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

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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 interaction and new perspectives on identity, practice and association. This penetrating book slices through the cliches and blind alleys of discussions around the knowledge society to reveal the tendons of contemporary change. Written with insight and panache the book explains the momentous nature of the changes associated with the know

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761953487
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 6/25/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.76 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nico Stehr is Senior Research Fellow, Sustainable Development Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Canada

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Excursus
Fragility
PART ONE: THE TEXTURE OF MODERN SOCIETIES
The Nation State
Functional Differentiation
Rationalizing the Irrational
Traditional and Modern Societies
The Extension of Social Conduct
PART TWO: KNOWLEDGE SOCIETIES
The Emergence of Knowledge Societies
The Society of Societies
PART THREE: KNOWLEDGE ABOUT KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge as a Capacity for Action
Culture and Knowledge
From Capacities to Realization
Incremental Knowledge
Knowledge and Information
Limits of Power and Knowledge
Excursus
Forms of Capital
PART FOUR: FUSION THROUGH DISSOLUTION
The Disappearance of Human Agency
A Surplus of Social Manipulation
Excursus
Herrshaft kraft Wissen
PART FIVE: FRAGILE SOCIAL STRUCTURES
The World of Post-Industrial Societies
Collective and Individual Capacities to Act
PART SIX: GOVERNING KNOWLEDGE SOCIETIES
The Stalled Society
The Politics of Knowledge Societies
Political Action and Knowledgeability
PART SEVEN: FRAGMENTATION AND HOMOGENIZATION OF SOCIAL LIFE
The Advent of Mass Societies
The Globalization of the World
Globalization in Historical Times
The Divisions of the World
The Reconfiguration of the Globe
PART EIGHT: POLICING KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge Politics
Regulating Knowledge
The Social Control of Knowledge Claims in Science
The Societal Regulation of Knowledge
The Virchow-Haeckel Controversy
The Public and Science
The Developments of Social Controls
Knowledge Hierarchies and Monopolies
PART NINE: EMANCIPATION AND KNOWLEDGE
The Knowledge/Power Axis
The New Risks of Knowledge
Modern Social Movements
Excursus
Knowing and Risks
PART TEN: KNOWLEDGE, UNCERTAINTY AND CONTINGENCY
Prospects or What Remains Open

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