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Researching risk: Narrative, biography, subjectivity

Henwood, Karen Linda ORCID:, Pidgeon, Nicholas Frank ORCID:, Parkhill, Karen ORCID: and Simmons, Peter 2010. Researching risk: Narrative, biography, subjectivity. FQS: Forum Qualitative Social Research - Sozialforschung 11 (1) , 20.

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This article contributes to the development of methodological practices promoting greater epistemic reflexivity in risk research and in social science generally. Knowledge of the specific practices researchers will find useful cannot exist separately from any particular empirical project. Accordingly, we report on, and provide a reflective account of, the "nuclear risk" project that was part of the Social Contexts and Responses to Risk (SCARR) network in the UK (2003-2008). A key focus is exploring the value of narrative methods—especially narrative elicitation methods—for understanding people's perceptions of, and ways of living with, risk. We credit our deployment of a narrative method with producing a rich form of data on risk-biography intersections, which have carried great significance in our analytical work on the way biographical experiences, dynamically unfolding through space and time, can be interrupted by risk events. Arguments from the literature on reflexive modernity are deployed to make the case for: researching risk in everyday life as a problematic in and of itself; placing concepts of risk-biography, risk-reflexivity and risk-subjectivity at centre stage; and finding ways to inquire into the social and psychic complexities involved in the dynamic construction and reconstruction of risk phenomena.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: risk; reflexivity; epistemic practices; biography; narrative method; subjectivity; interpretive; qualitative; methodology
Publisher: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung
ISSN: 1438-5627
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:45

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