The question as to whether we are now entering a risk society has become a key debate in contemporary social theory. Risk and Technological Culture presents a critical discussion of the main theories of risk from Ulrich Becks foundational work to that of his contemporaries such as Anthony Giddens and Scott Lash and assesses the extent to which risk has impacted on modern societies. In this discussion van Loon demonstrates how new technologies are transforming the character of risk and examines the relationship between technological culture and society through substantive chapters on topics such as waste, emerging viruses, communication technologies and urban disorders. In so doing this innovative new book extends the debate to encompass theorists such as Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari and Jean-Francois Lyotard.
Introduction: Technological Culture and Risk; Cultivating Risk: Paradoxality in the Work of Ulrich Beck; The Enrolment of Risks in Technocultural Practices: Notes on Actor Network Theory; Assemblages and Deviations: Biophilosophy Encounters Technocultural Risks; Cultivating Waste: Excessive Risks in an Economy of Opportunities; Emergent Pathogen Virulence: Understanding Epidemics in Apocalypse Culture; Cyberrisks; Media Technologies and Collective Violence: Engineering Moral Panics; Recuperation: Viroid Politics