The Impact of Social and Cultural Difference in Relation to Job Loss and Financial Planning: Reflections on the Risk Society
This paper is based on data collected as part of a research study which looks at how different social and cultural groups frame, and respond to, the risk of income and/or job loss. Writers like LASH, DOUGLAS and LUPTON have placed an emphasis on the importance of group membership and social categories in structuring response to different types of risk preferring to talk about "risk cultures" rather than "risk society". However, the writers acknowledge that there is little empirical research which explores this. As the first stage of our research, focus groups in two parts of the UK explored the relationship between risk and social difference with an emphasis on the risk of job or income loss. The groups were comprised of lesbian, gay and bisexual people; people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds; Disabled people; and, people who actively practice a religion. Participants did not see strong links between their sexuality, race, or religion and their perceptions of, or responses to, risk. Income, and attitudinal factors were cited as being more important. Disabled people however were much more likely to make connections between being disabled and a range of barriers to responding to risky situations.
risk; income and job loss; social and cultural difference