In this book one of Europe's foremost sociologists offers a profound and accessible overview of the trajectory of European societies, East and West, since the end of World War II. Combining theoretical depth with factual analysis, Göran Therborn addresses the questions that underpin an understanding of the nature of European modernity, including: To what extent is the period 1945-2000 producing fundamental change and what are the areas of continuity? Have the societies of Europe become more similar to others on the globe or more distinctively European? What are the prospects of Europe after decades of postwar change and the end of the Cold War? Issues covered include the division of paid and unpaid labour,

Issues of Identity

Issues of identity

This is an empirical monograph and not a theoretical treatise. However, given the state of sociological theory on the subject of identity, a few words of general introduction may be called for. It is a fascinating phenomenon, reaching from individual child or development psychology to historical macro-sociology. Here we shall, of course, confine ourselves to the latter, while pointing out at the outset the enormous interdisciplinary potency of the concept.

‘We’ and ‘The others’

Identity is post-classical Latin and means sameness. As such it is operative only dialectically, i.e. in connection with its opposite, otherness. Because of this dialectic we may say that there is a primacy of otherness over sameness in the making of identity. The great Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth ...

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