9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN09 Economic Sociology

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Financial Crisis, Risk and Trust Building AA, AA.229

The culture of risk: Private benefits / Public damages

The culture of risk: Private benefits / Public damages

In contrast with what happened in most of the 20th century, the last two decades? numerous financial crises are linked to both instability an uncertainty. These recent crises are commonly explained as a result of financial flows globalisation. From a sociological point of view, however, the extent of the damaging effects of the crises is also connected to a new culture of risk which shows three relevant features: (a) legitimacy of the search for short-term benefits, (b) acceptance of the attempt to finance the new economy through risk activities and (c) confidence on the market mechanisms? control. A new and more reliable economic paradigm should question the present culture of risk based on the enhancement of uncertain ventures as source of innovation and hope. The paper will critically explore the three different dimensions of the culture of risk, with particular attention to the specificity of the current crisis.