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Summarise Anthony Giddens' and Ulrich Beck's conceptions of risk. With reference to the wider academic literature in this M - Essay Example

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Summarise Anthony Giddens' and Ulrich Beck's conceptions of risk. With reference to the wider academic literature in this M

The current modernity is part of the radical break of the transition from industrial to a risk society. Humans must now deal with the global risks introduced by scientific and technological inventions that provide conceptual and technical tools that enable humans identify, quantify, and mitigate risks. The transformations from traditional to modern societies create fundamental societal evolutions that can provide guidelines during risk management. Beck (1992) outlines characteristics and differences between two periods that have caused the risk society. The first period is the industrial society that created a class society corresponding to the primary modernization (Beck, 1992). The second period of the risk society creates a reflexive modernity. The Post-war boom and triumph of capitalism after the cold war created a new form of social organization characterized by individualization. This individualization created successive crises caused by threats to health, economic and medical activities, and scientific environment. These challenges remain at the forefront of public debates and limit expert opinions and regulations (Beck, 1992). The challenges from the scientific environment led to the Chernobyl disaster and catastrophes in Toulouse and New York. These attacks and accidents ushered in the risk society caused by advancement in the field of social advancements created by science and capitalism. According to Beck (1992), the social transformation predominant in the western societies is one of the causes of the risk society. Modernization has led to technological and scientific progress as well as disembodied risks associated with modern technology. Advancement in technology has led to incalculability of consequences associated with the use of these technologies. This was evident during the cold war due to the military inventions of the Soviet Union (Beck, 1992). Western countries felt threatened by the weapons developed by the Soviet Union during the cold war. The western governments had to define enemy capabilities by estimating the number of nuclear warheads owned by the Soviet Union. The west had to pinpoint the targets of the soviet missiles and plan retaliatory attacks in case the soviet army launched attacks. These uncertainties and risks were caused by technological advancements of the modern society. Industrialization and scientific innovations had led to the development of long range nuclear warheads that caused tension between the Soviets and the West. Technological inventions pose threats such as cyber crime to the western countries. Information security is a major concern for several institutions. This has led to counter inventions that protect information and curb cyber crime. Huawei, a Chinese company, has developed hardware technologies that prevent cyber crimes to ensure data security for businesses and governments (The Economist, 2012). Globalization has helped the company expand its services from china to other regions in Africa and Asia. The company has since appealed to the British government to purchase its equipment. The government has the responsibility of protecting its citizens from some of the risks and receives blame when disaster strikes. The British signals-intelligence agency is working together with Huawei to test the equipment to protect the citizens against cyber attacks (The Economist, ...Show more


Risk Society Name Institution Tutor Date Risk Society Influential sociological risk literature is applied when analyzing security politics, health issues, and communication. These fields are increasingly infused with notions such as prevention, precaution, and risk management instead of the common logic of threat elimination and defense…
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Summarise Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Becks conceptions of risk. With reference to the wider academic literature in this M essay example
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