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Full Access Global Modernity and Temporal Multiplicity

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Global Modernity and Temporal Multiplicity

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Abstract Global modernity is not only shrinking the world in terms of communication, trade, travel and many forms of social exchange but also implanting the idea that only the present matters. This logic of ‘presentism’ is infused with a growing sense of sameness precipitated by the rapidity of transnational commercialism and the seductive pull of neo-liberal ideologies. In a context marked by a hypermodern inflation of wants and commodities, the notion of globality cannot do without a perspective that emphasizes the spatialization of time where distance becomes almost superfluous. Yet the shrinking of the world is not exclusively space-centered since concurrent exposure to myriad cultures and their histories is producing an alternate sensitivity to time-centered meanings of modernity. By historicizing change, temporal geographies emerge in the form of multiple modernities that makes problematic the idea of spatio-temporal uniformity in a globalized world. Instead, crosscurrents of global interconnectivity are producing varying patterns of spatial and temporal perception to suggest a new sense of co-evalness or an interplay of diachronic, synchronic and desynchronized actions.

Affiliations: 1: Anthropology and Sociology, University of Malaysia 50603 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia rlmlee@tm.net.my

10.1163/156852412X631637
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Abstract Global modernity is not only shrinking the world in terms of communication, trade, travel and many forms of social exchange but also implanting the idea that only the present matters. This logic of ‘presentism’ is infused with a growing sense of sameness precipitated by the rapidity of transnational commercialism and the seductive pull of neo-liberal ideologies. In a context marked by a hypermodern inflation of wants and commodities, the notion of globality cannot do without a perspective that emphasizes the spatialization of time where distance becomes almost superfluous. Yet the shrinking of the world is not exclusively space-centered since concurrent exposure to myriad cultures and their histories is producing an alternate sensitivity to time-centered meanings of modernity. By historicizing change, temporal geographies emerge in the form of multiple modernities that makes problematic the idea of spatio-temporal uniformity in a globalized world. Instead, crosscurrents of global interconnectivity are producing varying patterns of spatial and temporal perception to suggest a new sense of co-evalness or an interplay of diachronic, synchronic and desynchronized actions.

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2012-01-01
2016-12-07

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