Technologies of the Self in the Age of Catastrophes, Pat O’Malley


@20mins from The Future of Risk–Pat O’Malley- From Risk to Resilience.
Notions of risk have become central to contemporary forms of governmentality and been the subject of extensive research and theorizing over the past decade. Much scholarship on risk has focused on the late nineteenth century displacement of ideas of individual responsibility and fault by methods of cost distribution, such as workmen’s compensation schemes, that would distribute the burden of accidents and risk more evenly throughout society without paying close attention to the attribution of blame. After the mid-twentieth century, thought regarding risk and insurance began to reimagine individual responsibility by using risk calculations and prediction to determine individual outcomes and responsibilize lower-level employees and actors. Expert forms of knowledge concerning individual risk (medical, juridical, scientific, psychiatric, carceral) are institutionalized as a way to assuage popular insecurities and, by the turn of the century, we see notions of risk beginning to be usurped by principles of precaution, cultures of safety, and other techniques to address uncertainty.

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