By Stjepan Mestrovic
Anthony Giddens is arguably the world's prime sociologist. during this debatable contribution to the Giddens debate, Stjepan Mestrovic takes up and criticizes the main issues of his paintings - relatively the idea that of 'high modernity' in place of 'postmodernity' and his tried development of a 'synthetic' culture in response to human organisation and constitution. checking out Giddens' theories opposed to what's occurring within the actual global from genocide in Africa to close secession in Quebec, Mestrovic discerns within the building of artificial traditions now not the promise of freedom held out by way of Giddens yet fairly the ominous capability for brand spanking new sorts of totalitarian regulate.
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Extra info for Anthony Giddens: The Last Modernist
Simmel writes: It is a paradox that all higher cultures of our type are structured so that the more they evolve the more we are forced, in order to reach our goals, to proceed along increasingly long and difficult paths, filled with stops and curves…. The will of animals and of uncultured humans reaches its goal, if that will is successful, in, so to speak, a straight line, that is, by simply reaching out or by using a small number of simple devices: the order of means and ends is easily observable.
Is the Enlightenment project bankrupt, finally? If the present-day version of the Enlightenment project as rational is not bankrupt, can it really continue on its existing path of glorifying rationality while eschewing emotions, or is a new synthesis of reason and emotion needed? Can society exist and persist without culture? Does postmodernity refer to a real rupture with modernity? Is the human agent as free and skilled as Giddens purports? And so on. GIDDENS AND THE END OF SOCIOLOGY But in making clear that I will be using Durkheim and other classical social theorists as foils with which to judge Giddens as well as those who accept his work uncritically, I encounter immediately Giddens’s assumptions that Durkheim and other founders of the social sciences are mostly irrelevant to the present; that sociology is the study of modern societies; and that modernity represents a dramatic discontinuity with pre-modern or traditional modes of social relations.
Like him, I do not believe that the world has entered a postmodern phase, a decisive break with modernity. On the contrary, I have argued on several occasions that what is called postmodernity actually shares many affinities with modernity (see 30 ANTHONY GIDDENS: THE LAST MODERNIST Meštrović 1991, 1992, 1993a). These affinities include a disdain for the notion of culture as rooted in what Tocqueville called the habits of the heart; the reduction of the world to a cognitive text as opposed to a cognitive—emotional whole; and a Kantian focus on representations as abstractions uprooted from emotions.