Memory transmission, political formation and modernization in Hungary and Europe
Situating Hungarian modernization: the Central European experience of modernity
Modernity can be approached from many angles: from an economic point of view the essence of modernity is capitalism; from a political point of view it is represent- ative democracy; from a cultural point of view it is the Enlightenment; from a social point of view it is functional differentiation. These dimensions of modernization have implied different forms of reflection, they have been crystallized in various social sciences. Among the different self-reflections of modernity, sociology plays a particular role as it claims to grasp not only a specific sphere of action but to under- stand modernity as such. Sociology was originally born as the inheritor of the phi- losophy of history, with a specific aim of becoming the self-reflection of modernity. Obviously, since the beginning of sociological thought many divergent branches have emerged and the majority of them have left behind this synthesizing heritage as a ‘non-scientific’ or ‘over-ambitious’ ballast. Only critical theories and sociologies embrace this perspective until today. Originating from Marx’s social criticism they not only reflect on the emerging new forms of social integration but also seek the horizon of the emancipatory potentials and dangers of these phenomena. Even if this intention is not explicit in some cases, implicitly it is present among the back- ground presumptions of various versions of social criticism. As emancipatory and pathological features can be identified only through a comprehensive glance, social criticisms indirectly express various horizons of modernity. Beside being a form of expert knowledge, various forms of social criticism are...
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