Culture and Identity: Critical Theories

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SAGE, Jul 21, 2003 - Social Science - 230 pages
`Ross Abbinnett brings a keen and subtle philosophical mind to bear on themes and debates that have become commonplace in sociology. This is a sinuously written book which casts new light on pressing contemporary issues. It is required reading for everyone who wants to think seriously and with an open mind about the terrain of the present' - Keith Tester, Professor of Sociology, University of Portsmouth

This incisive and timely book provides a concise and reliable guide to the debate on modernity and postmodernity. In particular the work of Lyotard, Beck, Bauman, Baudrillard, Giddens, Jameson and Derrida is critically reviewed.

Culture and Identity provides: a thorough and accessible discussion of the main themes in the modernity-postmodernity debate; a shrewd and penetrating account of how these themes address everyday life; a novel account of how technology is altering our perceptions of the `human'; and a balanced account of the hope for radical politics and radical critique to correct the excesses of capitalism.

What emerges most forcefully from the book is the error of dismissing postmodernism as a self-indulgent and ultimately, dangerous piece of ideology. Abbinnett provides a pertinent reminder of the continuing importance of the themes and challenges raised in the `postmodern moment'.

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Contents

the Ethics of Care
15
Risk and Reflexive Modernity
25
Media and Simulation
35
Postmodernism and the Aesthetic
43
Deconstruction and Identity
53
Technology Ideology and the Culture Industry
73
Information Simulation and the Silent Majorities
96
The Postmodern and the Sublime
112
Culture Politics Différance
125
Derrida Fukuyama and the New World Order
137
Science Technology and Catastrophe
159
Capitalism Globalization and Cosmopolitanism
190
Bibliography
217
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About the author (2003)

Ross Abbinnett is a Lecturer in the School of Social and Historical Studies at the University of Portsmouth

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