Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order
Stanford University Press, 1994 - Social Science - 225 pages
The theme of reflexivity has come to be central to social analysis. In this book three prominent social thinkers discuss the implications of "reflexive modernization" for social and cultural theory today.
Ulrich Beck's vision of the "risk society" has already become extraordinarily influential. Beck offers a new elaboration of his basic ideas, connecting reflexive modernization with new issues to do with the state and political organization.
Giddens offers an in-depth examination of the connections between "institutional reflexivity" and the de-traditionalizing of the modern world. We are entering, he argues, a phase of the development of a global society. A "global society" is not a world society, but one with universalizing tendencies.
Lash develops the theme of reflexive modernization in relation the aesthetics and the interpretation of culture. In this domain, he suggests, we need to look again at the conventional theories of postmodernism; "aesthetic modernization" has distinctive qualities that need to be uncovered and analyzed.
In the concluding sections of the book, the three authors offer critical appraisals of each other's viewpoints, providing a synthetic conclusion to the work as a whole.
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abstract systems action active trust Adorno aesthetic reflexivity ambivalence Anthony Giddens autonomy Bauman Beck and Giddens Beck's become Bourdieu Cambridge capitalism capitalist cognitive communicative rationality compulsive concept context corporatist critical critique cultural deconstruction democracy democratic discourse disembedding ditions dominant ecological economic effectively emotional ethics everyday example expert expert-systems expertise firms forms formulaic truth fundamental genogram Giddens's global groups guardians Habermas hermeneutic high modernity human increasingly individual industrial society information and communication institutional reflexivity instrumental rationality involved issue Jürgen Habermas knowledge labour Lash life-world Marxism mediation mimesis mimetic mode nature neo-tribalism notion political possible post-traditional postmodern practices premodern problems production question radical rational-legal authority rationality reflexive modernity relations relationship risk society ritual Scott Lash semantic sense shared meanings signifier simple modernity sociology sort sphere sub-politics theory of reflexive things tion tradition Ulrich Beck Weber