By Peter Wagner
Confusion reigns in sociological money owed of the curent of modernity. The story-lines from the 'end of the topic' to 'a new individualism', from the 'dissolution of society' to the re-emergence of 'civil society', from the 'end of modernity' to an 'other modernoity' to 'neo-modernization'. This ebook deals a sociology of modernity in phrases of a old account of social adjustments over the last centuries, concentrating on Western Europe but additionally taking a look at america and at Soviet socialism as detailed editions of modernity. A primary ambivalence of modernity is captured via the double proposal of liberty and self-discipline in its 3 significant dimensions: the relatives among person liberty and political group , betwen employer and constitution, and among in the community located human lives and extensively prolonged social associations. significant historic ameliorations of modernity are individual, the 1st one starting within the overdue 19th century and resulting in a social formation that may be known as geared up modernity, and the second one being the person who dissolves prepared modernity. it's this present transformation which revives a few key matters of the 'modern project', rules of liberty, plurality and person autonomy. however it imperils others, specifically the construction of social identities as ties among humans that let significant and socially practicable improvement of person autonomy, and the potential for politics as communicative interplay and collaborative deliberation approximately what humans have in universal.
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Additional info for A Sociology of Modernity: Liberty and Discipline
Similar processes may occur again; at the very least, the questions of social identity and political community are badly in need of new answers (Chapter 11). Chapter 2 Enablement and constraint Understanding modern institutions SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS AS SETS OF RULES AND CONVENTIONS The modernist view on contemporary society, as I have briefly portrayed it in the preceding chapter, emphasizes the autonomy of individual action, occurring in separately organized spheres of interaction each guided by its own norms.
Shaping a formalized habitualized practice, boundaries are established that secure rule-following ‘inside’ and keep those who will not or cannot follow the rules ‘outside’. 35 Formalization leads to a reduced concern for particulars of situations and to an increasing rigidity of action. A basic feature of such formalizations of actions and action possibilities is that the more extended and the more rigid an institution is, the more beneficial it is for individuals to comply with its rules than to deviate from them.
The acceptance of the idea of individual autonomy as a basic imaginary signification has—in a limited, but important sense—irreversibly transformed the conditions of social development. When he is defined as independent, the individual does not…acquire a new certainty in place of the old…. He is doomed to be tormented by a secret uncertainty…. 39 This statement is fully acceptable in terms of a political philosophy of modernity. Thus far, modernity indeed means contingency. Still, if this term were to describe a mode of social life, it probably does not hold for any historical group of actual living human beings.
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