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Modernity and Exclusion by Joel S Kahn

By Joel S Kahn

This penetrating e-book re-examines `the venture of modernity'. It seeks to oppose the summary, idealized imaginative and prescient of modernity with another `ethnographic' figuring out. The ebook defends an method of modernity that situates it as embedded particularly and ancient contexts. It examines instances of `popular modernism' within the usa, Britain and colonial Malaysia, drawing out the explicit cultural and non secular assumptions underlying well known modernism and concludes that modernism is implicated in a variety of kinds of cultural and racial exclusion.

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Despite Hargrave's extensive interest in the lives of indigenous North Americans, there is no doubt that he saw his task primarily as not just a re¯ection on the problems of modernity, but as a means of overcoming them. Most importantly, Hargrave's thoughts on civilisation and the primitive provide us with a kind of ethnographic picture of what appears to be an extremely pervasive British discourse on the nature of modern British-ness. In its different guises this discourse seems to set out the parameters by which Britons, at least in the twentieth century, de®ned who was, and who was not British.

It cannot be amusingly mystical in the half-shades; it must stand four-square in the full white light of the morning. We have need of this instrument ± this living thing ± now . . We have need of it, however feeble and halting its embryonic emergence may be . . because it already exists dumbly, incoherently, within the hearts of millions of human beings . . Because of this dire need such an instrument will take shape. ) Equally signi®cant was the close alliance forged in the early years between Kibbo Kift and the cooperative movement, particularly the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society.

This is the subject of the ®nal chapter in which I trace the fate of popular modernisms in America, Britain and Malaysia into the latter part of the twentieth century, and argue that although each retains certain distinctive features, each has also been substantially transformed out of a contest between those seeking to maintain the exclusions, and those seeking to be included in new understandings of the modern. This book, then, is indeed about an encounter. But it is not an encounter in the salons of the high priests of modernity over the aesthetic and philosophical principles that de®ne modernity; nor is the encounter between moderns and non-moderns.

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