Beck's alternative vision is centred on the concept of active citizens democratically organized in local, and increasingly also regional or transnational, networks. Against the threat of social exclusion, everyone can and must have a right to be included in a new definition and distribution of work. This will involve constant movement between formal employment (with a major reduction in working hours) and forms of self-organized artistic, cultural and political 'civil labour', providing equal access to comprehensive social protection. The aim must be to turn insecurity around, so that it becomes a positive and enriching discontinuity of life.
Drawing on his earlier work on risk and reflexive modernization, The Brave New World of Work is also closely linked to his studies on globalization and individualization. These processes are part of the same challenge upon which a politics of modernity must now base itself. Not only the future of work, but also the very survival of democracy and the welfare state will depend on the development of a newly committed and 'multi-active' transnational citizenship.
This book will be of great interest to second- and third-year students in sociology, politics, geography and the social sciences generally. It will also appeal to a broader audience interested in the issues and debates surrounding the changing nature of work.
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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'Beck does it again - just as he challenged us in the 1990s to
shift attention from capital to risk, now he calls on us to turn
from paid work to civil labour in creating a postnational
cosmopolitan society. This is the kind of pace-setting radical
thinking necessary to keep up with the breakneck speed of change in
the Global Age. Yet, another bravura performance.' Martin
Albrow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,and
University of Surrey Roehampton
"Beck develops an intelligent andc well written alternative
scenario to current models of work" Thomas Klikauer, University
of western Sydney
'In a brief but compelling book, Beck details the problems and
prospects for societies that remain trapped by an ideology focused
on work ... This well-written book raises important questions and
challenges dominant assumptions. It should be useful to a variety
of levels and disciplines.' Choice
'There is no shortage of books about the future of work. This
one is well worth reading. It greatly extends and devlops Beck's
discussion of the "destandardization of labour" in his Risk
Society, and makes a contribution which is original, complex,
subtle, wide-ranging ... always stimulating.' Work, Employment
'This book will be popular with non-academic audiences and will prove useful in getting students to think critically about the nature of society and the workplace' Progress in Human Geography 26, 1
2. The Antithesis to the Work Society.
3. The Transition from the First to the Second Modernity: Five Challenges.
4. The Future of Work and Its Scenarios: An Interim Balance-Sheet.
5. The Risk Regime: How the Work Society is Becoming Risk Society.
6. A Thousand Worlds of Insecure Work: Europe's Future Glimpsed in Brazil.
7. The Great Example? Work and Democracy in America.
8. Vision of the Future I: The Europe of Civic Labour.
9. Vision of the Future II: Postnational Civil Society.