The study of the conditions of modern life has always been a key concern of sociological reflection. Even the rise and establishment of sociology as an independent scientific discipline is in itself a product of modernity. In fact, with the ‘birth of the modern world’ (Bayly 2004) by the end of the eighteenth century ‘society’ was discovered as a major problematique of social thought. Since then, the search for the driving forces of social change and development has been central to sociological analyses. Whether it be Auguste Comte’s three-stages theory, Karl Marx’s dialectical and materialist philosophy of social change, Herbert Spencer’s utilitarian adaptation of Darwinian evolutionary theory, Emile Durkheim’s functionalist analysis of the social division of labour, or Max Weber’s conception of (occidental) rationalization, the ‘founding fathers’ of sociology were all concerned with the rise of modernity and its ambivalent consequences. Thus, even to this day, for better or worse, sociology is still strongly rooted in these initial foundations of sociological research (cf. Lefebvre 1962; Elias 1969, 1982; Habermas 1990; Schluchter 1996; Münch 2001; Wagner 2001a; Joas and Knöbl 2009).