ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on Brazil, adds a further pinch of salt to the debate by introducing another dimension that is valid in many instances: namely, the intrinsically static structure prevailing in certain developing countries’ societies that may lead to an implosive outcome within a multiple modernities context. It highlights the fact that the multiple modernities construct may open a helpful window of observation, and in many cases also of analysis, on the baffling transformations that the world has been experiencing. The multiplicity invoked by populism, which is hard to square with positive qualities of the system, signals a search for a new modernity that decisively breaks with the prevailing one. The dilemma consists in the difficulty of distinguishing the mainstream version of modernity that is at stake from the plethora of its techno-scientific causes and components. The concept of multiple modernities assumes the existence of a kind of modernity against which all the others are contrasted as alternatives.