Public health researchers, insurance companies, and statisticians have long understood the curious patterns underlying unexpected injuries. Sociologists have more recently been drawn to this field of study, using
data from a range of sources to explore the social causes and consequences of
"accidents" - or, more accurately, unexpected injuries.
While we, as a society, have developed multiple strategies for depicting such events as unavoidable, inevitable, acceptable, and even "normal," research on health, safety, and injury prevention tells a very different story. Indeed,
this research reveals that there are surprising patterns that structure seemingly random events. Understanding these patterns allows us to help prevent unexpected injuries.
In this eye-opening new book, Lorne Tepperman and Nicole Meredith offer a sociological view of the most recent
research available, complemented by insight gained from Meredith's first-hand experience with unexpected injuries and rehabilitation over seven years of intensive training at Canada's National Ballet School. In their analysis, Tepperman and Meredith consider the circumstances of unexpected injuries,
the types of people who most commonly fall victim to these sorts of injuries, and the associated human and social costs. They also evaluate the most common contexts for accidents, and they engage with a debate surrounding "accident proneness."
Students and scholars of sociology - as well
as victims of unexpected injuries of any kind - will be fascinated by this evaluation of a significant social problem that remains poorly understood, despite its far-reaching consequences.
Introduction: Death by Horse-Kicks
1. The Social and Economic Costs of Injury
2. The Patterning of Home Injuries
3. The Patterning of Leisure Injuries
4. The Patterning of Traffic Injuries
5. The Patterning of Workplace Injuries
6. The Debate about Accident
7. Social Factors that Reduce Risks of Injury
8. Prevention and Harm Reduction
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LORNE TEPPERMAN is a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto and the author of many books on sociological thought.
NICOLE MEREDITH, MA, is a freelance writer and editor. She graduated from Canada's National Ballet School in 2009, with a piqued interest and personal
investment in injury prevention.