Contemporary Perspectives on Modernity: A Critical Discussion

Dirlik, Arif
2008 Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies  
This article argues for a revision of our understanding of modernity through an engagement with some recent work in Chinese history. These works(among others) have questioned the identification of modernity with European history. This article argues that while it is necessary to recognize the crucial link between Europe and modernity as phenomenon and concept, it is equally necessary to question the assumption that European modernity itself can be understood without reference to broader global
more » ... to broader global relationships. European modernity, dynamized by capitalism, was one outcome among many of these relationships, which led to different economic and political formations across Eurasia. It suggests a periodization of modernity that retains the strategic role of modern Europe, but also seeks to recognize the complex interactions of which modern Europe itself was a product. European modernity emerged out of what we might describe as a Eurasian modernity, and subsequently asserted its supremacy over other alternatives in globalizing a particular form of modernity. That modernity itself has come under questioning as modernity has been globalized, resulting in what I have described as a third phase, Global Modernity.
doi:10.21866/esjeas.2008.8.1.005 fatcat:a67oqqkrb5d5thpwfa6ekm5fdu