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Beck on two forms of social integration

In his final book Metamorphosis Ulrich Beck contrasts two forms of social integration. As he writes on pg 168-169:

If one understands the communities of world cities in this sense as ‘cosmopolitan communities of global risk’, however, one must abandon the widespread assumption in the social sciences that community-building is possible only on the basis of positive integration through shared values and norms. Instead, it supports the thesis that another form of community-building is also possible, one which arises in the course of conflicts over negative values (crises, risks, threats of annihilation)–the thesis of emancipatory catastrophism.

The first is the classical Durkheimian conception of social integration. The second is akin to Dewey’s conception of the public and their problems. It hadn’t occurred to me to frame the latter as a form of social integration but that is undoubtedly what it is, with people coming together out of a shared concern reflecting the consequences which a risk has for them.

Categories: Platform and agency Things to think about

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