Sociological Approaches To Risk

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Sociological approaches to 'risk ' can contribute to an analysis of public concerns about food. It is controversial as to whether food hazards have alarmed any risks that it presents to public health, environment, and wider society and in the case of genetically-modified foods. 'Risk ' is a concept which has been much theorized within sociology (Beck, 1992). Risk is seen as subjective and social: "the perception of risk is a social process" (Douglas and Wildavsky, 1982). In the sociology article, the writer found out a number of results from a qualitative research and it is based on two sociological theories: Bourdieu’s theory of social reproduction (Bourdieu, 1979, 1994) and symbolic interactionism (Solomon, 1983). Symbolic interactionism…show more content…
More precisely, for many of those who see dissimilarity in social value depending on venue, the difference comes from the political desire to help producers. They employed words such as “political involvement” and “activist”. Turning now to the Bourdieu’s theory of distinction, participants talked about economic capital required to buy organic foods, e.g. the higher price of organic food, the more the added time costs of going to market or CSA. Thirdly, organic food consumptions are associated to other symbols to have full social value. Some participants see organic food consumption as a way to ease one’s conscience; implying that such people did not exhibit other environmental behaviors. Signs, quantity sold, recycling behavior and product origin are the criteria exhibited by the seller when they choose whom to buy the organic foods from. Results from our focus groups do not give clear results about social class and organic food consumption. Holt’s (1998) approach of cultural capital specified that individuals who value the cultural skill they obtain from belonging to a CSA are those from higher social classes (in terms of culture, social references and behaviors) in the CSA focus group. Regardless of venue or other behaviors, it is more often linked with high purchasing power than…show more content…
Firstly, on the topic of food, sociology explores the relationship of food consumption to the class, social status, function and also the social value of organic food in various venues whereas to scientist, their major concern is mostly on the impact of GM food on human and the possible health threats and problems. Sociologists use group interview to gather qualitative data while scientists tests their hypothesis of GM food by using the past research case studies. The sociologists’ research design involved three group interviews: the first round (People who consume organic foods from Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) then supermarket and market respectively.) For the second round, it is a mixed group interview in terms of venue (E.g. CSA+Market, Market+Supermarket). Lastly, the motivation of study, sociologists are keen to study the food consumption and class because the result can reflect the problem of inequality. Do those people who consume organic foods considered to be higher up than those who don’t purchase it? Scientists are motivated to study the GM food safety issue because they can raise the awareness and persuade people to accept GM crops and foods since no scientific reports proven that they bring harms to human. It may then change people’s views to understand
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