• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This accessible and comprehensive overview of the main issues on the modernity-postmodernity controversy is the first clear-sighted book on the subject. It surveys modern social theory, from Kant to Weber with economy and masterly precision. And evaluates the work of the Frankfurt School, Arendy, Strauss, Luhmann, Habermas, Heller, Castoriadis and Touraine, before moving on to consider the approaches of the leading writers on postmodenrity: Lyotard, Vattimo, Derrida, Foucault and Jameson. The result is a new way of conceptualizing the modernity-postmodernity debate, and an exciting new approach to the roots of contemporary social theory.

Further Reflections: Constructivism beyond Postmodernity
Further reflections: Constructivism beyond postmodernity

In a much discussed work, Baroque Reason, originally published in French in 1984, Christine Buci-Glucksmann gave a fascinating reading of modernity that in some ways resembles my intentions in this book, and which can be called a postmodernization of modernity, or a dissolution of the distinction between modernity and postmodernity (Buci-Glucksmann, 1994; subsequent references are to this unless otherwise stated).1 There is, however, a major difference. Her search for a counter-modernity, which might reflect what was to become postmodernism, is based on an interpretation of baroque culture. ‘Benjamin, Baudelaire, Lacan, Barthes something like a baroque paradigm asserts and establishes itself within “modernity”’ (p. 141). The baroque is contrasted to the Cartesian tradition and is held to ...

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