Toward a Synergy Society: Beyond Reflexive Modernization

Monday, July 14, 2014: 7:00 PM
Room: 304
Distributed Paper
Minoru GOTO , Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
The purpose of this paper is to consider the reality of synergy society criticizing the theory of reflexive modernization and third way. Though positive welfare oriented third way politics has acquired greater importance in creating active civil society and wealth, it is too Western because reflexive modernization implies the project of political subject concerning the ideal attainment. Synergy is social collaboration beyond boarders. It lies in seeking the social well-being accompanied with rethinking process of modern values. The rise of communication sector where consultant, adviser, planner and religion play an important role in empowerment is a characteristic of synergy society. Instead of public sphere, we focus on synergy sphere in which communication media such as the standard of fair trade and eco-label circulate and create the networks of social resonance. This has political, economical and cultural meaning simultaneously.  Synergetic modernization is not a progressive project which has political and historical end. It just explores qualitative expansion of well-being continually to overcome baneful influence of utilitarianism and excessive individualism. Then we reevaluate the Japanese semantics of happiness(shiawase) and research the activities of Japanese Buddhism after 311. Arguing the everyday life with suffering and joy, we realize that a contextual succession of accidental meetings build necessarily social relationships which have potential to form the networks of social resonance related to germinating aspects of another modernity beyond the risk society.Synergy society promotes social diversity and well-being against the increasing liquidity. But fragility is unavoidable as resonance contains contingent process. Therefore we conclude that stable social commitment and sustainability are possible when institutional embedding of synergy develops to construct interactive partnerships with synergy networks of well-being.