Chapter 10: Risk and trust: ethnomethodological orientations to risk theorizing
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Sociological studies of risk have conceptualized the relationship of risk to trust (Lidskog & Sundqvuist, 2012; Giddens, 1991; Coleman, 1990). However, both risk and trust remain evasive notions for sociological inquiry. Proponents of the deficit model (Collins, 2014; Collins & Evans, 2017) argue mistrust evolves from a lack of knowledge and transparency in "expert" appointments. An alternate to this is considering how trust is a condition for mutually intelligible action (Garfinkel, 1963; Turowetz & Rawls, 2020). How an action is conceptualized by parties to risk-assessment will structure how trust in socio-technical systems is accomplished. I suggest, in the following, a close examination of the contingent nature of risk based on an individual's perceived exposures – in other words how they trust themselves or some other element of a risky situation, or how they do not trust some other estimation or risk based outside that member's own – is a fruitful avenue for a sociological understanding of alternate impressions of risk. I introduce a series of ethnomethodological studies of risky activities and the management of those activities by participants themselves, with reference to the formulations or glossing (Garfinkel & Sacks, 1970) of risks. Ethnomethodologists would almost certainly share an interest with the risk theorists in the enumeration practices associated with calculating risk (i.e. the interest in actuarial risk assessment), although only inasmuch as these are practices that have unique settings and meanings and do not necessarily have analogues in the lived experience of individuals who undertake risky activities. What ethnomethodologists would likely resist, as I will argue, is that "scientific" or actuarial assessments of risk have epistemic superiority to laypersons impressions of "their own" risks

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