What Is The Role Of Expert Knowledge

Words: 1499
Pages: 6


Write a report on the disputed role of expert knowledge in understanding and managing risk


1. Introduction – Page 3 2. What is risk? – Page 4 3. Risk Society – Page 5 4. Evidence of risk in contemporary society – Page 6 1. Allotment example – Page 6 2. Sun tanning example – Page 7 5. Conclusion – Page 8 6. References – Page 9


We are all familiar with risk. In fact, it is a key component in our everyday material life and we often manage it automatically either when dealing with mundane tasks or major hazards.
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4.2 Sun tanning example

In this example, we examine how the lay public interpret medical advice using personal experiences and cultural practices in order to make sense of the risk involved in sun tanning. This case study was conducted as part of a larger study funded by the Medical Research Council, with respondents aged between 20 and 35 years old and it is important to note that they were from Glasgow, a city where exposure to the sun is often a rarity.

• The respondents could all easily recall medical advice about exposure to the sun, but measured it against the notion of a healthy tan. • Many of the respondents explained that by getting a tan they looked and felt healthier in themselves. • The sun can be begin to see that the effects the sun’s rays have on the body are both a source of material risk, from cancers, and a symbolic risk, such as being pale and unhealthy looking (Carter and Jordan, p. 76).

This example shows how expert knowledge in the form of medical advice tells us to keep our skin covered so as to prevent exposure from the sun that could cause skin cancer, and how this is interpreted by society using the cultural practice of booking holidays and how they balance the material risk of skin cancer with the symbolic risk of getting a tan in order to look and feel