Biography, Risk and Uncertainty—Is there Common Ground for Biographical Research and Risk Research?

  • Jens O. Zinn University of Melbourne
Keywords: biography, risk, uncertainty, methodology

Abstract

This contribution introduces different perspectives of research which combine the concepts biography, risk and uncertainty. It starts with outlining the assumption that biographical research and risk research could gain from an exchange of concepts and research strategies. In a first step I will argue that in risk research the concept of the subject is under developed and that this deficit could be overcome by using biographical concepts. In a second step I distinguish between biographical research-strategies which approach social reality differently. Finally, by the example of the contributions of this special issue, I will show how these different biographical approaches influence the way risk and uncertainty are approached. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1001153

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Author Biography

Jens O. Zinn, University of Melbourne
Jens O. ZINN, Dr. phil., Dipl.-Soz., is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Melbourne. His main research interests are the societal construction and management of risk and uncertainty. He is particularly interested in theoretical and methodological issues and individual management of risk and uncertainty in a biographical and life course perspective. Other publications to biography, risk and uncertainty: 2005, The biographical approach—a better way to understand behaviour in health and illness?, Health, Risk & Society, 7(1), 1-9; 2004, Health, risk and uncertainty in the life course: A typology of biographical certainty constructions. Social Theory & Health, 2, 199-221. Some major publications on risk: 2008, Social theories of risk and uncertainty. Oxford: Blackwell; with Peter Taylor-Gooby (Eds.) 2006, Risk in social sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press; (Eds.) 2006, Learning about risk. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(1), http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/issue/view/2.
How to Cite
Zinn, J. O. (2010). Biography, Risk and Uncertainty—Is there Common Ground for Biographical Research and Risk Research?. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-11.1.1512