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 6: Health and Responsibility: From Social Change to Technological Change and Vice Versa
Health and Responsibility: From Social Change to Technological Change and Vice Versa
Technological research in the social sciences frequently focuses on the relationship between technological change and social change. Roughly summarized, two positions have initiated the debate (see for example Joerges, 1988; Weingart, 1989a). On the one hand there is technological determinism which sees technology as destiny: technology dictates whether and in what way it will be applied. On the other hand there is the position of social reductionism. Here it is the users who decide whether and in what way technology will be applied. Cultural influences, social norms and interests playa crucial role in the shaping and use of technology.
Meanwhile, of course, the ...