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The End of Illusions

Hardback By Valentine A. Pakis, Andreas Reckwitz
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Product Description

We live in a time of great uncertainty about the future.

  Those heady days of the late twentieth century, when the end of the Cold War seemed to be ushering in a new and more optimistic age, now seem like a distant memory. During the last couple of decades, we’ve been battered by one crisis after another and the idea that humanity is on a progressive path to a better future seems like an illusion.

It is only now that we can see clearly the real scope and structure of the profound shifts that Western societies have undergone over the last 30 years.

  Classical industrial society has been transformed into a late-modern society that is molded by polarization and paradoxes. The pervasive singularization of the social, the orientation toward the unique and exceptional, generates systematic asymmetries and disparities, and hence progress and unease go hand in hand. Reckwitz examines this dual structure of singularization and polarization as it plays itself out in the different sectors of our societies and, in so doing, he outlines the central structural features of the present: the new class society, the characteristics of a postindustrial economy, the conflict about culture and identity, the exhaustion of the self resulting from the imperative to seek authentic fulfillment, and the political crisis of liberalism.

Building on his path-breaking work The Society of Singularities, this new book will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, politics, and the social sciences generally, and to anyone concerned with the great social and political issues of our time.

Product Details

Format: Hardback, 244 pages Language: English
Dimension: 23.11cm x 15.24cm x 2.29cm ISBN10: 1509545697
Weight: 454g ISBN13: 9781509545698
Publication Date: 25 Jun 2021 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Andreas Reckwitz is Professor of Social Theory and Cultural Sociology at Humboldt University, Berlin.

Product Reviews


“This is a fascinating read, truly imaginative and remarkably wide-ranging. Andreas Reckwitz presents a compelling, novel outlook on the global challenges ahead.”Patrick Baert, University of Cambridge“In The End of Illusions, Reckwitz conducts a ‘socio-analysis’ of a patient known as late modernity and reveals the contradictions, paradoxes, and anomalies that characterize contemporary society. The hard work involved in this sobering analysis pays off: while pathways toward a better society are neither obvious nor linear, embracing today's ambiguities opens up spaces to reimagine our shared futures.”Urs Gasser, Harvard University


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