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By Lou Drendel

Booklet by means of Drendel, Lou

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If there were, it would have to be accepted that modernization precisely means the global diffusion of Western civilization. But this is not the case. Modernity does not reflect a separate civilization (Friese and Wagner, 2000; Arnason, 1997) and thus cultural-civilizational contexts provide some spaces for interpreting rationalization and individuation. Furthermore, it must be considered that autonomization and rationalization can never be taken as unique to the European Enlightenment: ideas of autonomy and mastery can be found in other civilizations.

7 The theme of varieties of modernity provides most important opportunities for showing this clearly. In the next chapter, I shall argue that the assumptions of modernity as equivalent to the West must be problematized so as to show the tenability of the concept of varieties of modernity. I shall argue that the modernization of non-Western 27 LUP_Kaya_02_ch1 27 26/12/03, 4:16 pm Social Theory and Later Modernities societies cannot be viewed merely as Westernization or Europeanization. The concept of ‘later modernities’ will be introduced in order to show that existing social theory, a product of Western experience, is not adequate to analyse nonWestern experiences of modernity.

How human beings understand 31 LUP_Kaya_03_ch2 31 26/12/03, 4:17 pm Social Theory and Later Modernities themselves and how they relate themselves to the world are points that should be analysed in conceptualizing modernities. Collectivities shaped by their own norms, values and rules do not interpret modernity in the same way as Westerners do: historically different contexts cannot come to be one and the same. This is a response to globalization theory: for instance, in Giddens’ terms, the radicalization of modernity means the globalization of modernity (Giddens, 1991).

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