Paper Titles in Periodical
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
Volume 54

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > Volume 54 > Ageing and the Welfare State: A Theory of Risk
< Back to Volume

Ageing and the Welfare State: A Theory of Risk

Removed due to plagiarism

Full Text PDF


How do we define "old age"? Is it a stage in life defined by a particular age or event such as retirement, is it determined by physical characteristics and the loss of independence, or is it an artifact of social structures? Indeed, is it helpful to categorize people as being "old" at all, as opposed to being "disadvantaged" or "dependent"? It may be inaccurate to expect older people to see themselves as a category with particular health needs and wants.Hence, the key task is to analyse the interplay between social policy and the lives of individuals, families or groups and communities. The expectation of negative events in the future and the different ways of how to respond to such expectations is central for the sociological approach to risk and uncertainty (Zinn 2004). Part of this reflexive response is the importance of recognising self-subjective dimensions of emotions, trust, biographical knowledge and resources (Zinn 2005) that impinge on the existential shaping old age. Hence, our discussion provides a critical narrative to the importance to the study of old age and welfarism in America and Europe.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 54)
J. L. Powell, "Ageing and the Welfare State: A Theory of Risk", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 54, pp. 77-87, 2015
Online since:
June 2015

[1] Adam, B,. Beck, U., and Joost Van , L (2002), The Risk Society and Beyond: Critical Issues for Social Theory, London: Sage.

[2] Adams, J (1995), Risk. London: UCL Press.

[3] Arber, S. and Attias-Donfut C., 2000: The Myth of Generational Conflict. London: Routledge.

[4] Baker, T. / Simon, J. 2002: Embracing Risk. S. 1-32 in: Baker, Tom, Jonathan Simon (Hg.): Embracing risk: the changing culture of insurance and responsibility. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


[5] Bauman, Z., 1992: Intimations of Postmodernity. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

[6] Beck, U. (1986), Riskogesellschaft: Auf dem Weg in eine andere Moderne. Franfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.

[7] Beck, U. (1992b), Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, London: Sage.

[8] Beck, U. (1994), The Reinvention of Politics: Towards a Theory of Reflexive Modernization in U. Beck, A. Giddens and S. Lash, Reflexive Modernisation: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Cambridge Polity Press.


[9] Beck, U. (1995), Ecological Politics in the Age of Risk, Cambridge: Polity Press.

[10] Beck, U. (1996), Risk Society and the Provident State,, in S. Lash, B. Szerzynski and B. Wynne (eds), Risk Environment and Modernity: Towards a new Ecology. London, Sage.

[11] Beck, U., Giddens, A., and Lash, S., (1994), Reflexive Modernisation: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Cambridge Polity Press.

[12] Beck, U. (2001) World Risk Society, London: Polity Press.

[13] Best, F., 1980: Flexible Life Scheduling. New York: Praeger.

[14] Bonss, W. 1995: Vom Risiko: Unsicherheit und Ungewissheit in der Moderne. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition.

[15] Bonß, W. 1997: Die gesellschaftliche Konstruktion von Sicherheit. S. 21-41 in: Lippert, E., A. Prüfert und G. Wachtler (Eds.): Sicherheit in der unsicheren Gesellscahft. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.


[16] Bonss, W. / Zinn, J. 2005: Erwartbarkeit, Glück und Vertrauen - Zum Wandel biographischer Sicherheitskonstruktionen in der Moderne, Soziale Welt, 56(2/3):79-98.


[17] Castel, R. (1991), From Dangerousness to Risk in G. Burchell, C. Gordon and P. Miller (eds), The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality. London: Harvester / Wheatsheaf: 281-298.

[18] Caplan, P. (eds) (2000), Risk Revisited, London: Pluto Press.

[19] Caplan, P. (2000), Risk Revisited – Introduction in P. Caplan (eds) Risk Revisited, London: Pluto Press.

[20] Caplan, P. (2000), Eating British Beef with Confidence': A Consideration of Consumers', Responses to BSE in Britain,, in P. Caplan (eds) Risk Revisited, London: Pluto Press.


[21] Douglas, M. and Wildavsky, A. (1983), Risk and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[22] Estes, C. and Associates, 2001: Social Policy and Aging. Thousand Oaks: Sage Books.

[23] Ewald, F. (1993), Two infinities of risk in B. Massumi (eds), The Politics of Everyday Fear. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

[24] Giddens, A., 1990: The Consequences of Modernity. Oxford: Polity Press.

[25] Giddens, A. (1991), Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late-Modern Age. Cambridge: Polity.

[26] Giddens,A. (1998) The Third Way; The Renewal of Social democracy Cambridge, Polity Press.

[27] Gilleard, C., and Higgs, P., 2000: Cultures of Ageing: self, citizen and the body. London: Prentice-Hall.

[28] Kasperson, R. E. (2005): Introduction and Overview. In: J. X Kasperson, and R. E Kasperson,.: The Social Contours of Risk. Volume I: Publics, Risk Communication & the Social Amplification of Risk. London – Sterling, VA: Earthscan, pp.1-16.


[29] Klein, N (2001 ), No Logo in a Branded World. New York, Flamingo Press.

[30] Krohn, W. and Krücken, G. (1993) Riskante Technologien: Reflexion und Regulation. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp.

[31] Latour, B. and Woolgar, S. (1986): Laboratory life: the construction of scientific facts. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

[32] Latour, B, (1993): We have never been modern. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

[33] Leonard, P., 1997: Postmodern Welfare. London: Sage.

[34] Loewenstein, G., E. Weber, C. Hsee, N. Welch, 2001: Risks as feelings, Psychological Bulletin, 127(2):267-86.

[35] Lowe, R., 1993: The Welfare State in Britain since 1945. London: Macmillan.

[36] Luhmann, N., 1989: Ecological Communication. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[37] Luhmann, N., 1993: Risk: A Sociological Theory. Berlin / New York: de Gruyter.

[38] Lupton, D (1999), Risk, London: Routledge.

[39] Luhmann, N. (1993), Risk: A Sociological Theory. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

[40] Reddy, S. (1996), Claims to Expert Knowledge and the Subversion of Democracy: The Triumph of Risk over Uncertainty in Economy and Society, 25 (2), 222-54.


[41] Macnicol, J., 1998: The Politics of Retirement in Britain, 1878-1948. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[42] Otway, H., B. Wynne, 1989: Risk Communication: Paradigm and Paradox, Risk Analysis, 9, pp.141-145.

[43] Phillipson, C., 1998: The social construction of retirement: perspectives from critical theory and political economy. In M. Minkler and C. Estes, Critical Gerontology: Perspectives from Political and Moral Economy. New York: Baywood.


[44] Phillipson, C. and Powell, J L. 2004. Risk, Social Welfare and Old Age, article in Tulle, E (Ed.) Old Age and Human Agency, Nova Science Publishers.

[45] Powell, J.L (2005) Social Theory and Aging, Rowman and Littlefield: New York.

[46] Powell, Jason L. and Wahidin, A 2004. Corporate Crime, Aging and Pensions in Great Britain,, Journal of Societal and Social Policy, 3, 1, 37-55.

[47] Slovic, P, (1999): Trust, Emotion, Sex, Politics, and Science: Surveying the Risk-Assessment Battlefield, Risk Analysis, 19(4):689-701.


[48] Slovic, P; Finucane, M; Peters, E; MacGregor, D (2002): Risk as analysis and risk as feelings. Some thoughts about affect, reason, risk, and rationality. (Annual Meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 10, 2002).


[49] Stearns, P., 1977: Old Age in European Society: The Cast of France. London: Croom Helm.

[50] Thane, P., 2000: Old Age in English History: Past Experiences, Present Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


[51] Townsend, P. and Wedderburn D., 1965: The Aged in the Welfare State. London: Bell.

[52] Townsend, P., 1981: The structured dependency of the elderly: the creation of social policy in the twentieth century, Ageing and Society, (1 (1): 5-28.

[53] Tversky, A. und D. Kahneman, (1974): Judement under uncrtainty: Heursitics and Biases, Science, 185:1127-1131.

[54] Tulloch, J. and Lupton, D. (2003), Risk and Everyday Life, London: Sage.

[55] Vincent, J., 1995: Inequality of Old Age. London: UCL Press.

[56] Vincent, J., 1999: Politics, Power and Old Age. Buckingham: Open University Press.

[57] Virilio, P. (1983), Pure War, New York: Semiotext (e).

[58] Walker, A and Naegele (1999) The Politics of Old Age in Europe, Milton Keynes: OUP.

[59] Wynne, B., 1987: Risk Management and Hazardous Waste. Berlin: Springer.

[60] Zinn, J. O. (2004): Health, Risk and Uncertainty in the Life Course: A Typology of Biographical Certainty Constructions, Social Theory & Health, 2:199-221.


[61] Zinn, J. O. (2005): The biographical approach - a better way to understand behaviour in health and illness? Health, Risk & Society, 7(1):1-9.


[62] Zinn, J. O. and Taylor-Gooby, P. 2006: The challenge of (managing) new risks and uncertainties. In: P. Taylor-Gooby,. and J.O Zinn, (Eds.): Risk in Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ( Received 04 June 2015; accepted 18 June 2015 ).

Show More Hide
Cited By:
This article has no citations.