Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Hung Cam Thai

Reader 2

Sarah Stefanos

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© 2022 Nathalie E. Marx


Postmodernity has been dictated by a thirst for advancement, efficiency, and discovery. It has also created unimaginable risk: threats of nuclear war, frightening climate events, unreliable economic systems. This thesis investigates the tension between external risks, threat of future instability, and individual action and resistance. Through an analysis of twelve in-depth interviews with young millennials, I suggest that through perceived “zones of security,” individuals develop cognitive schemata to calculate the probability of their own, and others’, ontological continuity. This paper contributes to the scarce collection of sociological literature that represents the modern, intersecting crises which might contribute to a culture of fear and instability and responds to postmodern theorists, Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, and Zygmunt Bauman, with empirical research. Additionally, the findings place heightened emphasize on the connection between individual histories and patterns of social behavior and how personal pasts influence one’s constructed imagination of society’s future.