Журнал "Демографія та соціальна економіка"

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№1 (19) 2013

Demography and social economy, 2013, 1(19):111-119
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/dse2013.01.111

Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Ptoukha Institute for demography and social studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Section: Efficiency of social policy.
Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: This article analyzes the evolution of scientific approaches to the definition of the scientific category “risk”.
It was noted that humanity throughout its history has changed the approaches to understanding the risk itself, its sources and consequences. Despite the lack of a common understanding of risk, the ambiguity of its definition, the problem of risk has a certain research tradition. Dichotomy prevails in the study of risks, where two types of risks are distinguished – anthropogenic and sociogenic. The latter is understood as the result of uncertainty in the society due to the loss of public control over social changes.
The beginning of scientific understanding of the risk was in the late XIX – early XX century, when the ideas of probability, stochastic nature of the trends of social development were formed. In Ukraine, which used to be a part of the Union State, there were no studies of risk, because in the twenties of the last century legislation that clearly defined the concept of “normal industrial and economic risk” was not passed, and in the mid-30’s, due to the establishment of tough centralized control, risk was declared as unnecessary capitalist rudiment.
The early development of the classical concepts of risk is characterized by the interpretation of risk in the light of the mathematical theory of probability, resulting in the notion of risk originating from the category of uncertainty, and its measurement is to measure the possible potential losses. This approach is widely used in a number of ways of riskology nowadays.
The main goal of the classical theories was the development of the universal method with the help of which the problem of research and risk management would be solved. However, the classic concepts with a focus on their statistical methods did not take into account the value aspects and demonstrated the limitations of their use. Since in the situations of risk the empirical data are not available it is impossible to establish not only the probability of the event, but also to determine objectively the extent of damage associated with it. Risk society produces technological and social risks. It occurs in all spheres of life – economic, po- litical and social. Risks overcome borders and become global. In the social area risks transform the social structure, so that the class structure of society becomes more risk relative.
While considering the features of the modernist approach to the study of risks the following points can be noted: the recognition of the objective nature of scientific knowledge, the use of positivist means for analysis, logic and knowledge management based on scientific expertise.
The current development stage of riskology as a science is characterized by the criticism of notions of risk outlined in modernist theories, as well as the development of postmodern theories of risk. They are based on the study of the realities of society development, among which there are: the universalization, globalization and institutionalization of risk.
Thus, there are not only different ways of understanding the scientific category of “risk”, but different approaches to the assessment of its objective and subjective nature. In our opinion, risk posses both objective and subjective features – the objective is the result of the negative impact of uncontrolled accidental events; subjective – results from the implementation of risk through human consciousness.
Key words: risk, social risk, riskology.
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