chapter  5
33 Pages

Rethinking the Epochs of Western Modernity

WithMikael Carleheden

Sociology has been much too dependent on the grand theories of its founding fathers to be able to make sense of such a transformation. Habermas had without doubt the same ambition as did Parsons a generation. Habermas criticises Marx in a manner similar to Durkheim. Castells gives perhaps more significance to culture and social identity than did Marx, but the non-technological and non-economical parts of the information age are clearly the dependent rather than the independent variable in his work. Wagner is not a Habermasian. His sociology is not neo-classic. Rather, he is a good example of someone who has learned from both camps of the modernist-postmodernist debate. The recognition of this fact leads a theory of modernity in the direction of sociology and history. Wagner’s point of departure can explain how we at the same time can have a general concept of modernity and talk about different epochs within modernity.