- Subject index
Ulrich Beck's best selling Risk Society established risk on the sociological agenda. It brought together a wide range of issues centering on environmental, health and personal risk, provided a rallying ground for researchers and activists in a variety of social movements and acted as a reference point for state and local policies in risk management. The Risk Society and Beyond charts the progress of Beck's ideas and traces their evolution. It demonstrates why the issues raised by Beck reverberate widely throughout social theory and covers the new risks that Beck did not foresee, associated with the emergence of new technologies, genetic and cybernetic. The book is unique because it offers both an introduction to the main arg
Chapter 8: Liturgies of Fear: Biotechnology and Culture
During the 1980s the locus of anxiety regarding the technological threat to the future of human life shifted from nuclear technology in its civil and military guises to biotechnology. In many respects this shift marked the reprise of an earlier, pre-Cold War cultural anxiety focused upon eugenics and the biological control of populations. The earlier anxiety was sufficient in the case of Germany (and in other ostensibly more democratic societies) to mobilize support for political movements and legislative initiatives dedicated to biologically selecting the character of future human populations. The current wave of anxiety in some respects repeats the unstable fusion of fear and desire that characterized the earlier culture of eugenics, with the ...