The Problems of the Defining the Risk: The Case of Mountaineering

  • Viviane Seigneur Université de Rouen
Keywords: risk definition, mountaineering, risk analysis, mountain, risk behaviour


A central assumption in sociology is that the view on the risk is essentially a construction rather than a strictly objective perspective. However, this approach has a tendency to forget objective knowledge and tangible facts. Our research on risks in high mountains compares the available information on risks (scientific literature, safety information, media coverage and political discourse) with our empiric observations. Our work shows that there are differences caused by lack of fundamental reflection on the definition of the risk as a social construction. We propose to reconsider the definition of the risk with concepts closely connected to risk such as: uncertainty, emotion, phobia and danger, and to point out problems of confusion in several works of authors (e.g. those dealing with sensational activity, such as bungee jumping, as if it was dangerous). URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0601148


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Author Biography

Viviane Seigneur, Université de Rouen
Dr. Viviane SEIGNEUR, Groupe de Recherche Innovations et Sociétés, Université de Rouen, France. Centre interdisciplinaire scientifique de la montagne, Université de Savoie, France. Research areas: anthropology and sociology of risk, mountain, sport, military sociology, gender.
Theorising Risk