Thursday, September 16, 2010
Recognizing European Modernities by Allan Pred
A montage of the present. For over a century Europe has been characterized by a multiplicity of capitalist modernities. At any moment, each country possess its own distinctly modern qualities which are partly shaped through interrelationships with other countries. Each european commodity society has experienced successive, but differently overlapping, periods of industrial modernity (large-scale factories and urban growth) high modernity (the acceleration of modernity, yielding new circumstances and sensibilities). Investigating any part of contemporary hypermodern Europe thus requires that it be brought into constellation with its industrial and high modern past. This book explores a century of civilization through a critical examination of the extreme case of Sweden. Using montage relayering multiple pasts and on-going presents-the book challenges the contemporary obsession with "postmodernity", demanding a deeper, more informed understanding of the extended danger characteristic of the European present.