In this 21-minute talk, Bruce Schneier does a great job of explaining the difference between feeling secure and being secure.  The difference between risk and the perception of risk is one of the things that sociologists in the “social problems” sub-area study.  Whether problems are seen as problems at all, whether non-problems are believed to be problems, and whether they are seen as social (versus individual, for example, or natural)… all of these things must be established by people who have the power to put issues on the agenda and frame them in particular ways.

Schneier’s discussion of security is a great illustration of this phenomenon, and his talk is full of concrete examples and psychological mechanisms that nicely balance the sociological import:

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.