THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF 'TECHNOLOGICAL RISK' (Spoleczna konstrukcja ryzyka technologicznego)
The decisions concerning post-modern technologies, which have many good and bad (and often hardly predictable) consequences that modify our world, involve difficult scientific, political and axiological questions. The management of technological risk ever more frequently leads to social conflicts where expert knowledge clashes with (not always manifested) preferences regarding the desirable socio-economic development of our world. These 'technological conflicts', being an area where the legitimization of both science and authority are questioned, create, nevertheless, the platform for the solution of this crisis. The article reviews the range of sociological problems related to the management and communication of technological risk as well as to its social representation (both in the form of common-sense and scientific knowledge). It also indicates the trans-disciplinary and philosophical dimensions of this issue and stresses the importance and social functions of the democratic debate on the risk and advantages of post-modern technology and their governance.
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