Modern Social Imaginaries
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Modern Social Imaginaries

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  14 reviews
One of the most influential philosophers in the English-speaking world, Charles Taylor is internationally renowned for his contributions to political and moral theory, particularly to debates about identity formation, multiculturalism, secularism, and modernity. In Modern Social Imaginaries, Taylor continues his recent reflections on the theme of multiple modernities. To a...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published December 29th 2003 by Duke University Press Books (first published December 8th 2003)
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Rhys
It reminded me a lot of Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition as it describes modernism as a unifying/levelling process and the loss of the hero and 'natural' hierarchy.

"With the coming of a commercial society, it seemed that greatness, heroism, and full-hearted dedication to a nonutilitarian cause were in danger of atrophy, even of disappearing from the world" (p.81).

On the positive side, modernism (according to Taylor) does not necessarily lead to 'alienation, meaninglessness, a sense of impendi...more
RK-ique
I feel the need to reread this small book every so often to get back in touch with Taylor's genealogical method of explaining modern social imaginaries. I should really be revisiting his The Secular Age which is a much more in-depth approach to much the same material.

I greatly value the book believing Taylor's approach to be exemplary. However, while continuing to give the work five stars, because I believe it has changed my own way of looking at history, society and my own beliefs, I need to s...more
Daniel Hammer
Charles Taylor is a philosopher whose work demands respect. He writes on heady topics like the imaginary, but always strives to make his arguments clear, rather than suggestively evocative. In this book, he works out his idea of the "social imaginary," which he has used elsewhere. As an anthropologist, it is a concept I like and hope to find use for. Whereas the culture concept seems to have a limited range, and discussion of ideology and ideas implicitly refer to fixed concepts of thinkers and...more
Roger Lohmann
What a wonderful little gem of a book! With multiple implications for the interpretive social sciences and humanities.

What is a social imaginary? In Chapter 2 Taylor defines this provocatively as "the ways people imagine their social existence, how they fit together and how things go on between them and their fellows, the expectations that are normally met, and the deeper normative notions and images that underlie these expectations." (p. 23) Among other things this is an interesting notion for...more
David
Extremely thought provoking. I came to it after spending an inordinate amount of time wondering whether or not our accelerating rate of techno-social innovation created opportunities for humankind or simply accreted the rate at which we would enter a steep and permanent decline at the hands of capitalism. Taylor's imaginaries helped me reclaim a grip on the The Commons.
Linda
Taylor examines the development of the ideas of modern society. He argues that the sharing of cultural beliefs by large groups of people are necessary to make cultural practices legitimate. His examination extends to societal ideas about politics, economics and religion. This is a small, dense book but not hard to read. Charles Taylor is a well-known academic and worth reading.
Joe Mulrooney
A quicker & shorter read than Sources of the Self & A Secular Age, and covers much of the same material. Worth reading because anything Charles Taylor writes is worth reading, but the other two go much deeper. This adds to the other books, but does not break much new ground if you've read the others.
Dan
this book gave me lots of takeaways for the integration of theory and practice as the means of initiating and sustaining social change. As well as, be careful what you wish for; ideas may take on a life of their own regardless of initial intention.
John


I just couldn't get into this book. Much theory and many created terms to describe philosophical paradigms. Would not recommend.
Archer
Jun 10, 2008 Archer marked it as to-read
Charles Taylor came to one of my classes once. I expect this book to be good.
Tank Green
the chapter on the social imaginary is fantastic.
Grant Campbell
Neato. Nifty. Cool. Really, really interesting.
Eric Hines
Sep 26, 2009 Eric Hines marked it as to-read
Shelves: culture, society
cultural theory
Mary-anne
Loved the idea of good citizenship and what is required
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Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity A Secular Age The Ethics of Authenticity Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition The Malaise Of Modernity

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