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Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (Cultural Studies) Paperback – 24 Mar 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; 1st Edition edition (24 Mar 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859840515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859840511
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 485,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2.6 out of 5 stars
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Jay Oh on 22 Feb 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book opens with a brief discussion of the present state of anthropology, and attitudes within the subject regarding studying Western society: the growing necessity of it versus anthropology's background in studying the very distant Other. How to define research, then, so that a study of 'supermodernity' may be possible? Augé touches upon the meanings of time and history - its acceleration, and the endings of the 'grand narratives' and thus modernity.
He then discusses anthropological place, with much reference to the signposting on French autoroutes of villages' historical features! Around page 80 he gets on to de Certeau's relationship between space and place, contrasting it with his own - and finally to the titular matter of the book: 'non-places' like motorways, supermarkets and airports which make up the landscape of supermodernity.
By 3 stars I really mean 3.5 - this book is worth reading, I believe, but is not uniformly interesting. The last 40 pages may be fascinating, clear to read and and insightful, but the early part of the book isn't so immediately appealing. It may also be worth noting that the book's short [about 110 pages] and consists largely of Augé's ideas with a minimum of citations; the bibliography is sketchy in the extreme!
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
This easy to read book allows us to understand what allows a space and place to be memorable. It breaks down, very simply, ideas that we have thought of but were never able to put into words. With the growing number of airport terminals, train stations, and commercial centers we are losing the identity of ourselves and the concept of space. This book explains the anthropological aspect of this problem and simplifies the concept of identity, space and time.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Artsreadings on 12 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading this book after having heard of it often mentioned by academic staff in architecture and architectural history, it eventually comes as a disappointing read, only alleviated by the brevity of the text.

The new edition (2009) has lost his subtitle, and gained an 'introduction to the second edition'. Follow a 'Prologue', 'The Near and the Elsewhere,' 'Anthropological Place,' 'From Places to Non-Places,' 'Epilogue' and 'A Brief Bibliography'.

Probably the most annonying aspect of the publication is its aimless character. It is not clear where the text comes from - why it has been written, published, and translated - and what it is aimed at achieving.

The various comments on Mauss, de Certeau, Derrida, have a feeling of déjà vu to them all, and because the body of the book has not been revisited since 1995, it is slightly - if not completely - dated.

For instance, it relies on French realities of space and place which are presented almost as well known clichés. More importantly, it does not take any account of the most recent transformations in the fabric of the country and the spatial relations between capital and regions.

With 10 items only, the 'brief bibliography' would better be known as a list of references.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Beyondtheseacoast on 8 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a terrible essay. First of all, it is badly translated. Then, the content is rather poor. M. Auge accumulates quotes and never discusses authors' thoughts. At the rate of 3 reference per page, he has no space to develop them, and summarizes so primitively the authors' work that the reader can learn nothing from it. After 50 pages it seems like a catalogue of name dropping instead of a real essay with a subject of its own.
This book has no interest. It is superficial and refers to thinkers from the 70's, without even updating the research in the field. I don't understand how it can be a 'Second Edition'. Reading a dictionary about sociology would certainly be more useful and give exactly the same patchwork effect.
What a loss of time! Non-places? Non-book too.
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5 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Marion Catlin on 5 Dec 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a course book recommended for me to read and is a bit obscure. I need to read it again, maybe even a few times. As with all French philosophers, it is not easy to get into. So it is probably not a mediocre 3 star rating at all, that's just where I am with it at the moment, so I will keep you all updated if I read it again
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