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Anthony Giddens Modernity and Self-Identity

Uploaded by tmjsnbrd95 on Oct 27, 2011

This essay discusses Anthony Giddens book with regard to women in Modern society.

I Introduction

Anthony Giddens’ book tackles a vast and complex subject: the way in which institutions have influenced day-to-day social life in what he calls the “High Modern” era. “High modernity” is the society in which we live today: fast-paced, highly industrialized, and sometimes dangerous.
This paper will explain his theory and how it applies in everyday life, particularly to women.

II Discussion

Giddens’ provides a very succinct description of his theory for us:
“… modern social life is characterized by profound processes of the reorganization of time and space, coupled to the expansion of disembedding mechanisms—mechanisms which prise social relations free from the hold of specific locales, recombining them across wide time-space distances. The reorganization of time and space, plus the disembedding mechanisms ... act to transform the content and nature of day-to-day social life.”

Basically what he’s saying is that society is now so fluid, with people moving easily around the globe, working and living in other countries, and raising children in new cultures, that the old paradigms of social life have broken down. We are no longer confined to one time and place, but can go where we wish, whenever we wish to do so. This fluidity has led to some significant problems, as well as great benefits.
It’s easy to understand the significance of the new age for women, particularly women with children. Giddens discusses the formation of the child’s identity, and the concept of trust that accompanies it.
First, he defines humanity when he says that to be human is to know what one is doing all the time, and why. He also says that self-identity is “… the self as reflexively understood by the person in terms of her or his biography.” Thus in order to form an identity in which self-esteem is healthy, a child has to know what it is to be able to trust someone. (Trust is a very important concept in Giddens’ book, perhaps the most important.)
Giddens explains that life – the simple act of living – in inherently risky. In order to be able to function, we all have a sort of personal sense of invulnerability that allows us to accept the risks and keep going. Without it, we’d be paralyzed. This way of living, which...

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Uploaded by:   tmjsnbrd95

Date:   10/27/2011

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (670 words)

Views:   3102

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