Europe in world regional perspective: formations of modernity and major historical transformations

Delanty, Gerard (2015) Europe in world regional perspective: formations of modernity and major historical transformations. The British Journal Of Sociology, 66 (3). pp. 420-440.

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Abstract

The paper seeks to present a world regional approach to the analysis of modernity and in doing so it also aims to make a contribution to comparative sociology and social theory. It is argued that world regions are the most suitable entry-point for comparing different socio-political constellations of our time, preferable to continents, civilizations and nation-states. However, a world regional foundation on its own is insufficient, due to the internal plurality and historically changing forms of world regions, and therefore needs to be accompanied by a concept that provides some degree of coherence within world-regions and a tool for comparison with other world regions. The notion of modernity offers this level of generality while at the same time allowing for variety in its historical forms. Six main formations of modernity are identified, of which the European model was the first one and often a cultural reference for many other parts of the world. The thesis is that in the present day the most important developments are in the Asian and Latin American varieties, which unlike Europe are witnessing major historical transformation. Decisive in all of this is the question of democratization in the shaping of social imaginaries. Beginning with the problem of how to define the specificity of Europe, the paper provides an exploratory analysis of some of the salient considerations around a number of world regions, their formations of modernity, and the extent of major historical transformations in their present constitution.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Gerard Delanty
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2015 13:24
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 13:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49080
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