A New Paradigm for Understanding Today's World

A New Paradigm for Understanding Today's World

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* Touraine is one of the leading social thinkers in the world today and many of his books have been published in English.* In this book Touraine presents a new theoretical framework for understanding the contemporary world. It is a broad theoretical work which seeks to make sense of everyday experience at the beginning of the 21st century.* This is a major new theoretical work by one of the leading sociologists in the world today.* A great reference book for those studying sociology and social theory at any level.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 161 x 238 x 19mm | 486g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745636713
  • 9780745636719

Review quote

"How rare it is that one of the world's most original social theorists writes a book so plain and important that it could be used as an introductory text for first-year students. Alain Touraine's New Paradigm should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand today's world as it is coming to be." Charles Lemert, Wesleyan Universityshow more

Back cover copy

In the first centuries of modernization in the West, the social world was described and thought of in terms of politics: order and disorder, king and country, the people and revolution. In the wake of the industrial revolution, capitalism freed itself from political power and gave birth to another paradigm, one that was both economic and social. We began to speak in terms of class and inequality, wages and strikes, wealth and its redistribution.Today, in the age of a global economy and the triumph of the individual, globalization has shattered these old models of society. Each of us, caught up in processes of production and mass culture, strives to escape from them and to make ourselves the subject of our own lives. The new paradigm through which we try to make sense of these new preoccupations is cultural. The great questions of our age bear witness to this: how should we protect the rights of minorities? Should sexuality be placed at the centre of our lives? Are we witnessing a return to religion?The old paradigms were oriented towards conquering the world; the new paradigm revolves around us. Just as we are faced with the breakdown of a world once run by men, we are now entering into a society of women.As ever in the writings of Alain Touraine, the concern to give theoretical form to our social practices is nourished by life as it is actually lived, and everything thought through here refers back to the most everyday experiences of the globalized world in which we are currently living. This book will be of primary interest to advanced undergraduates, graduates andshow more

About Alain Touraine

A.Touraine, Director, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales Translated by G.Elliotshow more

Table of contents

* Contents * Introduction: A New Paradigm * Part One: When We Referred to Ourselves in Social Terms *1 The Break *9/11 * Fear * A world in decline * Where is meaning to be found? *2 Globalization * From the post-war states to the globalization of the economy * An extreme capitalism * The rupturing of societies * Alter-globalism * From society to war * A globalized world *3 Europe: A State without a Nation * The decline of the national state * Is European unity possible? * The EU and the USA * The European state * European powerlessness * The absence of a European consciousness *4 The End of Societies * The social representation of societies * The European mode of modernization * Society and modernity * The crisis of representation * The three deaths of European society * The irruption of democracy * The return of the political * Farewell to society * The war above us * When system and actors separate off * The rupturing of the social bond * Are we witnessing the end of social movements? * Conclusion *5 Revisiting the Self * What is modernity? * The victory of modernity * The end of social thinking * Emancipatory individualism * Forms of social determinism * From focusing on the world to focusing on the self * The awakening of the subject * Part Two: Now that We Refer to Ourselves in Cultural Terms *6 The Subject * The subject and identity * Sources of the subject * Defence of sociology * The individual subject * Rights * Are we all subjects? * The negation of the subject * A related note * The subject, social movements and the unconscious * Proximity * The subject and religion * The subject and the school * The experience of being a subject * The anti-subject * Between gods and societies *7 Cultural Rights * Political rights and cultural rights * Minorities, multiculturalism, communitarianism * Redistribution and recognition * The new social movements * Modernizations * Entry into the post-social world * Sexual rights * The limits of cultural mixing * About the 'veil' * Communities and communitarianisms * Liberals and communitarians * Secularism * Inter-cultural communication * Return to new ideas *8 A Society of Women * An altered situation * Equality and difference * Sexuality and gender * The woman-subject * The role of men * Post-feminism * The Argument: By Way of Conclusion * Bibliography * Name Index * Subject Indexshow more

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30 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 20% (6)
4 33% (10)
3 27% (8)
2 17% (5)
1 3% (1)
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