Modernity as Experience and Interpretation
By (author) Peter Wagner
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Modernity as Experience and Interpretation by Peter Wagner
Book DescriptionWe are all modern today. But modernity today is not what it used to be. Over the past few decades, modernity has been radically changed by globalization, individualization, new inequalities, and fundamentalism. A novel way of analysing contemporary societies is needed. This book proposes such an analysis. Every society seeks answers to certain basic questions: how to order life in common; how to satisfy human needs; how to establish knowledge. Sociology long assumed that the answers had been found once and for all: a liberal-democratic state, a market economy, and free scientific institutions. This trinity used to be called 'modern society'. By contrast, this book is based on the idea that, under conditions of modernity, there are no stable and certain answers to these questions. There is a plurality of possible answers, every proposed answer can be criticized and contested, and every society needs to find its answer on its own. This new sociology of modernity proposes two key instruments through which to understand the answers given to those questions: the experiences human beings have of their own modernity and the interpretations they give to those experiences. It reviews the history of 'Western' modernity in this light and then focuses on the specific answers that were and are being developed in Europe.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780745642185
(237mm x 162mm x 29mm)
Imprint: Polity Press
Publisher: Polity Press
Publish Date: 11-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Peter Wagner
Trouble with Democracy, Hardback (December 2015)
Is democracy here to stay? On one hand, the commitment to democracy is widely shared than ever. On the other, popular will has a decreasing impact on political decisions. This book places our political condition in its historical context, reconsiders key issues of political thought and compares current democracies across different world regions.
Progress: A Reconstruction, Hardback (November 2015)
The idea of progress guided human expectations and actions for over two centuries. From the Enlightenment onwards, it was widely believed that the condition of humankind could be radically improved. History had embarked on an unstoppable forward trajectory, realizing the promise of freedom and reason.
African, American and European Trajectories of Modernity, Hardback (March 2015)» View all books by Peter Wagner
Links the history of Europe to world history, situating European modernity in its global context. This book asks why, from some moment onwards, 'Europe' and 'the rest of the world' entered into a particular relationship.
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Author Biography - Peter Wagner
Peter Wagner is Professor of Social and Political Theory at the European University Institute.
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