European modernity and beyond: the trajectory of European societies, 1945-2000
In this book one of Europe's foremost sociologists offers a profound and accessible overview of the trajectory of European societies, East and West, since the end of World War II. Combining theoretical depth with factual analysis, Göran Therborn addresses the questions that underpin an understanding of the nature of European modernity: To what extent is the period 1945-2000 producing fundamental change and what are the areas of continuity? Have the societies of Europe become more similar to others on the globe or more distinctively European? Are they more differentiated or more similar to each other? What are the prospects of Europe after decades of postwar change and after the end of the Cold War? These questions are addressed through an analysis of contemporary Europe from a number of fresh angles. Issues covered include the division of paid and unpaid labour, patterns of rights in different social spheres, the development of mass consumption, the evolution of risks, the spatial range of economic and cultural change, collective memory and identities, the geography of happiness, and modes of collective action. The author also relates these issues to the two great social steering projects of the period - socialism in the East and the European Union in the West. European Modernity and Beyond relates a wealth of empirical detail to a critical view of the grand picture. It is essential reading for all students of the politics and sociology of Europe and contemporary industrial societies.
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Europe in Modern History
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