9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN29 Social Theory

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Contemporary Social Theory: Sociology of Contemporary Society Building AA, AA.326

Plural Modernity: Changing modern institutional forms: disciplines and nation-states

The paper begins with the assumption that modernity is undergoing a profound change. The focus is on the structural transformation of two modern institutional regimes: the academic discipline and the territorial nation-state. Both are said to be institutional regimes typical of modernity. Their demise as the predominant institutional forms in the realms of science and politics signals the end of the modern project, or at least the need for its profound redefinition. It is suggested that such a redefinition entails a radical conceptual shift in the social sciences and the metatheoretical expression of this shift is designated as dialogical pluralism. At a theoretical level, both modernization theories and the recent programme of "multiple modernities" are rejected: a plural modernity, with several distinct variants, seems a more promising perspective.