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Title: Modernity and capitalism: Conceptual retrieval and comparative-historical analyses
Author: Casassas, David
Wagner, Peter
Keywords: Capitalisme
Issue Date: May-2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Abstract: The terms modernity and capitalism remain in widespread use to characterize contemporary societies, but the distinction between them is much less antagonistic in current social theory than it used to be when a theory of 'modern society' was opposed to the theory of 'late capitalism'. Rather than seeing societies either on an evolutionary trajectory realizing the functionally efficient institutionalization of freedom or as determined by increasing contradictions due to the logics of capital and to class struggle, a key task of social theory today is to reconceptualize modernity and capitalism in such a way that the dynamics of historical transformations and the varieties of current socio-political constellations can be more adequately understood. This article contributes to addressing this task, introducing a special issue of the European Journal of Social Theory devoted to 'modernity and capitalism'. This introduction elaborates a concept of modernity focused on the interpretative self-understanding of societies and a concept of capitalism as a historically specific response to the question of satisfying human material needs. On this conceptual basis, a historical-comparative perspective is taken to analyze transformations in the self-understandings of societies and the institutional changes in organizing the economy related to the former, placing the comparative analysis of societies in the global context of transformations of modernity and capitalism.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: European Journal of Social Theory , 2016, vol. 19, num. 2, p. 159-171
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ISSN: 1368-4310
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Sociologia)

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