• Summary
  • Contents
  • 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

Risk Culture
Risk culture

This chapter argues that a way of positioning risk in order that it be more effective as social critique is to displace, or at least supplement, the notion of ‘risk society’ with an idea of ‘risk culture’. I want to argue that the notion of risk society presumes a focus on society and the social. The idea of society presumes a determinate, institutional, normative, rule bound and necessarily hierarchical ordering of individual members in regard to their utilitarian interests. Risk cultures, in contrast, presume not a determinate ordering, but a reflexive or indeterminate disordering. Risk cultures lie in non-institutional and anti-institutional sociations. Their media are not procedural norms but substantive values. Their governing figurations are not rules but symbols: they are less ...

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