The later stages of modernity are creating a world full of uncontrollable and unknown risks


In other words, the later stages of modernity (in which we are living today) are creating the world that is filled with uncontrollable and unknown risks. Although this phrase sounds contradictory, Beck (1986/1992) argues that it is the only suitable description of contemporary "manufactured" risks, dangers and uncertainties people face in late modernity. He also points out that it is not the case that the risks increased in contemporary societies, but that they are being "de-bounded" (less confined by space) and deterritorialized (e.g. the nation-state boundaries do not limit the flow of risks such as air pollution). At the same time, these risks are less confined by time (e.g. nuclear waste affects many future generations) and by social factors (e.g. it is often not clear who is affected and who is specifically responsible for some risk such as global warming).

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