Sociological Perspectives on Modernity

Multiple Models and Competing Realities

by Arthur G. Neal (Author)
©2007 Monographs VIII, 181 Pages
Series: American University Studies , Volume 72


This book examines several sociological perspectives on the defining characteristics of modernity through the construction of conceptual models. Each model specifies the prime movers of the social system and the key agencies of change and development. According to one model, technology is the moving force in society, while another emphasizes metropolitan dominance, and yet another concentrates on materialistic values and consumerism. A growing number of social scientists perceive knowledge to be the driving force of modernity; yet others emphasize cultural pluralism or mass society. Because of the many ways dramatic changes are occurring in so many different directions at the same time, the multiple realities of modernity are recognized and clarified. Accelerations of experimentation and innovation are occurring in all areas of social life. The Enlightenment, the industrial revolution, and civil society are emphasized as the pathways to modernity. The themes of relativity, incompleteness, uncertainty, and fragmentation are implicated in postmodernist critiques of the values of the enlightenment.


VIII, 181
ISBN (Hardcover)
Postmoderne Soziologie Sociological perspective
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2007. VIII, 181 pp.

Biographical notes

Arthur G. Neal (Author)

The Author: Arthur G. Neal is Emeritus Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at Bowling Green State University and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than twenty-five books and research monographs, including National Trauma and Collective Memory (2005), Ordinary Reactions to Extraordinary Events (2001), Memory and Representation (2001), Intimacy and Alienation (2000), Social Psychology: A Sociological Perspective (1983), and Violence in Animal and Human Society (1976). Recent journal articles have focused on the impact of globalization on family relations in China; collective trauma, apologies, and the politics of memory; confronting an ugly past; and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. His current research interests include prosthetic memory; Hiroshima in collective memory; student rebellion in the 1960s; and values expressed in popular culture.


Title: Sociological Perspectives on Modernity