Pervasive uncertainty in second modernity: an empirical test

Taylor-Gooby, Peter (2005) Pervasive uncertainty in second modernity: an empirical test. Sociological Research Online, 10 (4). ISSN 1360-7804. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Recent discussion of social change implies that, for a number of reasons, to do with globalisation, shifts in family life styles and labour markets, more critical attitudes toward the authority of officials and experts and greater awareness of possibilities and options, social life is more strongly affected by a sense of uncertainty. It also implies that uncertainty is pervasive and not specifically linked to fears about specific contingencies. It is associated with an orientation towards self-direction and a rejection of tradition and conformity. This thesis has been widely discussed, but rarely tested using quantitative data. This paper uses data from a recent national survey carried out by the ESRC Social Contexts and Responses to Risk network to show that uncertainty and security concerns are strong, but are in fact linked to traditionalism and conformity rather than to a critical and reflexive awareness. A high value is attached to self-direction, but this is linked to privileged social status rather than attitudes of pervasive social uncertainty. In general the values posited by recent discussion seem to be associated more closely with immediate social position than with the society-wide impact of social change.

Item Type: Article
Projects: [83] Social Contexts and Responses to Risk (SCARR)
Uncontrolled keywords: uncertainty; traditionalism; reflexivity; risk society; empirical test
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Social Policy
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2008 15:44
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2015 12:46
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