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Riskförståelse: Teoretiska och empiriska perspektiv
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (KRIHS, RCR)
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Sense-making of risk : Theoretical and empirical perspectives (English)
Abstract [en]

The thesis introduces the concept of ‘sense-making of risk’ (riskförståelse) for the purpose of the theoretical and empirical study of the individual’s sense-making of risk. Particular weight is attached to an examination of the term’s various components, its compass, and the relationship between sense-making of risk and behaviour. The premise is that risk is created and defined by the common conceptions that exist within the framework of a specific social context; the effect is to focus attention on the significance of social and cultural contexts. To provide a full picture of sense-making of risk, and risk behaviour, and to study these phenomena using a variety of methodological perspectives, the data was gathered from both polls and focus-group interviews. It is in the first article, based on a focus-group interview study, that the concept of sense-making of risk is introduced: the empirical results demonstrate that it can be used to chart how young people with similar risk perceptions differ in their understanding of a variety of risks. A theoretical model is proposed that establishes that there are two dimensions to the individual’s sense-making of risk. The second article considers young people’s risk behaviour in traffic milieus. The principal conclusion drawn in this study is that the individual’s sense-making of risk is insufficient to explain behaviour in relation to risk: the spatial context must also be taken into account. The third article focuses on the relationship between place attachment and sense-making of risk, and demonstrates that various aspects of place attachment have implications for the individual’s sense-making of risk. The fourth and final article offers a cluster analysis. The article’s most important result is its refinement of the theoretical concepts.  Structure of meaning is singled out as the basis for the individual’s sense-making of risk. In its empirical application the concept was shown to be useful in studying the behavioural differences between various social groups, since grouping by structure of meaning furnishes an explanation for variations in risk and risk-reducing behaviour. The introductory and concluding chapters assemble the studies’ findings and offer a full account of the concept of sense-making of risk. The thesis’ most important conceptual contribution is to the question of how the individual arrives at a personal sense-making of risk. However, it will fall to future studies to establish the concept’s general applicability by considering its theoretical ramifications and empirical implementation. In this way, sense-making of risk can take its place in a specifically sociological conceptual apparatus that focuses on how the individual relates to risk.

Abstract [sv]

Föreliggande avhandling introducerar begreppet riskförståelse (sense-making of risk) och dess syfte är att teoretiskt och empiriskt studera detta begrepp. Särskild vikt har lagts vid att undersöka riskförståelsens olika beståndsdelar, dess rumsliga dimensioner samt relationen mellan riskförståelse och beteenden. Med utgångspunkt i att risker definieras och skapas med utgångspunkt i gemensamma föreställningar inom ramen för ett specifikt socialt sammanhang fokuseras betydelsen av sociala och kulturella kontexter. Med detta som grund har begreppsutvecklingen i avhandlingen bland annat inspirerats av Karl Weicks och Alfred Schütz teorier om individens meningsskapande.

I de olika delstudier som ingår i avhandlingen studeras olika aspekter av individens riskförståelse och risk-/riskreducerande beteenden. Genom att utgå ifrån Weicks teorier om meningsskapande illustrerar riskförståelsebegreppet individens personliga förståelse för olika risker. De normer och värderingar som omger individen i det sociala och rumsligt definierade sammanhang som hon befinner sig i är avgörande för vilken förståelse hon kan skapa för en risk. Genom att använda bland annat Schütz teorier om sociala relationer betydelsen och funktionen av individens meningsstruktur synliggjorts som bas för individens riskförståelse. Meningsstrukturen består av flera olika beståndsdelar och i avhandlingen lyfts fyra av dessa fram: egna erfarenheter, värderingar, platsanknytning och social skiktning. Genom att individen relaterar den risk hon möter till den egna meningsstrukturen skapas förståelse för den specifika risken. Meningsstrukturens funktion är att bistå individen med förenklingar av verkligheten för att göra det möjligt att skapa mening kring olika risker. En viktig aspekt vad gäller meningsstrukturen är att den i hög grad är socialt konstruerad genom socialiseringsprocesser i det specifika rumsliga sammanhang som individen befinner sig i. Detta innebär att individens förståelse av risk relateras till olika sociala och rumsliga sammanhang; individens riskförståelse är således platsbunden.

Avhandlingen bygger på fyra delstudier vilka presenteras i artikelform. Datamaterial samlats in genom både enkätundersökningar och fokusgruppsintervjustudier för att undersöka detta fenomen utifrån olika metodologiska perspektiv.

I den första artikeln, baserad på en fokusgruppsintervjustudie, introducerades begreppet riskförståelse. De empiriska resultaten visade att begreppet kan användas för att synliggöra hur ungdomar med liknande riskperceptioner skiljer sig åt i sin förståelse av olika risker. En teoretisk modell utformades som beskriver individens riskförståelse med utgångspunkt i två dimensioner. Den första dimensionen relaterade till i vilken grad individens riskförståelse är platsbunden och den andra till om individens riskförståelse främst kan beskrivas som kollektivt eller individuellt orienterad. Empiriskt åskådliggjorde resultaten att ungdomarna i studien uppfattade samma risker som allvarliga men att deras riskförståelse skilde sig åt och att dessa skillnader kunde härledas till boendemiljö.

I den andra artikeln studerades ungdomars riskbeteenden i trafiken. I studien gjordes logistiska regressionsanalyser på ett datamaterial hämtat från Trafiksäkerhetsundersökningen 2001. En viktig slutsats från denna studie var att det är viktigt att inte bara ta hänsyn till individens riskförståelse, utan också till rumsliga sammanhang vad gäller att förklara individens beteenden i relation till risk.

Den tredje artikeln, som baserades på en fokusgruppsintervjustudie, var en tillämpning av begreppet riskförståelse med avseende på risker i trafiken. Undersökningen fokuserade på relationen mellan platsanknytning och riskförståelse. Studien visade att olika aspekter av platsanknytning har betydelse för individens riskförståelse. Social tillhörighet hade särskilt stor betydelse vad gäller riskförståelse hos de ungdomar som deltog i studien men också de andra dimensioner av platsanknytning som studerades (yttre förhållanden, ömsesidigt beroende och värdegemenskap) hade betydelse för riskförståelse hos respondenterna i studien.

I den fjärde delstudien genomfördes klusteranalys på ett datamaterial från undersökningen Samhälle och värderingar 2008. Det viktigaste resultatet från denna studie var den teoretiska begreppsutveckling som presenterades. Denna innebar att meningsstrukturen lyftes fram som bas för individens riskförståelse. Vidare gjordes en operationalisering av individens meningsstruktur, vilken användes för att gruppera individer. Den empiriska tillämpningen visade sig vara användbar vad gäller att studera skillnader i beteenden mellan olika grupper i samhället då gruppering utifrån meningsstruktur bidrog till att förklara skillnader i risk-/riskreducerande beteenden.

I kappan förs de olika delstudierna samman och begreppsutvecklingen i fråga om riskförståelse beskrivs. Begreppet är av särskild vikt vad gäller att beskriva hur sociala och rumsliga sammanhang ingår i individens riskförståelse. Den begreppsutveckling som gjorts har också visat att individen baserar sin riskförståelse på en meningsstruktur vilken också kan användas för att undersöka risk- och riskreducerande beteenden. Avhandlingens viktigaste bidrag är den teoretiska begreppsutvecklingen ifråga om hur individen skapar sin personliga riskförståelse. Ytterligare teoretisk begreppsutveckling och empiriska tillämpningar bör dock göras i kommande studier för att säkerställa begreppets generella användbarhet. Genom detta kan riskförståelse bli en viktig del i en specifikt sociologisk begreppsapparat med fokus på hur individen förhåller sig till risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: Mittuniversitetet , 2010. , p. 51
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 81
Keywords [en]
risk, sense-making of risk, place attachment, traffic safety, young people
Keywords [sv]
risk, riskförståelse, plats, platsanknytning, trafiksäkerhet, ungdomar
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11411ISBN: 978-91-86073-70-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-11411DiVA, id: diva2:306700
Public defence
2010-04-23, L216, Östersund, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-06 Created: 2010-03-30 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Young people making sense of risk: How meanings of risk are materialised within the social context of every-day life.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young people making sense of risk: How meanings of risk are materialised within the social context of every-day life.
2008 (English)In: Young - Nordic Journal of Youth Research, ISSN 1103-3088, E-ISSN 1741-3222, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 431-448Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

By using the term ‘sensemaking’ our intention isto deepen the understanding of young people and risk. Four focusgroup interviews with young people were made in 2004/05, twoin an urban area (Greater Stockholm) and two in a rural area(the county of Jämtland). Three reference interviews withadults were also made (two in Greater Stockholm and one in Jämtland).The results indicate that sensemaking of risk is a fruitfulway of capturing hidden heterogeneity regarding how young peoplewith similar risk perceptions give risk meaning. Based on theempirical results, that is, depending on where young peoplelive they make sense of risk differently, a two–dimensionaltheoretical model for sensemaking of risk is proposed; individualism–collectivism,and local attachment–local detachment.

National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-7078 (URN)10.1177/110330880801600405 (DOI)000263713600005 ()2-s2.0-58149488672 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2008-11-16 Created: 2008-11-16 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved
2. Traffic safety behaviour among young people in different residential settings: The use of seat belts, bicycle helmets, and reflectors by young people in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Traffic safety behaviour among young people in different residential settings: The use of seat belts, bicycle helmets, and reflectors by young people in Sweden
2009 (English)In: Injury control and safety promotion, ISSN 1566-0974, E-ISSN 1744-4985, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 197-204Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines if, and how, the size of the community in which people live may contribute to explaining differences in traffic safety behaviour (self-reported behaviour regarding the use of seat belts, bicycle helmets and reflectors) among young people in Sweden. The study is based on a Swedish nationwide traffic safety survey with a net sample of 2854 respondents aged 16-25. Ordered logit regressions were performed, and place of residence is shown to have an impact on traffic safety behaviour. The results are presented and discussed in relation to risk exposure and traffic safety facilities in different settings. The implications of the study are considered, and the importance of investigating the way in which young people see traffic safety behaviour is emphasised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2009
Keywords
traffic safety behaviour, place, young people
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11405 (URN)10.1080/17457300903306971 (DOI)000279394800003 ()20183698 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-71949110374 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-03-30 Created: 2010-03-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
3. Ungdomars samtal kring risker i trafiken: relationen mellan riskförståelse och platsanknytning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ungdomars samtal kring risker i trafiken: relationen mellan riskförståelse och platsanknytning
2009 (Swedish)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 46, no 3, p. 37-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Young People Talking about Risk in Traffic Milieus: The Relationship between Sensemaking of Risk and Place Attachment This explorative study investigates the relationship between sensemaking of risk and place attachment among young people. Traffic safety behaviours are focused. Eight focus group interviews have been done, with a total number of 36 interviewees in the age of 16-20 years. Half of the groups where made in Greater Stockholm, and half in the county of Jamtland. Four aspects of place attachment where explored. The results show that particularly social belonging is of a great matter within young people's sensemaking of risk in this context. The study implies the importance of further studies of sensemaking of risk in general, and of young people's sensemaking of risk in traffic milieus in particular.

Keywords
sensemaking of risk; place attachment; young people; traffic milieus
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-10068 (URN)000271237900004 ()
Note

Engelsk titel: Young People Talking about Risk in Traffic Milieus: The Relationship between Sensemaking of Risk and Place Attachment

Available from: 2009-10-19 Created: 2009-10-19 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Structure of meaning and sense-making of risk: An operationalisation of sense-making tested by grouping individuals according to their structure of meaning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Structure of meaning and sense-making of risk: An operationalisation of sense-making tested by grouping individuals according to their structure of meaning
2011 (English)In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 14, no 6, p. 735-755Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to refine the theory of individual’s sense-making of risk as a product of structure of meaning, and subsequently to test the theory empirically by identifying coherent groups of individuals by means of an operationalisation of each individual’s structure of meaning. To this end a two-step cluster analysis was conducted on a random selection of the Swedish population (N = 778) aged between 16 and 75 that resulted in three groups of individuals: the ‘locally rooted’; the ‘globally minded’; and ‘the cosmopolitan’. An analysis of variation (one-way ANOVA) was then used in a simple test of the viability of the operationalisation. The analysis shows that the three groups of individuals differ in their behavioural patterns in the face of various everyday risks. The article’s principal contribution is the development the theory of the structure of meaning’s role in how individuals sense-make risk. Furthermore, with the analysis and testing inherent in operationalisation, the study is an empirical contribution to the field. In future the structure of meaning would bear closer study, and the operationalisation should be further refined to create a more sensitive gauge of sense-making and its connection with the behavioural patterns associated with various risks.

Keywords
experience; individual and collective orientation; operationalisation; place attachment; risk; risk behaviour; sense-making of risk; social class; structure of meaning
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11412 (URN)10.1080/13669877.2011.571772 (DOI)000299574400006 ()2-s2.0-80051516371 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-03-30 Created: 2010-03-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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