What places, situations and objects do children and young people regard as the most perilous ones? That is what the Research Friday mass experiment in 2012 – the Risk Profile – wanted to establish.
During one autumn month, school pupils of all ages, all over Sweden, photographed something perilous. The photos and a description of them were uploaded via a website to risk researcher Erika Wall.
– The results showed that it is above all in traffic, buildings, nature, the home and the school playground that many children and young people experience a sense of risk. Other things, such as pollution of the environment, loneliness and bad food, were also mentioned, says Erika.
To work with photos as a method was new and highly rewarding, according to Erika.
– The photos give people the opportunity to use a richer language. Not everyone is good at describing things through text. Some chose to put a lot of time into describing the photo and others chose to put more time into creating the photo. It gave a breadth to the material that was sent in. It is also easier to communicate research results through pictures, she concludes.
Erika has compiled the Risk Profile in a report and an article in an international risk research journal, where she presents what risks 722 children and young people describe as serious in their own lives.
About Research Friday: The last Friday in September has been designated Researchers’ Night by the European Commission. All around Europe, activities are organized to show how exciting and fun research can be. In Sweden, the day is called Research Friday and Mid Sweden University is one the nation’s local organisers.