: it invites ubiquitous blame, ubiquitous blamelessness, selective blame, and partial blame. I review case studies from around the world, investigating which climate change blame narratives actors select, why, and with what consequences. Climate change blame can lead to scapegoating and buck-passing but also to their opposites. Given that the same ethical stance may lead to radically different consequences in different situations, the nobleness or ignobleness of an Anthropocene blame narrative is not a property of the narrative itself, but of the way in which actors deploy it in particular times and places.
Brian Byrne, Robert Mongwe and Lindsay Sprague
Fire in the Dark: Telling Gypsiness in North East England (2007). By Sarah Buckler. Oxford: Berghahn Books 234 pp. ISBN 1-84545-230-5 (hardback) £45.
Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor in Malawi. By Harri Englund. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2006, ISBN 13: 978-0-520-24924-0/ISBN 10: 0-520-24924-0. 260 pages, £13.95 paperback.
Ulrich Beck: A Critical Introduction to the Risk Society. Gabe Mythen. London: Pluto Press, 2004, ISBN: 0-7453-1815-2. 240pp £23.99.
Erzsébet Bukodi and Péter Róbert
European labour-market patterns tend to contain a growing element of flexible employment, which deviates from the norm of the secure, lifelong career. What do we mean by flexible work? Dex and McCullogh (1997) offer the following definition: ‘Flexible work … is a description of a change in the distribution of labour market jobs, away from standard full-time permanent employee contracts, and towards a growth in various types of non-standard employment forms.’ Pollert (1988) argues that flexibility refers to a combination of different factors. It involves firms being flexible enough to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to technological and economic changes; it also refers to organisations that are flexible in terms of employee numbers. In addition, it refers to a workforce that is multi-skilled and/or flexible with regard to time. This may result in a trend for firms to retain ‘core ’employees who work flexibly, with a periphery of employees who are flexible because they are irregularly employed. The result of this process is that employment is no longer as stable as it was. The development of the new, flexible labour market undermines security, leading to the so-called ‘risk society’ (Crompton et al.,1996).
Md Saidul Islam and Si Hui Lim
Home to 60 percent of the world's population, Asia accounts for 85 percent of those killed and affected globally by disaster events in 2011. Using an integrated sociological framework comprised of the pressure and release (PAR) model and the double-risk society hypothesis, and drawing on data obtained from the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), PreventionWeb, and the IPCC special report on extreme events, this article offers a sociological understanding of disaster development and recovery in Asia. The particular focus is on seven Asian countries, namely, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Rather than treating disasters entirely as “natural” events caused by “violent forces of nature”, we emphasize various ways in which social systems create disaster vulnerability. We argue that existing disaster mitigation and adaptation strategies in Asia that focus almost entirely on the natural and technological aspects of hazards have serious limitations, as they ignore the root causes of disaster vulnerabilities, such as limited access to power and resources. This article therefore recommends a holistic approach to disaster management and mitigation that takes into consideration the various larger social, political, and economic conditions and contexts.
Understanding Mobilities in a Dangerous World
Gail Adams-Hutcheson, Holly Thorpe and Catharine Coleborne
simultaneously “at-risk” societies. Furthermore, our approach across these contributions is unique in that there is an international, as well as local, focus on mobilities in a “dangerous world” from scholars working mainly in Aotearoa New Zealand but also in
, 1900–2015 . 3 Ulrich Beck, “World Risk Society as Cosmopolitan Society? Ecological Questions in a Framework of Manufactured Uncertainties,” Theory, Culture and Society 13, no. 4 (1996): 1–32. 4 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and
contemporary sociological theory, the concept of risk has been typically used in a more general sense, for instance in the theory of the ‘risk society’ ( Adam et al. 2000 ; Beck 1992 ). Such theories often define risk as something considerably more difficult
A Test Case in India
consequences for the risk society in India and this is particularly obvious in regard to stray dogs ( Figure 3 ). These dogs are culturally neither companion animals nor pests in Indian society, despite concerns about rabies, they have a different life in India