Advertisement

Taming Risks through Dialogues: the Rationality and Functionality of Discursive Institutions in Risk Society

  • Klaus Eder
Chapter

Abstract

‘Discourse,’ in the sense of communicative and argumentative interaction, has become a concept central to the understanding of modern society and its culture. This notion is now also gaining importance in the field of environmental studies. In this context, the term refers to the problem of how to communicate rationally about risks in modern society. Discourse is seen as a solution to environmental problems, as an institutional form especially well-suited to what Ulrich Beck refers to as ‘risk society.’ Discourse thus appears not only as a rational, but also as a functional, device for addressing the collective risks generated by modern societies.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    R. Wuthnow, Communities of Discourse: Ideology and Social Structure in the Reformation, Enlightenment, and European Socialism ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990 ).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See J. Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action: Lifeworld and System. A Critique of Functionalist Reason, Volume II (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1987). The normative aspect has been taken up again in ‘Facticity and Validity’ (German edition 1992 ).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    S. Benhabib, Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    See U. Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (London: Sage, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    K. Eder, ‘Die Dynamik demokratischer Institutionenbildung: Strukturelle Voraussetzungen deliberativer Demokratie in fortgeschrittenen Industriegesell-schaften,’ Kölner Zeitschrift far Soziologie and Sozialpsychologie, 35 (1995): 327–45.Google Scholar
  6. 23.
    Vegetarian movements, health movements, and communal movements are cases to be studied in such contexts. See K. Eder, The Social Construction of Nature: A Sociology of Ecological Enlightenment ( London: Sage, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  7. See also J. Gusfield, Nature’s Body and the Metaphors of Food,’ pp. 75–103 in M. Lamont and M. Fournier, eds, Cultivating Differences: Symbolic Boundaries and the Making of Inequality ( Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Eder

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations