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Critically analyse Becks theory of Risk Society in relation to other contemporary theoretical approaches to societal risk Essay Example

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Critically analyse Becks theory of Risk Society in relation to other contemporary theoretical approaches to societal risk

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He furthers his stance by saying that many potential risks are extricated from the concepts of boundaries and so these risks cannot be equitably distributed. Everyone therefore is equally at risk. Hence the concept of social classifications identified by the historical sociologists are no longer relevant according to Beck because risks cannot be equitably distributed and so all social classes are dissolved leading to individualization of the social actors.According to Beck since all countries are equally exposed to the risks identified earlier, all entities, organizations, institutions and governments stand at the same level and so they are individualized at their own domains. Thus they have to take charge of the responsibilities and work on solutions to mitigating these risks.These individualized social actors identify the risks generated from technological innovation and new discoveries and they undertake action such as social movements and awareness campaigns to pressurize the innovators in being safety complaint.On the basis of this idea of individualization, Beck illustrates the vision of ‘New Modernity’. He portrays a society where personal experimentation and cultural innovation are cherished at the back of high potential uncertainties. Beck considers both regressive and progressive elements to individualizationBeck criticises modernity by attacking the presuppositions of the theory of modernity related socialization. He is of the opinion that many sociologists confuse modernity with industrialism. He finds progress in the overrated social theories which align linear rationalization with modernity. Beck says that although the earlier sociologists have created a strong correlation between industrialization and the environmental risks and other potential threats but they are unable to comprehend the extent to which these risks are affecting the population of the entire world including the institutions, organizations and subsystems. He further says that in today’s world, the risks can cause irreparable global damage and without any limitation. In times of accidents, all control measures might collapse and no limits can be introduced on the affected areas.According to beck, risk societies keep a close check on the activities that lead to potential risks to their existence and they try to inculcate

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BECK, U. (1992). Risk society: towards a new modernity. London, Sage Publications.

Beck, U. (1992) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage

Beck, U. (1999a) What is Globalization? Cambridge: Polity

Giddens, A. (1990) The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity.

Coleman, C.L. (1995) ‘Science, Technology and Risk Coverage of a Community

Conflict’, Media, Culture and Society 17(1): 65–79.

Beck, U. (2002). "The Terrorist Threat: World Risk Society Revisited." Theory, Culture & Society 19(4): 39–55.

Beck, Ulrich. (1999). World Risk Society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

ADAM, B., BECK, U., & LOON, J. V. (2000). The risk society and beyond: critical issues for social theory. London, SAGE.

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MYTHEN, G. (2004). Ulrich Beck: a critical introduction to the risk society. London, Pluto Press.

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