Beyond Civilization : Society, Culture, and the Individual in the Age of Globalization book cover
1st Edition

Beyond Civilization
Society, Culture, and the Individual in the Age of Globalization

Edited By

Harry Redner

ISBN 9781412854856
Published July 30, 2014 by Routledge
424 Pages

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Book Description

For Harry Redner, the phrase "beyond civilization" refers to the new and unprecedented condition the world is now entering—specifically, the condition commonly known as globalization. Redner approaches globalization from the perspective of history and seeks to interpret it in relation to previous key stages of human development. His account begins with the Axial Age (700–300 BC) and proceeds through Modernity (after AD 1500) to the present global condition.

What is globalization doing to civilization? In answering this question, Redner studies the role played by capitalism, the state, science and technology. He aims to show that they have had a catalytic impact on civilization through their reductive effect on society, culture, and individualism.

However, Redner is not content to diagnose the ills of civilization; he also suggests how they might be ameliorated by cultural conservation. Above all, it is to the problem of decline in the higher forms of literacy that he addresses himself, for it is on the culture of the book that previous civilizations were founded. This study will be of interest to sociologists, historians, and social and political theorists. Its style makes it accessible also to general readers, interested in civilization past, present, and future.

Table of Contents


Part I: The Past History of Civilization

1. An Overview of History
Section I—Historical Turning Points
Section II—Cultural Consciousness
Section III—Countering Critics
2. The Axial Age
Section I—The Mystery of the Axial Age
Section II—Ethics, Empire, and Literacy
Section III—Problems of Literacy
3. Modernity
Section I—The Rise of the West
Section II—The West and Modernity
Section III—In Defense of the West
4. Post-Civilization
Section I—The Ambiguities of Modernity
Section II—Catalysts
Section III— The Events of the Twentieth Century

Part II: The Present Predicament of Civilization

5. The Forces of Modernity
Section I—A Brief Overview
Section II—Capitalism
Section III—The State
Section IV—Science and Technology
Section V— Post-Industrial or Information Society
6. Society
Section I—Megalopolis
Section II—Social Ranking
Section III—Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft
Section IV—Friendship, Kinship, and Family
7. Culture
Section I— A Historical Introduction to Global Culture
Section II—Capitalism and Culture
Section III—The State and Culture
Section IV— Science and Technology and Culture
Section V—The Global and the Local
8. Individualism
Section I—The Origins of Individualism
Section II—Individualism in the West
Section III— Individualization and Atomization

Part III: The Future Prospects of Civilization

9. Catastrophes of Nature and Culture
Section I—The Uncertainties of Prediction
Section II—Jonas and Jonahs
Section III—Scenarios of Cultural Disaster
10. The Future as it Might Be
Section I—Drifting to Disaster
Section II—Restoring Society
Section III—Conserving Cultures
Section IV—Recovering Individualism

Valedictory Remarks



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