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Worlds of Difference

Worlds of Difference

First Edition
Edited by:

August 2013 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How can differences be understood in social theory through comparisons, and how should social theory relate to regional studies to do so?

This question has been prevalent within the sociological field for over a century, but is becoming increasingly important in a globalised age in which cultural borders are constantly challenged and rapidly changing. In this collection, Arjomand and Reis illuminate the importance of exploring spatial, cultural and intellectual differences beyond generalizations, attempting to understand diversity in itself as it takes shape across the world. With contributions from internationally renowned scholars, and a focussed emphasis upon sociological key themes such as modernization, citizenship, human rights, inequality and domination, this title provides a rich and convincing discussion that will add significant value to the ongoing debate about alternative modernities, diversity and change within the social sciences.

 Worlds of Difference constitutes an important and timely collection that will be of great inspiration for students and scholars alike.

Said A. Arjomand & Elisa Reis
Introduction to Worlds of Difference
Said Amir Arjomand
Chapter 1: Multiple Modernities and the Promise of Comparative Sociology
Sujata Patel
Chapter 2: Are the Theories of Multiple Modernities Eurocentric? The Problem of Colonialism and its Knowledge(s)
Raewyn Connell
Chapter 3: The Shores of the Southern Ocean - Steps Toward a World Sociology of Modernity, with Australian Examples
Petya Kabakchieva
Chapter 4: Conceptualizing Overlapping Modernities - A View from Postcommunist Eastern Europe
Rajeev Bhargava
Chapter 5: Forms of Secularity Before Secularism - The Political Morality of Ashoka and Akbar
Farhad Khosrokhavar
Chapter 6: Two Types of Secularization - The Iranian Case
Adam Habib and Kristina Bentley
Chapter 7: Racial Redress, National Identity & Citizenship in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Elisa Reis
Chapter 8: Democracy and the Challenge of Reconciling Equality and Difference
Connor Cradden and Lucio Baccaro
Chapter 9: Suffrage without Citizenship? Deliberating About the Boundaries of the Demos in Geneva
Bryan S. Turner
Chapter 10: Contemporary Citizenship - Four Types
Volker Schmidt
Chapter 11: Gradual and Categorical Inequalities

This book explores new avenues in the comparative sociology of contemporary societies. "Worlds of difference" aims to overcome the barren opposition between an ill-defined neo-modernization approach and the theory of multiple modernities, which is ridden with conceptual difficulties. Its detailed analyses of cases and aspects of contemporary modernity open new ways of understanding similarities and differences, convergence and persistent diversity in the current world.

Peter Wagner
ICREA and University of Barcelona

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