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Biographical Certainty in Reflexive Modernity

By Jens O. Zinn


As a result of continuous social change it seems more and more difficult today\ud to produce biographical certainty in the sense of clear expectations and the\ud shaping of one’s own life-course. What was previously taken for granted is\ud being transformed into (real or apparent) decisions by means of social\ud individualization processes and individual processes of building up one’s\ud biography (Beck, 1992). Life courses are no longer simply given, but\ud (allegedly) dependent on decisions, and if this premise is accepted, the pressure\ud on individuals to make the right decisions increase.\ud Against this background, the essay aims to determine the different action\ud and interpretation patters with which biographical certainty is created under the\ud conditions of a systematically uncertain world. A typology of biographical\ud certainty developed on the basis of qualitative interviews will be presented. At\ud the end of the essay, the results will be discussed against the background of the\ud thesis of a fundamental change or structural rupture within modernity (Beck,\ud 1992; Beck et al., 2003)

Topics: BF, HM
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

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