We can analyse different aspects of our lives and careers in terms of the ’risks’ described by Ulrich Beck.

Working in pairs:

  1. Carry out a content analysis of some newspapers. What ‘risks’ do they identify? Classify them into different sorts of risk (e.g. health risks, crime risks)
  2. Can you think of examples of how you have changed your own behaviour as a result of risks that you perceive?
  3. Assess the potential risks that might result from a decision one way or the other:
    a) The decision whether or not to marry at age 22.
    b) The decision whether to take a year out in a job rather than go to university directly from school.
    c) The decision whether or not to resign from a job in order to spend a year travelling round the world.
    d) The decision whether or not to move on retirement to a bungalow by the sea.
  4. Explain why a person living in 1900 might be less likely to have faced such risks.