OUTLOOK ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC PROCESS FROM THE FRAMEWORK OF ULRICH BECK’S RISK SOCIETY THEORY


Akay E. , Palabıyık N.

in: THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID–19: RAPID TRANSFORMATION OF THE 21ST CENTURY SOCIETY, Hamza Şimşek,Marcel Mečiar, Editor, IJOPEC PUBLICATION, London, pp.171-186, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: IJOPEC PUBLICATION
  • City: London
  • Page Numbers: pp.171-186
  • Editors: Hamza Şimşek,Marcel Mečiar, Editor

Abstract

Throughout the ages, world societies have been classified based on certain characteristics unique to them. Such classifications are based on the formal qualities revealed by the scientific and technological developments that shape societies. Acccording to some authors, with the scientific and technological developments experienced, modernism has now completed its evolution and entered a new era for today’s societies. Scientific studies defining this new social era and revealing its framework have attempted to determine the characteristics of the new society by developing different concepts. These include Bell’s “Post-Industrial Society”, Manuel Castells’ “Network Society”, and Anthony Giddens’ “Late Modernity” studies. The common point of these conceptualizations is the reality of the globalized world created by scientific and technological development and its reflections. In the literature, the view that defines today’s societies as post-modern societies is also very common. Ulrich Beck used “Rick Society” concept to define the stage after industrial society. Beck, defined “risk” as the state of being systematically faced with the threats posed by the modernization process. The strategies that arise depending on the impacts of the said risk on society in the scope of “Risk Society” concept. Beck points out that as a result of the insecurity, uncertainty and uncontrollability faced by the new society, which he names the emerging risk society, all national, local, class and individual spheres are affected and have to change. He builds Risk Society Theory on this basis. Accordingly, societies faced with great threats feel that they are not safe and enter into an ongoing struggle to escape. In order to prevent this situation, it is accepted that reflexive modernization should be adopted. Beck, who is the pioneer of the theory of risk society pointed out that modernity must now face the consequences it creates. Modernity must be reshaped as it reflects on itself. In this study, the social order emerged in the context of the new risk and uncertainty perception caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was started as a pneumonia epidemic caused by a novel coronavirus in Wuhan city of China in December 2019 and then spread to many countries of the world to create a global crisis was tried to be explained in relation to Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society Theory.