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The transformation of alienation within modern society
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Sociologi)
Sociologisk institut, Köpenhamns universitet, Köpenhamn, Danmark.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sociology arose around 1900 as a response to the general need to understand the ongoing transition from 'traditional' to 'modern' society and the many social problems (anomie, alienation, disenchantment, inequality, exclusion, etc) which had their base in this groundbreaking transformation. While the distinction between 'tradition' and 'modernity' was fundamental for early sociology as a discipline, a number of contemporary social scientists question the sufficiency of such a distinction. One problem is that the distinction implies that the last major transformation of Western societies occurred some hundred years ago and that subsequent social change has only been a question of gradual modifications.

These contemporary scholars suggest instead that transformations of social institutions and of cognitive and normative convictions within modernity are so fundamental that the history of modern societies itself must be divided into different epochs. Today, distinctions such as between 'early' and 'late' (or 'high') modernity (Giddens), modern and 'postmodern' society (Lyotard), 'first' and 'second modernity' (Beck), 'solid' and 'liquid' modernity (Bauman) have become widespread. Recently it has also been argued that the history of modernity should been divided into three rather than two epochs (Wagner, Boltanski & Chiapello).

In our paper we develop a three part model of structural transformation within modern society on a micro-level. The central aim of the paper is to apply this model on the social significance of self-realization. This includes an investigation of the meaning of failed self-realization in the three different epochs of modernity. We understand alienation here as failed self-realization and thus conceptualize three modern forms of self-alienation as counterparts to the three different forms of self-realization. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keywords [en]
alienation, transformation, modernity, self-realization
National Category
Social Sciences Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20092OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-20092DiVA, id: diva2:448693
Conference
XVII World Congress of Sociology, 2010
Available from: 2011-10-17 Created: 2011-10-17 Last updated: 2018-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Engdahl, EmmaCarleheden, Mikael

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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