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Social Imaginaries

Volume 2, Issue 2, Autumn 2016

Trajectories of Modernity

Ken’ichi Mishima
Pages 183-197
DOI: 10.5840/si20162219

The Long Shadow of European Self-interpretation in Another Modernity

Despite their variety, most paradigms for theories of modernity have for a long time been convinced that European and American modernisation establish a standard. This is no longer acceptable. The situation we are theoretically facing is rather more adequately captured by terms such as ‘multiple’, ‘selective’ and ‘entangled’ modernities. The task is to precisely follow the dynamism of transnational influence and the interference of modernisation-related discourses, which are always selective and entangled. Proceeding from these assumptions, I discuss in this essay various aspects of the transnational entangledness of discourses, especially focusing on the long shadow which European self-interpretations of history, above all the Hegelian one, have cast over public discussions in Japan.

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