- 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 9: Virtual Risks in an Age of Cybernetic Reproduction
Virtual Risks in an Age of Cybernetic Reproduction
In this chapter, I am concerned with the future of the risk society. This future is placed in the context of a world marked by an ongoing restructuration due to the influence of electronic mediation. The increasing pervasiveness of electronic mediation in everyday life, in particular in industrialized societies, has had important yet hardly acknowledged transfonnative consequences for the very nature of ‘risk’ and the social conditions and institutions it engenders. I will argue that whereas the language of science and politics still appropriates a rudimentary distinction between real and imaginary risks, they are better understood as virtual risks. Moreover, only by scrutinizing the new sociations that have become ...