Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Ulrich Beck, "Risk Society" and the Media: A Catastrophic View?

Cottle, Simon ORCID: 1998. Ulrich Beck, "Risk Society" and the Media: A Catastrophic View? European Journal of Communication 13 (1) , pp. 5-32. 10.1177/0267323198013001001

Full text not available from this repository.


Ulrich Beck has placed ideas of `risk society' on the intellectual map; his social theory of late modern society and its endemic production of potentially catastrophic risks has attracted, rightly, considerable academic interest in Europe and beyond. Dispersed across his writings is a view of the mass media which is theoretically positioned as playing a crucial role in processes of risk revelation, the social contestation that surrounds scientific knowledge of risks, and also processes of social challenge to `risk society'. It is surprising, then, that his ideas have so far been largely ignored by mass communication researchers — especially by those working in the fields of risk communication and the environment. This article offers a critical exposition of Beck's ideas on the mass media in `risk society'. It indicates how these are indebted to his wider social theoretical views on the historically unprecedented nature of contemporary `risks' and processes of `reflexive modernization', and opens them up to engaged discussion and criticism. Beck's thesis speaks to the conditions of our time and provides theoretical coordinates of potential use to mass communication researchers. It can be criticized nonetheless for its uneven, underdeveloped and often contradictory positions on the mass media.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecology; environment; media; reflexive modernization; risks; risk society
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0267-3231
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:36

Citation Data

Cited 145 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item