Edgework: The Sociology of Risk-taking

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Psychology Press, 2005 - Social Science - 297 pages
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What do skydiving, rock climbing and downhill skiing have in common with stock-trading, vandalism, unprotected sex and sadomasochism? All are high risk pursuits. This book will introduce the reader to the world of voluntary risk-taking, investigating the seductive nature of pursuing peril and teasing out boundaries between legal and criminal behavior; conscious and unconscious acts; sanity and insanity;acceptable risk and stupidity. Lyng has been writing about what he calls edgework for the past decade and has managed to form a profile of those who live life on the edge. Topics covered include: juvenile delinquency, rape, sadomasochism, avant-garde art, business risks and extreme sport., as well as the recent success of books that write about risk like Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm .
 

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Contents

Sociology at the Edge Social Theory and Voluntary Risk Taking
17
Edgework A Subjective and Structural Model of Negotiating Boundaries
51
The Edgework Experience Anarchy and Aesthetics
73
The Only Possible Adventure Edgework and Anarchy
75
Edgework and the Aesthetic Paradigm Resonances and High Hopes
89
Group Variations in Edgework Practices Gender Age and Class
116
Gender and Emotion Management in the Stages of Edgework
117
Adolescents on the Edge The Sensual Side of Delinquency
153
Financial Edgework Trading in Market Currents
187
Historicizing Edgework
201
Edgework and Insurance in Risk Societies Some Notes on Victorian Lawyers and Mountaineers
203
On the Edge Drugs and the Consumption of Risk in Late Modernity
227
Edgework in the Academy
246
Intellectual Risk Taking Organizations and Academic Freedom and Tenure
247
Doing Terrorism Research in the Dark Ages Confessions of a Bottom Dog
273
Index
293

Mainstreaming Edgework
172
Adventure Without Risk Is Like Disneyland
173

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About the author (2005)

Stephen Lyng is Professor of Sociology at Carthage College, and author (with David D. Franks) of Sociology and the Real World.

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