The Fragility of Modern Societies: Knowledge and Risk in the Information Age

The Fragility of Modern Societies: Knowledge and Risk in the Information Age

by Nico Stehr
     
 

ISBN-10: 0761953485

ISBN-13: 9780761953487

Pub. Date: 06/25/2001

Publisher: SAGE Publications

"This book argues that knowledge is now central to the modern economy and its productive processes. It is also essential for social relations, social cohesion and conflict resolution. We have moved from a society based around heavy commodities to symbolic goods, from situated markets to non-place-specific locations, from machines to software and from things to ideas.…  See more details below

Overview

"This book argues that knowledge is now central to the modern economy and its productive processes. It is also essential for social relations, social cohesion and conflict resolution. We have moved from a society based around heavy commodities to symbolic goods, from situated markets to non-place-specific locations, from machines to software and from things to ideas. These changes produce new forms of social interactions and new perspectives on identity, practice and association."--BOOK JACKET.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761953487
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
06/25/2001
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The Texture of Modern Societies9
The Nation-state9
Functional Differentiation11
Rationalizing the Irrational14
Traditional and Modern Societies16
The Extension of Social Conduct18
2Knowledge Societies19
The Emergence of Knowledge Societies20
The Society of Societies24
3Knowledge about Knowledge31
Knowledge as a Capacity for Action35
Culture and Knowledge36
From Capacities to Realization38
Incremental Knowledge39
Knowledge and Information41
Limits to the Power of Knowledge45
4Fusion through Dissolution53
The Disappearance of Human Agency54
A Surplus of Social Manipulation55
Moral Indifference, Power and Science58
5Fragile Social Structures64
The World of Post-industrial Societies65
Collective and Individual Capacities to Act67
6Governing Knowledge Societies71
The Stalled Society75
The Politics of Knowledge Societies81
Political Action and Knowledgeability90
7Fragmentation and Homogenization of Social Life93
The Advent of Mass Societies93
The Globalization of the World97
Globalization in Historical Times101
The Divisions of the World104
The Reconfiguration of the Globe109
8Policing Knowledge112
Knowledge Politics113
Regulating Knowledge114
The Social Control of Knowledge Claims in Science116
The Societal Regulation of Knowledge117
The Virchow-Haeckel Controversy119
The Public and Science123
The Developments of Social Controls124
Knowledge Hierarchies and Monopolies126
9Emancipation and Knowledge132
The Knowledge/Power Axis133
The New Risks of Knowledge137
Modern Social Movements140
Criticism of the Formal Concept of Risk144
On the Difference between Decision-makers and those Affected by Risks of Decisions145
The Return of Uncertainty in Society146
Risk of Decision in the Context of Fragile Knowledge148
10Knowledge, Uncertainty and Contingency150
Prospects or what Remains Open151
Statistical Appendix156
Notes159
Bibliography189
Subject Index213
Name Index216

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