Heyman, Bob, Alaszewski, Andy and Brown, Patrick (2012) Health care through the `lens of risk' and the categorisation of health risks – An editorial. Health, Risk & Society, 14 (2). pp. 107-115. ISSN 1369-8575

This editorial will introduce a four issue series of Risk, Health & Society special editions, Health Care Through the `Lens of Risk'. The editorial will argue that risk-thinking offers a particular approach to contingency, its culturally universal precursor. Contingency arises from the perception that one of two or more alternative outcomes might occur, or might have occurred. It addresses the infinity of possibility, and is properly located in minds rather than the material world in which singular events simply happen. The lens of risk renders contingency as the probability of a specified adverse event occurring within a particular time period. But each of the elements included in this definition can be reframed interpretively: events as categories; adversity as negative valuing; probabilities as uncertain expectations; and time periods as time frames. The editorial will outline this analysis, introduce the special issue series and briefly review the original research papers included in this first special issue which focuses on risk categorisation.

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