Civilization, Culture and the New Barbarians

TitleCivilization, Culture and the New Barbarians
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAl-Azmeh, A.
Journal titleInternational Sociology
Pages75 - 93

There has been a revival in Western thought of romantic ideas of society & history that, before WWII, had been associated with conservative & right-wing political movements & ideologies. The emphasis on an unreflected notion of culture, postmodernist relativism, scenarios of the wars of civilizations, fundamentalist reclamations of authenticity, & multiculturalist celebrations of difference constitute a revival of irrationalist social theories, where culture replaces race as the organizing principle of a theory of predispositions inherent in ethnic, religious, & national groups. This repetition of late-19th-century polemics against degeneration & against the Enlightenment gathered force in a context marked by the fall of the socialist bloc, deregulation, structural marginality, & the waning of humanism in favor of an anthropological pessimism emphasizing singularity. 49 References. Adapted from the source document.


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Department of Medieval Studies