Zinn, Jens O. (2005) Biographical Certainty in Reflexive Modernity. In: Narrative, Memory & Everyday Life. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 87-95.

As a result of continuous social change it seems more and more difficult today
to produce biographical certainty in the sense of clear expectations and the
shaping of one’s own life-course. What was previously taken for granted is
being transformed into (real or apparent) decisions by means of social
individualization processes and individual processes of building up one’s
biography (Beck, 1992). Life courses are no longer simply given, but
(allegedly) dependent on decisions, and if this premise is accepted, the pressure
on individuals to make the right decisions increase.
Against this background, the essay aims to determine the different action
and interpretation patters with which biographical certainty is created under the
conditions of a systematically uncertain world. A typology of biographical
certainty developed on the basis of qualitative interviews will be presented. At
the end of the essay, the results will be discussed against the background of the
thesis of a fundamental change or structural rupture within modernity (Beck,
1992; Beck et al., 2003).

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