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Identity, uncertainty and responsibility: privileging place in a risk society

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That young people today reside within social worlds of unprecedented 'risk' is a persuasive position. While such discourses have become increasingly pervasive, there has been little interest in exploring contemporary shifts within specific socio-geographic contexts: place has been largely invisible. This paper considers Ulrich Beck's 'risk society' theses as a framework for exploring the experiences of 85 young residents of a regional Australian centre. These young people's stories revealed complex and often contradictory, tensions in relation to identity, uncertainty and responsibility. Socio-geographic location was found to be a significant feature in the negotiation and repercussion of these young people's lives.

Keywords: Beck; identity; responsibility; risk; rural; uncertainty

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia 2: School of Rural Health, University of Melbourne, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2008


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