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Title: Multiple modernities or varieties of modernity?
Authors: Schmidt, V.H. 
Keywords: Capitalism
Issue Date: Jan-2006
Citation: Schmidt, V.H. (2006-01). Multiple modernities or varieties of modernity?. Current Sociology 54 (1) : 77-97+148. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The article offers a critical appraisal of the concept of multiple modernities that has been gaining ground in sociology during the past decade. It rejects this concept as both conceptually flawed and empirically unfounded, and it proposes an alternative concept, that of varieties of modernity, which is believed to be better able to address the former's substantive concerns, while at the same time permitting us to speak of modernity in the singular. The main source of inspiration for such an alternative concept is the varieties of capitalism paradigm guiding the new political economy literature, and one of its advantages over the multiple modernities paradigm is its focus on institutions, rather than vague, barely explicated notions of culture and cultural difference. However, a varieties of modernity approach that followed its lead would have to be much broader and more comprehensive, and would therefore be more difficult to develop and to apply, than the varieties of capitalism paradigm. But even if it ultimately proved unfeasible, the very consideration of its methodological prerequisites would still promise to yield valuable insights for students of modernity.
Source Title: Current Sociology
ISSN: 00113921
DOI: 10.1177/0011392106058835
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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