Modernity: One and Many, Enduring and Changing

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
WG02 Historical and Comparative Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

The unity and diversity of modern societies, in structural and historical regards, has been a controversial theme and remains crucial to the understanding of present trends. Modernization theory, in retrospect often construed as more unilinear than it really was, had to admit diverse paths to modernity. The 1990s saw a shift to pluralist approaches, with emphasis on durably divergent patterns of culture and society; but this happened when globalizing processes were also reinforcing the case for unity. Connections between global contexts (economic, political and cultural) and the multiplicity of spatio-temporal patterns (national, regional, civilizational) are still under-researched and under-theorized. 
There are also areas of modern history, such as the record of societies dominated by the Soviet model and the variety of their roads beyond Communism, that have been neglected in theoretical debates on modernity. Another case is the field of colonial modernities. Postcolonial scholars have drawn attention to the neglect of colonial encounters in the sociological tradition, but their main concern has been to use this criticism as a starting-point for a general questioning of Eurocentric thought; less interest has been taken in the comparative study of  these experiences. 
We welcome papers on the subjects mentioned above. More generally speaking, the proposed session would include papers approaching the problematic of modern unity and diversity from theoretical, comparative and empirical points of view.
Session Organizers:
Jiri SUBRT, Charles University, Czech Republic, Nicolas MASLOWSKI, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and Johann P. ARNASON, La Trobe University, Australia
Russian Modernization: Successive Failed Modernities?
Mikhail MASLOVSKIY, Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Sentimental Individualism and Anti-Slavery in the US and UK
Ralph FEVRE, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
Colonial Modernities: Timing, Motive, and Otherness
Matthew LANGE, McGill University, Canada
The Role of Politics in Multiple-Modernizations Process
Nicolas MASLOWSKI, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic