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The consequences of modernity / Anthony Giddens

Main Author Giddens, Anthony Country Reino Unido. Publication Cambridge : Polity Press, 1991 Description IX, 186 p. ; 22 cm ISBN 0-7456-0923-6 CDU 316.7
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Monografia Biblioteca Vitor Aguiar e Silva
BVAS 316.7 - G Indisponível | Not available 88313
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In this major theoretical statement, the author offers a new and provocative interpretation of the institutional transformations associated with modernity. We do not as yet, he argues, live in a post-modern world. Rather the distinctive characteristics of our major social institutions in the closing period of the twentieth century express the emergence of a period of 'high modernity,' in which prior trends are radicalised rather than undermined. A post-modern social universe may eventually come into being, but this as yet lies 'on the other side' of the forms of social and cultural organization which currently dominate world history.

In developing an account of the nature of modernity, Giddens concentrates upon analyzing the intersections between trust and risk, and security and danger, in the modern world. Both the trust mechanisms associated with modernity and the distinctive 'risk profile' it produces, he argues, are distinctively different from those characteristic of pre-modern social orders.

This book build upon the author's previous theoretical writings, and will be of fundamental interest to anyone concerned with Gidden's overall project. However, the work covers issues which the author has not previously analyzed and extends the scope of his work into areas of pressing practical concern. This book will be essential reading for second year undergraduates and above in sociology, politics, philosophy, and cultural studies.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Part I Introduction
  • The Discontinuities of Modernity
  • Security and Danger, Trust and Risk
  • Sociology and Modernity
  • Modernity, Time and Space
  • Disembedding
  • Trust
  • The Reflexivity of Modernity
  • Modernity and Post- Modernity?
  • Summary
  • Part II The Institutional Dimensions of Modernity
  • The Globalizing of Modernity
  • Two Theoretical Perspectives
  • Dimensions of Globalization
  • Part III Trust and Modernity
  • Trust in Abstract Systems
  • Trust and Expertise
  • Trust and Ontological Security
  • The Pre-Modern and Modern
  • Part IV Abstract Systems and the Transformation of Intimacy
  • Trust and Personal Relations
  • Trust and Personal Identity
  • Risk and Danger in the Modern World
  • Risk and Ontological Security
  • Adaptive Reactions
  • A Phenomonology of Modernity
  • Deskilling and Reskilling in Everyday Life
  • Objections to Post-Modernity
  • Part V Riding the Juggernaut
  • Utopian Realism
  • Future Orientations
  • The Role of Social Movements
  • Post-Modernity
  • Part VI Is Modernity and Western Project?
  • Concluding Observations
  • Notes

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Giddens offers a highly general and speculative analysis of modernity that is challenging and thought provoking. He reviews briefly but carefully arguments about the negative aspects of modernity that have influenced more pessimistic writers. His analysis focuses on three great dynamics of modernity--the separation of time and space, disembedding (the loss of locally based practices and involvements), and institutional reflexivity--in which the pessimists have rooted their analysis. Giddens offers a reassessment of these that is constructive rather than debilitating. A core consideration in his evalution is how new forms of trust are generated, and how these, in turn, offer some hopeful alternatives. These alternatives are presented with a set of arguments that are well founded and convincing, and lead him to an optimistic conclusion that he calls "utopian realism." This is the kind of book that confronts a discipline, in this case sociology, with a number of issues that can provide a formidable agenda for those who pursue them. Although not for general readers, Giddens's book is geared to a wide audience that seeks new insights into the questions modernity has generated. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -J. R. Hudson, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Anthony Giddens, a British sociologist, was educated at Hull, the London School of Economics, and Cambridge, and is a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. His interests have been varied, but they tend to focus on questions related to the macro-order. Much of his theoretical writing deals with stratification, class, and modernity. Although he has concentrated on dynamic issues of social structure, he has also examined how social psychological concerns are part of this broader order of human relations.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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