• Technoculture and risk
• Name:- Sejal Chauhan
• Paper:- 8 –The Cultural Studies
• Roll No:- 28
• M.A. Part-1 Sem-2
• Submitted to:-Smt. S.B.Gardi
Department of English
Texts Politics Images Meanings Beliefs Artefacts
Practice Professions Age Ritual Subjectivity
Identity Class Nationality Ethnicity Value Sexuality
Tools Machines Materials Processes inputs Outputs
Interfaces Waste State of art Standards Techniques
Technoculture and Risk
Contemporary critical theory has had to negotiate
with massive environmental disaster,indutrial
disaster and other cataclysmic events.
Much contemporary social theory examines the role
such events play in culture.
One of the most influential of such theories is that of
the risk society.
For example: -
PC :- Risk+Solution
You will discover that PC gives you information on all
the risks involved in using it : virus, ‘illegal operation’,
repeated striking of the shift key, corruption of the
hard drive and so on.
Notice that both risk and solution are embedded in
the same system.
Do you see the use of technology as risky,and that
same technology asks you to buy more protection to
Ulrich Beck propounded the influential ‘risk society’
thesis in Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.
Risk, Beck inform us, is not real,risk are about ‘becoming
As soon as risks become real, they cease being risks, and
become, instead, disaster.
Risks then get displayed to other ‘sites’: future disasters.
Thus risks are potential disasters.
We live in an increasingly technologized world.
Global capitalism the immediate geopolitical context of
our nation states runs on the engines of information and
Our everyday life from shopping to education depends
heavily on technology,with greater or lesser of both
efficiency and necessity.
• Beck begins by ‘suggesting that technoscience in
industrial society has generated numerous dangers.
• Industrial society is based on the production and
distribution of goods which are required to fill the
‘scarcity’ within society.
• Society is based on scarcity and the removal of
scarcity can handle goods and needs only when they
catualize, as ‘visible’.
• Such a system can not handle the risks and hazards
of industrial production and dustribution.
• But as long as risk is secondary to scarcity or needs
industrial society has no problems.
• In other words, risk generates solution which
generate more risk.
• Individualized beings experience newer forms of
insecurity and anxieties.
• We have here culture of warnings – in banks railway
coaches , malls, in fact any place you go discover
warning against all sort of dangers and risks.
• Van Loon argues that this risk information is not only
produced by science and governance, but also by
• Each of the above objects can be made safe, and the
‘safety’ lies in acquiring newer merchandized
• The very technological systems geared towards
greater security and safety, instill greater risk
sensibilities: we become increasingly anxious about
potential threats to our health and safety precisely
when we are fed information from technologies.
• The McAfee antivirus scanning software that runs
with ‘hotmail’ warns us: ‘Don’t become a statistic’,
and tells us exactly what could go wrong with virus
infection of our PCs.
with increasing and easier access to information and the
risk of releasing confidential information – ex : credit
cards numbers and residential address by children via the
Internet have both in creased considerably.
Such technologies engender risks while simultaneously
providing solutions to such risks.
Risk thus generates commerce via a surfeit of
information about risk.
Thus, when technoscience reveals the risk involved in
contamination and other newer problems which were
previously unknown, it also delivers information about
these risks like what are the possible effects/dangers of
certain objects/events such as bacteria or genetic
Then it reprodused the risks by making us aware of
Thus Risk theory for Cultural Studies reveals the
extent that society/ culture thrives on risk, providing
information about risk potential, possible solutions
and so on .
Risk theory reflects on the psycho-social impact of
technoculture where cultural responses to new
devices are based upon an awareness that they
create new risks.