The Modernity of Social Life
Title: The Modernity of Social Life
Author: WAGNER, Peter
Citation: Soziale Welt-Zeitschrift Fur Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung Und Praxis, 1999, 50, 4, 449-+
Over the past two decades, the term 'modernity' has ever more replaced the term 'modern society' in sociological analyses of contemporary societies. This signals the attempt by sociologists to advance beyond the theorem of postmodernity. However, this attempt has hitherto been but little accompanied by reflections on the key characteristics of modernity in social life. Some analyses diagnose a major societal transformation in the era following World War II; then terms like 'second', 'reflexive', 'global', or plainly 'another' modernity are employed. Other approaches emphasise basic continuities and even a new convergence of societal forms, such as theories of 'neo-modernization'. In both cases, however, modernity is fundamentally conceptualized as an institutional form. By recourse to the epistemological implications of recent philosophy of social. science, this article aims to show that social modernity constitutes itself primarily as an interpretative space which permits a plurality of institutional 'solutions' to the problems raised by 'the advent of modernity'.
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