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Modernity and Identity. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2248458
  • Book
  • January 1992
  • 392 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Modernity and Identity is a groundbreaking collective work which announces a radical new departure within contemporary debates on modernism and postmodernism.

While dominant conceptions of both modernism and postmodernism are centered around motions of statis and fixity, for most of the otherwise quite diverse writers in this book, modernity is a matter of movement, of flux, of change and of unpredictability.

Modernity and postmodernity are shown to mean, not the 'end of the subject' but the transformation and creation of new forms of subjectivity. Anthropological concepts are brought squarely into the heart of the modernity controversies, which are then recast in the context of tradition, globalization and of the crisis of identity in a newly de-centred world system.

The possibility of a third way is opened up, rejecting the opposition between the impersonal rationality of high modernism and the rationalist anti-ethics of postmodernism. The vision in this book is that of another modernity, which counter-poses Baudelaire to Rousseau, and loyalist ethics to abstract blueprints for social and political reorganization.

This book will be essential reading for students of sociology, cultural studies, literary theory, anthropology, urban studies and philosophy.

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List of Contributors.


Introduction: subjectivity and modernity's Other: Scott Lash and Jonathan Friedman.

Part I: Cosmopolitan Narratives:.

1. Why modernism still matters: Marshall Berman.

2. Cosmopolitan without emancipation: a response to Lyotard: Richard Rorty.

3. Modernity as postmodernity: Jean-Françoise Lyotard: Christina Bürger.

4. The disappearance of meaning: essay at a postmodern reading of Michel Ournier, Botho Strauss and Peter Handke: Peter Bürger.

Part II: Representation and the Transformation of Identity:.

5. Popular Representation: recasting realism: Nicholas Abercrombie, Scott Lash and Brian Longhurst.

6. Popular culture and the construction of postmodern identities: Douglas Kellner.

7. Scopic regimes of modernity: Martin Jay.

8. Identity and reality: the end of the philosophical immigration officer: Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm.

Part III: Spaces of Self and Society:.

9. Postmodern urban landscapes: mapping culture and power: Sharon Zukin.

10. A modern tour in Brazil.

11. Postmodernism and the aestheticization of everyday life: Mike Featherstone.

Part IV: Modernity and the Voice of the Other:.

12. We, the people: popular culture and popular identity in modern Europe: Peter Burke.

13. Past, present and emergent identities: requirements for ethnographies of late twentieth-centuries modernity worldwide: George Marcus.

14. Narcissism, roots and postmodernity: the constitution of selfhood in the global crisis: Jonathan Friedman.


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Scott Lash Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Jonathan Friedman Universities of Lund and Copenhagen.
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