Reflexive modernization

Reflexive modernization

Reflexive modernization is a process of modernization that is characteristic of risk society whereby progress is achieved through reorganization and reform. Science and technology as it is used for the purpose of reflexive modernization is less concerned with expanding the resource base, but rather with re-evaluating that which is already being used by society. There is a constant flow of information between science and industry, and progress is achieved through the resulting reforms and adaptations. Examples of reflexive modernization that have recently gained political momentum are sustainability and the precautionary principle.Some have argued that perhaps 'reflexive Modernization' has been re-framed and is just an expanded term that connects to the Marxian materialist conception of history - or "Historical Materialism".


Beck, Ulrich (1992) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. New Delhi: Sage. (Translated from the German "Risikogesellschaft" [] published in 1986)

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