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316Lecture4.docx - Risk

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Zachary Levinsky

Risk Responsibilization - Related to prudentalism (responsible subject) - Similarly creditization - Unloading of responsibility from the State  rowing and steering: the State steers and you row o Pension – RRSPs: your responsibility to save for you future - Rights discourse o “you have the right to a safe workplace” connected to “you are responsible for ensuring a safe workplace” o Shift in blame o If an accident happens, it is your responsibility because you should ensure the company does something o The birth of the Charter  shift to neo-liberalism o There are no accidents! o The state is no longer to be all and end all. The state is solving its sovereignty responsibility - Empowerment: space created to empower us, but we cannot be idle o You have to actualize it on that potential o Example: a school’s responsibility to create a safe place - Increasing supervision and ensuring safety of children to prevent injuries: watch your child closely when they are at the park or when you are responsible for someone else’s child o Kids are unpredictable, but injuries aren’t o There are lots of pamphlets and information sessions that the state makes available, but to enforce and ensure them is left up to you New Criminologies of Everyday Life - Rational choice theory, routine activities theory, situational crime prevention - Crime is a normal social fact - Theoretical frameworks understand crime as normal and rational – it’s going to happen - Not about pathology or abnormality o It’s about criminals acting on opportunity as well - Crime is a risk – offender and victim o Did the victim take the necessary steps to minimize risks? o The victim could have done things to prevent their victimization (walking late at night by themselves) - Target potential victims, vulnerable situations and everyday routines o Many institutions are involved now in crime prevention and not about individual offenders anymore but about the victim – expansion of whose responsibility it is Risk and Society - Risk is the key way we understand and explain/frame things, and it is tied to the idea of probability - “Can we know the risks we face, now or in the future? No, we cannot: but yes, we must act as if we do” (Douglas and Wildavsky, 1983, Risk and Culture, 1) o primitive cultures held beliefs that behavior was controlled by and explained by the spiritual realm risk is a way of bringing element of control to situation by guiding our actions, just as Gods guided the primitive’s actions o we don’t know the risk we face, but we need to act like we do - Risk a way to bring control and actionable knowledge o Risk guides our behavior, actions and decisions o The way we have institutions, insurance companies are pervasive, our behavior - Risk as a ‘governmentality’ o The way we think about our own behavior & deal with our own conduct o Form of governance o Collection of data o Transporting to new world, needed risks and which ships were likely to disappear and when SOVEREIGNTY DISCIPLINE RISK GOVERNANCE Torture; focus is on inflicting Schedule; focus is reforming Actuarial management; focus pain on the body; police the soul is minimizing risk and powers of the state (rehabilitation/corrections); maximizing security; clinical & other professionals responsibilization What are the Characteristics of Risk Based Governance? 1. Risk technologies are predictive: The likelihood or unlikelihood of something happening so that you could accurately calculate the probability and act on it 2. Make ‘accidents’/incidents preventable: a. Kid safety tips b. pamphlets you get on crime prevention c. tips for things you can do minimize and prevent accidents/incidents 3. Allow us to colonize the future: Idea of colonizing the future, allows you to govern the future if you think about things in terms of risk and probabilities – thinking about empowerment: effects of cancer, effects of wine on cancer, is it good or bad, etc. a. Risks are fluid and they change; they are not static. b. Experts can produce a lot of research, but you have to decide which research you want to listen to, validate, and act on. 4. Promote self-government and population management: a. If you know what the risks are despite competing claims; see this often on the news. b. Information is just laid out for you, but you have to decide how you will act – financial risks, health risks: what should you be eating, what are antioxidants, should you be eating them c. Collecting a wide range of information on the population on how they act and react – way of targeting the population d. Example: Suicide – how likely are people to commit suicide? Where are people likely to kill themselves? Varies among place and space e. When you measure something from the population, you have a way of managing the population although the results vary by culture and society 5. Relies on knowledge and statistical calculations for crime: a. Who is likely to commit a crime? What are the background factors? What are their friends like? What is their family situation? Employment: do they have a job? b. Can calculate who is likely to commit a crime – risk assessments What does risk mean?  Sounds like something negative, a bad thing Beck – risk society - Society distributed by ‘bads’ o Society is not distributed by material goods but rather by bad things/events happening o Who is likely to be inflicted by bad things happening? o Whereas Marx discussed about power and wealth, now talking about ‘bads’: factory collapses which are more likely to happen in poor countries and not in the Western world - Knowledge is a source of danger (not ignorance) o Continuation of knowledge – source of danger o Now we know why bad things happen, whereas before we did not know - Science treats self as a risk o Science itself is creating more and more risks (knowing how nuclear energy works = danger  atomic bombs) - Risks are generally manufactured by us, they do not come externally o Cherynobyl: nuclear power plant in Russia - Reflexive modernity: knowledge is a source of danger o Asbestos is bad, a claimed carcinogenic, but existed in older buildings to prevent fire – something science created, but now a risk and one of largest insurance claims since it causes cancer o Precautionary principle: you can purchase security measures, but the more precaution you take and buy technology, the less safe you will actually feel  negative idea of risk, sounds bad - Beck makes risk sound like a bad thing Ewald – risk: - Different perspective - Nothing objectively out there that is a risk in itself; yet anything can be a risk, not necessarily a bad thing but rather something that we assume is a bad thing, no risk in reality, risk is not necessarily a danger - Risk combines: hazard, probability, with loss or damage o Not about danger but hazard and probability - Risk is simply a way of knowing the world - What we understand to be riskier behavior is not static, but rather it is fluid - Risk as ‘against the gods’ o Ancient societies: bad things happened cause gods were upset; now: you didn’t know the right info and act on it - Not always a ‘bad’  i.e. guides organizational decisions o Grad school: Risk will tell grad schools whether you graduate, pass and be successful in their schools b/c that’s how the organization understands where you sit o Baseball stats – batting average, slugging percentage, etc. which guides GM decision making b/c converting facts into pure info and can decide whether person will fit in with the team o Surgery decisions: options, understand through probability statistics  guide what you should do r
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