Risk society: towards a new modernity

Sage Publications, 03/09/1992 - 260 páginas
Ulrich Beck's panaromic analysis of the condition of Western societies has been hailed as a classic. This first English edition has taken its place as a core text of contemporary sociology alongside earlier typifications of society as postindustrial and current debates about the social dimensions of the postmodern. Western industrial society is widely seen to be going through a decisive transitional period into a form defined variously as 'post-Enlightenment', 'post-Fordist' or 'postmodern'. Arguing that we are instead facing a different modernity typified by reflexivity, Ulrich Beck goes beyond these descriptions to provide a coherent picture of the direction of global social change. Underpinning the analysis is the notion of the 'risk society'. The changing nature of society's relation to production and distribution is related to the environmental impact, as a totalizing, globalizing economy based on scientific and technical knowledge becomes more central to social organization and social conflict. Within this framework, Ulrich Beck develops an overview of other key elements of current social development; the centrality of the political economy of knowledge; the changing roles of class and gender in a new work environment; and the politics (both personal and public) of the the risk society. This major analysis of the present and future of modernity will be essential reading for students and scholars in sociology and general theory.

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Ulrich Beck, Professor of Sociology, Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich

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