Menu Close
Associate Professor in Sociology, The University of Melbourne

Jens Zinn studied Sociology, Social Psychology and Political Science at the University of Saarland and the University of Bielefeld (Germany). As a researcher at the collaborative research centre Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course in Bremen (1995-99) he was awarded his PhD in 2000. He researched risk in the collaborative research centre Reflexive Modernization in Munich (1999-02) and in the ESRC priority network Social Contexts and Responses to Risk at the University of Kent (2003-08)

He joined the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne as Associate Professor in Sociology in January 2009. He is Head of Sociology and teaches ‘Research Methods’, ‘Living in a Risk Society’ and ‘Contemporary Social Problems’.

Jens is President of the Thematic Group Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty (TG04) of the International Sociological Association (ISA). He is a board member of the international journal Health, Risk & Society. In 2009 he initiated the foundation of the thematic group Risk Societies within the Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

His research activities include a number of studies on people's management of risk and uncertainty during the course of their life (e.g. youth transitions into labour and certainty constructions in reflexive modernity). A recent project focuses on the biographical management of risk and uncertainty of British veterans (British Academy 2007-08). His research focuses on an interdisciplinary understanding of the societal management of risk and uncertainty.

Jens is leading a collaborative research initiative 'Risk, Social Inclusion and the Life Course - A Social Policy Perspective':


  • –present
    Associate Professor in Sociology, University of Melbourne


  • 2000 
    University of Bremen, Germany, PhD, Sociology


  • 2008
    Social Theories of Risk and Uncertainty, Blackwell Publishing
  • 2008
    Heading into the Unknown. Everyday Strategies for Managing Risk and Uncertainty, Health, Risk & Society, Vol. 10, No. 5, pp. 439-450,
  • 2006
    Risk in Social Sciences, (with Peter Taylor-Gooby), Oxford University Press