Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on the concept of risk in society. The advances in industry and science carry new risks that have changed aspects of human existence. In a world that has moved past mere survival to an ever-increasing concern with the quality of life, the concept of risk has evolved and changed to reflect a society that accepts catastrophic potentials in order to embrace scientific and technological advancement.
In understanding risk, an understanding of potential outcomes must be reached. Unfortunately, an evaluation that has taken into consideration all potential outcomes is very rare and it is the unknown outcome that creates a deeper level of catastrophe when that potential is reached. According to Carter and Jordan (Bromley, et al 2009, p. 59), when risk is considered, the possible uncertainties must be considered as well. In other words, risk must be evaluated by understanding that all risks cannot be foreseen. The evaluation of risk has the added consequence of the certainty that the evaluation has not taken into consideration all possibilities. Therefore, any evaluation will have gaps in understanding all potential outcomes.
Social theorist Ulrich Beck has postulated a series of theories that are concerned with .the role of risk in society. He contends that in a world where scientific theory and advancement has profoundly affected the quality of life, the social consciousness of the potentials associated with those risks has become heightened. Adam . (2002, p. 11) contends that as a result “we have developed greater knowledge and sensitivity towards the unintended consequences of our actions.” Therefore, Beck (Adam 2002, p. 11) suggests that risk now must be associated with decision making.
Risk has also been developed into a form of business. Insurance is the business of evaluating the value of undesirable consequences. However, according to Adam (2002, p.12), risk has become so complex and without a calculable definition, that it has now lost its point of ultimate reference. In order to assess the value of risk, one must be able to bring about the value of the consequence. One must see that consequence to assess its value. In an industrialized world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to assess all the multiple variances that are possible and therefore the risk of the insurance company in covering the risks taken becomes a more risky proposition.