Beck back in the 19th century: towards a genealogy of risk society
Title: Beck back in the 19th century: towards a genealogy of risk society
Author: FRESSOZ, Jean-Baptiste
Citation: History and technology, 2007, 23, 4, 333-350
This article aims at historicizing the 'risk society' thesis (Ulrich Beck). I first present an important book by Eugène Huzar, La Fin du monde par la science (Paris: Dentu, 1855). The author reflects upon the global catastrophes produced by new technologies and tries to imagine a safer way of governing science and nature. I contextualize this work by providing a series of case studies on various 19th-century technological controversies (ranging from deforestation to vaccination and the chemical industry). I argue that, in every case, what is usually put under the label 'resistance' to progress was in fact crucial for the shaping of safer technologies.
Subject: Genealogy; History; Technological change; New technology; Resistance; Risk; Historical analysis; Beck, Ulrich
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