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Multiple Modernities

Multiple modernities, a concept that emerged at the end of the 20th century, represents a new paradigm in understanding the contemporary world. It moves forward from the “classical” analyses of Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber, whose works implicitly assumed that the social, economic, and political processes taking place in Europe around the 18th century, such as urbanization, industrialization (capitalism), secularization, rationalization, the emergence of the nation-state, and bureaucratization were not only unique but also universal. The concept of multiple modernities was developed to refute mainstream sociological thought around the 1950s—particularly modernization theories. These theories conceived that the peculiar features of modernity in the West (the United States and some parts of Europe), such as individual emancipation and future-oriented progress together with the development ...

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