Winner of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Book Award in 2012, Chandra Mukerji offers with this remarkable new book an explanation of the birth and subsequent proliferation of the many strands in the braid of modernity. The journey she takes us on is dedicated to teasing those strands apart, using forms of cultural analysis from the social sciences to approach history with fresh eyes. Faced with the problem of trying to understand what is hardest to see: the familiar, she gains analytic distance and clarity by juxtaposing cultural analysis with history, asking how modernity began and how people conjured into existence the world we now recognize as modern.
Part I describes the genesis of key modern social forms: the modern self, communities of strangers, the modern state, and the industrial world economy. Part II focuses on modern social types: races, genders, and childhood. Part III focuses on some of the cultural artifacts and activities of the contemporary world that people have invented and used to cope with the burdens of self-making and to react against the broken promises of modern discourse and the silent injuries of material modernism.
Beautifully illustrated with over 100 color photographs in its 10 chapters, MODERNITY REIMAGINED is not just an explanation, an analysis of how modern life came to be, it is also a model for how to do cultural thinking about today’s world.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: MODERN SELVES and FASHION
Chapter Two: COMMUNITIES OF STRANGERS and MODERN INFRASTRUCTURE
Chapter Three: CULTURAL IMAGINARIES and MODERN STATES
Chapter Four: LIBERAL and INDUSTRIAL MODERNITY
Chapter Five: RACE and GEOPOLITICS
Chapter Six: GENDER and POLITICAL ECONOMY
Chapter Seven: THE MODERN CHILD
Chapter Eight: DIGITAL GAMES and PATHS through MODERN LIFE
Chapter Nine: PHILOSOPHICAL MACHINERY and FILM
Chapter Ten: ESCAPE ROUTES
Chandra Mukerji is known among students and scholars of culture as one of the titans of the field, primarily because she crosses intellectual and disciplinary boundaries with ease, and also because she has written so many prize-winning books that have astonished colleagues for their range and original insight. She has won the American Sociological Association’s distinguished book award, the Merton Award from the SKAT section of the ASA, and the Douglas prize from the Culture section, all for different publications, but each examining important historical examples of how materiality shapes social life. In tandem with her scholarly publications, she also teaches a broad array of courses at University of California, San Diego to undergraduates – where she encourages students to "theorize about culture" --examining material, social, and organizational forms in original ways.