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,

Values of Contemporary Modernity

Values of contemporary modernity

The value patterns of European modernity are first of all those of Christian religion and its secularization, of the nation-state and its citizenship, and of individualism and class. All three refer to dilemmas, conflicts, rivalries, inherent in the European road through modernity.

Then there is also the new issue raised by multiculturalism, with the coexistence of segmented cultures alongside each other; an issue once thought to be solved by a secularization of the state and the assimilation of its inhabitants, by national self-determination, and by individual equality, or, alternatively, by ethnic cleansing and genocide.

This chapter shall try to indicate a few constellations and trajectories on this vast field.

The Sceptical Continent

The post-World War II period has, until recently, seen two ...

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