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Transgressing the Modern: Explorations in the Western Experience of Otherness / Edition 1

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The author's central theme is the relationship of modernity to the exclusions and repressions that have become central to the modern sense of identity, and which have frequently subverted the liberal, cosmopolitan pretensions of the modern West. He shows how an understanding of modernity is inseparable from an understanding of this 'other' side, these zones of distortion and taboo - the carnivalesque, the 'primitive', madness, nature, sexuality, and aspects of the feminine. These are shown to hold a powerful fascination for the modern imagination, and to provide potent resources for transgression, conflict and nostalgia.. "The second main theme is the emergence of transgression itself as central to the modern experience of otherness - the crossing of the boundaries that separate 'us' and 'them', through art, fantasy and the theatrical dimensions of everyday life.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Transgressing the Modern is what should be impossible: 'a carnival of representation' which subverts controversial boundaries between social theory, the humanities and the arts. It excavates the richest veins in modern western societies' endless struggles to marginalize, exclude and repress whatever makes them uncomfortable. John Jervis has written a wonderful synthesizing book - creative, imaginative and deeply suggestive of a better way forward." Rob Stones, University of Essex
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631211105
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/2/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

John Jervis has taught extensively in the areas of Sociology, Social Anthropology, and Cultural Studies, at the University of Kent at Canterbury. His previous book, Exploring the Modern (1999) is also published by Blackwell Publishers.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Civilizing Imperative 11
1 Carnival Pleasures and the Spectre of Misrule 13
2 Manners and Morals: The Civilization of Culture 32
Pt. II Modernity and Its Others 55
3 Exotic Encounters: Savagery, Civilization and the Imperial Other 57
4 The Alienated Mind: Reason and the Exile of Madness 83
5 Modernity's Sphinx: Woman as Nature and Culture 107
6 The Rape and Romance of 'Nature' 134
7 Forbidden Desires: Taboo, Transgression and Sexuality 157
Pt. III Continuities, Challenges, Transformations 181
8 Blacks, Whites and Hybrids 183
9 Postmodern Possibilities: Alienating the Modern? 204
Key Terms 219
Guide to Further Reading 222
Index 223
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