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Identities and Modernizations

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Edited By Tadeusz Buksinski

This book presents insights and understandings on the issue of identities and modernizations, contributed mainly by theoreticians from China and scholars from Central and Eastern European countries. Both regions have followed a similar path towards modernization until the second half of the twentieth century. The past experience in both regions leads to two crucial, yet paradoxical conclusions: Firstly, no modernization of economy, technology or science is possible without a prior modernization of the collective identity, i.e. of culture, tradition, religion and spirituality in general. Secondly, effective and long-term modernization cannot be achieved with disregard for tradition, culture, religion and spirituality. The theory of dispersed modernity is promoted.

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Part I Between Identities and Modernization in Central-Eastern Europe

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Tadeusz Buksiński, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań The Revenge of Culture Abstract: The aim of the paper is to explore the role of culture in processes of modernization in Central Eastern Europe. Modernization is understood first of all as an economic and tech- nological phenomenon and is accepted by the contemporary societies throughout the world. But it cause the problems for traditional communities and traditional identities, which are weakening or transforming into new forms. The heritage of values and norms, customs and beliefs struggles to persist and to enable societies to evolve as particular unique subjects, de- spite the stress of modernization forces. The paper answer the question what kinds of cultures and collective identities function as conditions enabling modernization and innovations, and which kinds impede modernization. Keywords: culture, modernization, ideology, imitation 1. The concept of culture There are a few hundred definitions of culture, but they will not be quoted here. In this article the classical concept of culture is assumed, which was developed by the 19th and 20th century German philosophers (O. Spengler, M. Weber, A. Kroeber et al.)1. The division into culture and civilization introduced by them seems to be cognitively fertile. Thus, we understand culture as a set of truths, values, norms, customs, traditions, rules of thinking passed down from genera- tion to generation, dispositions to action, as well as the area of artefacts which are significant for the life and cohesion of communities, specific to them. Within the culture understood as explained above...

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