to Mythen and Walklate, “in Britain, current debates about welfare, crime, national security, food safety, employment and sexuality are all underscored by risk” (2006, p. 1).
Due to the fact that risk is a phenomenon that is dynamic, it represents itself in different ways in everyday life. Safety and distribution of risks are the two aspects that dominate a risk society. In response to risks, people come up with various ways to control them such as insurances and other risk control techniques. This however does not mean that people are able to control all risks; there are those that are impossible to control. For this reason a great sense of insecurity overflows.
Steele points out that “the creation, distribution, and prevention of risks, rather than the creation and distribution of wealth, become the main preoccupations of risk society” (2004, p. 48). One of the predominant features of risk in present risk societies is that individuals link bad outcomes with the decisions they make in an ideology known as reflexive modernity. No matter how far away in distance and time something goes wrong, individuals link it to a human cause. From this, it is a fact that an awareness of how the complications of individual actions impact the world is characteristic of the risk society. This paper is a discussion on risk societies and how people respond to risks.
According to Beck, the risk society is a new stage of modernity brought about by reflexivity, globalization and detraditionalization (Pepper, Webster and Revill 2003). In the new stage of modernity, all dimensions of social and personal life are pervaded by risk and uncertainty. These include vulnerabilities in the labour market, family breakdowns, and increased divorce rates among others. For Beck, the various hazards and risks result from advances in science and knowledge of science and modern large-scale industrial technologies. He periodicalizes risks and hazards according to their historical times.