Civilization and Its Contents

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Stanford University Press, 2004 - History - 188 pages
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"Civilization" is a constantly invoked term. It is used by both politicians and scholars. How useful, in fact, is this term? Civilization and Its Contents traces the origins of the concept in the eighteenth century. It shows its use as a colonial ideology, and then as a support for racism. The term was extended to a dead society, Egyptian civilization, and was appropriated by Japan, China, and Islamic countries. This latter development lays the groundwork for the contemporary call for a "dialogue of civilizations." The author proposes instead that today the use of the term "civilization" has a global meaning, with local variants recognized as cultures. It may be more appropriate, however, to abandon the name "civilization" and to focus on a new understanding of the civilizing process.

 

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Contents

1 The Origins and Importance of the Concept of Civilization
1
2 Civilization as Colonial Ideology
20
3 Civilization as European Ideology
49
4 The Civilizing Process
73
5 Other Civilizations
91
6 The Dialogue of Civilizations in a Global Epoch
112
7 Conclusions
138
Notes
165
Index
179
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AmEuropa
Kent M. Chater
No preview available - 2007

About the author (2004)

Bruce Mazlish is Professor of History Emeritus at the Massachuset Institute of Technology and Founding Director of the New Global History Initiative.

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