Uncertain times: the notion of 'risk' and the development of modernity

Reith, G. (2004) Uncertain times: the notion of 'risk' and the development of modernity. Time and Society, 13(2-3), pp. 383-402. (doi: 10.1177/0961463X04045672)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0961463X04045672


This article examines the ways in which understandings of uncertainty have evolved during the development of modernity, and in particular, how they are expressed in the notion of 'risk'. It demonstrates how this concept is embedded in socio-economic contexts and grounded in particular temporal orientations, specifically as expressed in notions of determinism and indeterminism. It suggests that, although the concept of risk initially embodied an orientation to the future as something that was predictable and open to human intervention, transformations in the structure of capitalism mean that its utility is now to be found in its role as a guide for action in late modern societies, in which the future has 'collapsed' into an indeterminate present.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reith, Professor Gerda
Authors: Reith, G.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Time and Society
ISSN (Online):1461-7463

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