To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

The concepts of risk, saf… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
Sitemap
To content Read more about how we use cookies on gu.se

The concepts of risk, safety, and security: Applications in everyday language

Journal article
Authors Max Boholm
Niklas Möller
Sven Ove Hansson
Published in Risk Analysis
Volume 36
Issue 2
Pages 320–338
ISSN 0272-4332
Publication year 2016
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Pages 320–338
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/risa.12464
Keywords Concept analysis; corpus linguistics; everyday use; risk; safety; security
Subject categories Communication Studies, Linguistics

Abstract

The concepts of risk, safety, and security have received substantial academic interest. Several assumptions exist about their nature and relation. Besides academic use, the words risk, safety, and security are frequent in ordinary language, for example, in media reporting. In this article, we analyze the concepts of risk, safety, and security, and their relation, based on empirical observation of their actual everyday use. The “behavioral profiles” of the nouns risk, safety, and security and the adjectives risky, safe, and secure are coded and compared regarding lexical and grammatical contexts. The main findings are: (1) the three nouns risk, safety, and security, and the two adjectives safe and secure, have widespread use in different senses, which will make any attempt to define them in a single unified manner extremely difficult; (2) the relationship between the central risk terms is complex and only partially confirms the distinctions commonly made between the terms in specialized terminology; (3) whereas most attempts to define risk in specialized terminology have taken the term to have a quantitative meaning, nonquantitative meanings dominate in everyday language, and numerical meanings are rare; and (4) the three adjectives safe, secure, and risky are frequently used in comparative form. This speaks against interpretations that would take them as absolute, all-or-nothing concepts.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012
Share:

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?