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Risk Society

  • By: Mario De Benedittis
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Over the past twenty-five years, the subject of risk has received not only widespread attention within the social sciences, but also it has become a fixed point in the vocabulary of daily life, following the publication of the ominous text by Ulrich Beck that pointed out how in contemporary societies stratification, politics, science, social movements, consumption, and identity are entwined with the social definition of risks.

Deborah Lupton divides the main approaches to the issue of risk into two main groups: (1) The realist perspective, developed and used first and foremost in technical and scientific fields, such as engineering, economics, epidemiology, statistics, and psychology. All those fields are said to take the nature of risk for granted: for instance, in the cognitive approach, the key ...

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