Ulrich Beck's Theory Of Risk Society

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Introduction The risk society thesis by Ulrich Beck has been one of the most extensively discussed frameworks in environmental management (Matten, 2004). Ulrich Beck who is a German sociologist is the up-to-date theorist of modernity. Beck maintains that the risk which is intrinsic in modern society characterized by technological industrialization produces new forms of global risk society. Beck’s theory is based on the premise that the post-modernist world that we live considers safety and collective decision making on risk as more crucial than amassing wealth. Therefore considering Beck’s thesis, it is still applicable or relevant to the third world and not just only limited to the so called industrialized (first world) countries or a particular social class since globalization has no boundaries. A good understanding of Beck’s thesis commences with an understanding of the explosion of industrial modernity and the manner it is overshadowing nature. Structure: This essay will begin by looking at definition of key terms used in this essay, followed by the concept of risk society and features of “risk society thesis” as constructed by Beck which has been an extensive frameworks discussed in environmental management. The essay will also tackle the current phenomenal manifestation of ‘risk’ and ‘globalization’ being “bedfellows” as consequences of modernization and has no boundaries. The essay will conclude by comparing developing and developed countries to see whether the
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