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Questioning Modernity in Indonesia and Malaysia

Modernity, as it stands in the book, refers to a theoretical set of facile tools which improve an individual’s socio-political and rational life by placing importance upon his/her secular and material attributes. Questioning Modernity addresses the concept in the sense of a process and system of the social world speaking for such universalistic claims as rationality, modernization, secularization, capitalism, bureaucratization of the socio-political lifeworld, and the increasing materialism of human values.

 

Modernity, as it stands in the book, refers to a theoretical set of facile tools which improve an individual’s socio-political and rational life by placing importance upon his/her secular and material attributes. Questioning Modernity addresses the concept in the sense of a process and system of the social world speaking for such universalistic claims as rationality, modernization, secularization, capitalism, bureaucratization of the socio-political lifeworld, and the increasing materialism of human values. All these descriptions are in unison, each aspect relates to one another, without which there can be no mechanistic meaning to scientific and technological progress. Modernity features binaries of social differentiation, whether it refers to the secular state or faith-based societies, to free market or command economy, to public or private domains, to individuality or communal spaces, among others. With that said this Western approach to modernity has been highly challenged by postcolonial scholars, generally, because it does not widely account for the diverse modern socio-cultural experiences of communities beyond Europe and the U.S.

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