1st Edition

The Detective of Modernity Essays on the Work of David Frisby

Edited By Georgia Giannakopoulou, Graeme Gilloch Copyright 2021
    242 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the thought of – and is dedicated to – David Frisby, one of the leading sociologists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Presenting original examinations of his unique social theory and underlining his interdisciplinary approach to the critical interpretation of modern metropolitan society and culture, it emphasises Frisby’s legacy in highlighting the role of the social researcher as a collector, reader, observer, detective and archivist of the phenomena and ideas that exemplify the modern metropolis as society. With contributions from sociologists, cultural theorists, historians of the city, urban geographers and designers, and architectural historians and theorists, The Detective of Modernity constitutes a wide-ranging engagement with Frisby’s profound legacy in social and cultural theory.


    Georgia Giannakopoulou and Graeme Gilloch

    Part 1: Modernity, Metropolis and Method

    1. Critical Sociology: The Methodological Controversy

    Matthias Benzer

    2. Siegfried Kracauer’s Metaphysics of the Passage and Methodology of Social Science

    Changnam Lee

    3. The Metropolis and Emotional Life: Experience, Rifts and Knowledge

    Massimo Cerulo and Antonio Rafele

    4. The Social Experience of Urban Life: The Aesthetical Interpretation of Places and Ambiances

    Fabio La Rocca

    Part 2: Fragments and Faces

    5. The Street and the Fragment Aesthetics of Experience; Aesthetics of the Particular in David Frisby

    Esther Leslie

    6. Cinematic ‘Fragments of Modernity’: Film and Society Revisited

    Spiros Gangas

    7. On the Face of Things. Béla Balázs and Siegfried Kracauer on Physiognomy and Film

    Stéphane Symons

    Part 3: Cityscapes

    8. Fragments of Cityscapes

    Günter Gassner

    9. Urban Aestheticization Processes: Cityscape, Landscape and Image

    Mike Featherstone

    10. Architecture and Fashion in fin-de-siécle Vienna

    Iain-Boyd Whyte

    Part 4: Haunts

    11. Flâneurs, Detectives and Architects

    Christian Hermansen

    12. Cotton and Other Threads

    Janet Wolff

    13. In Search of Lost Streets

    Elizabeth Wilson

    Part 5: Figures

    14. "Hamlet wird Detektiv": Reflections on Benjamin, Kracauer and (Neo-)Noir

    Graeme Gilloch

    15. The Collector's Touch: The Task of the Cultural Critic in the Age of Digital Media

    Jaeho Kang

    16. Unmasking the Flâneur

    Georgia Giannakopoulou


    Georgia Giannakopoulou is Associate Lecturer in Sociology and the International Honors Program at ACG-Deree, The American College of Greece and an Affiliate Researcher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Glasgow, UK.

    Graeme Gilloch is Professor in Sociology at Lancaster University and the author of Walter Benjamin: Critical Constellations; Siegfried Kracauer, Our Companion in Misfortune; and Myth and Metropolis: Walter Benjamin and the City.