Allgemeinbildung: readiness for living in risk society
Sociologists increasingly note that one lives in a risk society, characterized by the unpredictable consequences of techno-scientific innovation and production and by increasing complexity. Life in risk society, particularly in truly democratic societies, increasingly requires competencies not only to understand and change one's own circumstances but also to participate in collective decision-making and to care for others who, for various reasons, have less control over their circumstances. It is argued that Allgemeinbildung encompasses exactly the kind of competencies that are required by risk society. Concrete case materials are presented to illustrate participation in risk society by adults and educational contexts that allow children to develop Allgemeinbildung.