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Download Mobilising Modernity: The Nuclear Moment (International by Ian Welsh PDF

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By Ian Welsh

In the course of the nuclear heyday of the post-war years advocates of atomic energy promised reasonable electrical energy and a wealthy destiny. From the current, even if, this promise turns out tarnished by means of injuries, leaks and a scarcity of public self belief. Mobilising Modernity lines this trip from self belief in know-how to the anxieties of the danger Society wondering a couple of traditional wisdoms en course. Paying shut consciousness to social, political and coverage features all through, this ebook considers:* the nuclear second from international collaborative venture at Los Alamos to fragmented, bitterly competing initiatives* the 'atomic technological know-how movement's' use of symbolic assets to win nationwide ascendancy* the consequences of secrecy and the institution of quasi-commercial corporations in the nuclear industry.This attention-grabbing learn additionally argues for the continued value of the non-violent direct motion teams that flourished in the course of the Nineteen Seventies, displaying their carrying on with effect on modern-day new social pursuits. Welsh concludes via contemplating the results of this traditionally established account for modern problems with possibility and belief on present policy-making.

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Additional info for Mobilising Modernity: The Nuclear Moment (International Library of Sociology)

Sample text

The long-standing association between military capacity, economic success and political influence was another. In the context of the time the defence of the realm was an overriding imperative – something which should not be forgotten. At the national level nuclear capability became a defining feature of the political, ideological and economic anatomy of both capitalist and socialist states. The development of nuclear capability depended upon existing features of the social and cultural domain, including those centred on trust, whilst introducing novel social relations requiring cultural accommodation in the longer term.

The rational scientific discourses promoting the nuclear enterprise are underpinned by these founding symbolic registers which align science and technology with sets of deeply entrenched and culturally potent registers. By associating the future of the social formation, even civilisation, with nuclear technology any opposition appears equally hostile to both nuclear technology and civilisation. The kind of binding commitment to irreversible technological trajectories, like the nuclear case require the articulation of a competing view of what it is to be civilised, what it is to be modern.

One the one hand sub-politics leading to reflection is acknowledged as existing at the level of particular plants or industries by Beck. Like Weber then, there is no society-wide consciousness, rather a patchwork of heightened sensibilities. This leaves the problem of collective mobilisation and change substantively unaddressed. Beck’s main redress to this relies on the exercise of defining power knowledge by the media over particular risk issues. In this manner Beck sees the cultural capital and skills of the middle classes intervening within risk debates.

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