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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but pessimistic, 22 Oct 2010
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Birte Gam-jensen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Consequences of Modernity (Paperback)
One of the best things about Giddens is his optimism and basic belief that human is actively thinking and doing and all though the systems influence people, people also influence the systems.
Giddens divides modernity into more levels focusing on radicalised modernity which is characterized by 'embedding' that is the fact that our usual conceptualization of life is embedded from the meaning hitherto: Time and place are separated. Until about late 1700 the family would work the land in spring during daytime and sleep at night. Today watches, not nature decide the division of time and the social relations might be a long distance issue (via Facebook or Twitter). Information and knowledge on the other hand travel as fast as ever and so do communication, trade and transport. Which is why we become very dependent on `expert systems' - systems based on expert knowledge that you may want to trust: We do not all know a lot about architecture. We do, however, mostly have confidence that the roof doesn't fall on our heads. And not every one of us has the knowledge and skills of an electrician, but we do expect the traffic lights to be reliable.
One of the points being that modernity is taking over the power of nature and humanity. According to Giddens this radicalised modernity is a kind of juggernaut - untouchable and destructive - quite opposite to the confidence in the human brain and power to act that Giddens normally emphasizes as demonstrated for instance in his book The Politics of Climate Change from 2009.
The modernity explanation is interesting but it would have been nice if more tools for operating in this new globalised world had been suggested - as in the aforementioned book from 2009.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars trust isn't a personal matter anymore, 1 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Consequences of Modernity (Paperback)
Everybody knows trust as a property of personal relationships. However Giddens shows how trust has lost its original reference which was based in personal relationships. Trust is demanded in the case of ignorance. Division of labor has created abstract systems which Giddens distinguishes into expert systems and symbolic tokens. Lawyers, medical doctors, Pilots etc. are expert systems which layman either have to trust in or to avoid. Symbolic tokens are media of interchange which can be passed around independent from their references. Examples are money, ratings and gradings. An A at school doesn't need any further explanation. Everybody knows what it means without knowing the school, the teachers etc. Abstract system dis-embed from face-to-face situations. This is one of the fundamental changes in modernity as compared to premordern societies. Giddens book goes much further than just describing and explaining abstract systems. He describes and explains how other areas of day to day live are fundamentally influenced by modernity. For me the Value of this book is that Giddens gives us the concepts and words to describe and understand a world we live in; a complex world we are experiencing in most parts intuitively.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Consequences of Modernity (Paperback)
Great book in very good condition considering it was a second hand
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modernity has never left us, 11 Jun 2002
By A Customer
In this book, Giddens takes an institutional based review of modernity, asserting that modernity has never left us.
The book is easy to follow, and he makes some convincing arguments; showing how ideas of such theorists as Durkheim and Marx can be complementary.
Recommonded for all sociology students.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust the Abstract Systems they are all you got, 21 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Consequences of Modernity (Paperback)
In "The consequences of Modernity" Anthony Giddens attempts to integrate the main concepts and ideas of Niklas Luhmann on Trust into his own framework of analysis of the modernity. The outcome is a balanced book that offers simultaneously deep analysis of the modern society and a discussion of Luhmann's work on Trust.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and a few surprises, 23 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Consequences of Modernity (Paperback)
I bought the book for my media course and bought it "used-like new" - I was unaware before hand that this meant with annotations but they were mostly in pencil so rubbed off after a while.
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The Consequences of Modernity
The Consequences of Modernity by Anthony Giddens (Paperback - 18 April 1991)
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