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Michel Maffesoli’s Sociology of Modernity and Postmodernity: An Introduction and Critical Assessment

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This article introduces and criticises Michel Maffesoli’s attempt to formulate a post-modern sociology for post-modern times. While arguing that Maffesoli’s sociology is suggestive and insightful about many aspects and features of late-modern life this article, nonetheless, questions whether Maffesoli’s approach should be accepted as a fruitful sociological paradigm which others should take up uncritically. Moreover, it will be argued that Maffesoli’s approach is an ultimately incoherent and one-sided approach to studying the ‘postmodern condition’ in that it does not escape the problem of ‘performative contradiction’ identified by the likes of Habermas, Giddens and Touraine. That is to say, Maffesoli has produced a one-sided and flattened out image of modernity that cannot account for the possibility of social and political critique.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: St. Mary’s University College

Publication date: 01 May 1997

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