An ever-increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports and hotels, on motorways or in front of TVs, computer and cash machines. This invasion of the world by what Marc Auge calls 'non-space' results in a profound alteration of awareness: something we perceive, but only in a partial and incoherent manner. Auge uses the concept of 'supermodernity' to describe the logic of these late-capitalist phenomena—a logic of excessive information and excessive space. In this fascinating and lucid essay he seeks to establish and intellectual armature for an anthropology of supermodernity. Starting with an attempt to disentangle anthropology from history, Auge goes on to map the distinction between place, encrusted with historical monuments and creative social life, and non-place, to which individuals are connected in a uniform manner and where no organic social life is possible.
Unlike Baudelairean modernity, where old and new are interwoven, supermodernity is self-contained: from the motorway or aircraft, local or exotic particularities are presented two-dimensionally as a sort of theme-park spectacle. Auge does not suggest that supermodernity is all-encompassing: place still exist outside non-place and tend to reconstitute themselves inside it. But he argues powerfully that we are in transit through non-place for more and more of our time, as if between immense parentheses, and concludes that this new form of solitude should become the subject of an anthropology of its own.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of SupermodernityUser Review - Romina - Goodreads
Marc Augé's Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity is fascinating. His book is useful because it offers a theoretical framework for understanding why we think of some places the ... Read full review
Review: Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of SupermodernityUser Review - Lois - Goodreads
bunch of babbling and non-sense Read full review
Other editions - View all
The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture
Mark C. Taylor
Limited preview - 2003
Tourists at the Taj: Performance and Meaning at a Symbolic Site
Limited preview - 1998