Being in control by taking voluntary risk in contemporary society

Loredana Ivan, Valeriu Frunzaru
2010 Sociologie Româneasca = Romanian Sociology  
The paper analysis a paradox of contemporary society: on the one hand the society stresses out on actions that protect citizens' life and welfare and offers security, and on the other hand we are witnesses to an increased number of people who choose to take voluntary risks in spare time activities, willing to escape of the normative frame of organizations and institutions they are forced to be part of. The number of individuals who accept the challenges of the extreme sports or of the
more » ... who put their life in danger has been increasing during past years, especially when society values people who take controlled risks and those who can challenge their limits willing to achieve more. In this context, we conduct 10 in-depth interviews with people involved in physical risk activities: motor-cycle riding, parachutism, and mountaineering. The results proved that subjects have experienced a profound need to take control of their lives and to develop their potential as a reaction to an excessive birocratic and consumerist society that alienates individuals to the products of their work. Finding themselves in a society they believe they are not able to control anymore, individuals make an escape in practicing those sports or those activities that value their potentialand re-establish the feeling of control.
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