Late modernity (or liquid modernity) is the characterization of today’s highly developed global societies as the continuation (or development) of modernity rather than as an element of the succeeding era known as postmodernity, or the postmodern.
Introduced as ‘liquid’ modernity by the Polish-British sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, late modernity is marked by the global capitalist economies with their increasing privatisation of services and by the information revolution.
Sociologists and social theorists such as Scott Lash, Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman and Anthony Giddens, maintain (against postmodernists) that modernity continues in the contemporary era, so it is better to conceive it as a state of late modernity. 2 From the social and technological changes that have occurred since the 1960s, the concept of “late modernity” proposes that contemporary societies are a clear continuation of institutional transitions and modern cultural developments.
The concept of late modernity is built against the backdrop of a fragmented world of competing and contrasting identities, 3 and lifestyle cultures. 4 The matrix of late modern personality is the ambiguous way in which fluid social relationships affect individuals, producing a self manifold and thoughtful. 5
The distinctive feature of fluid modernity is its lightness and mobility. Due to technological improvements and efforts to accelerate the speed of movement, there is a separation between power and capital from space in fluid modernity. According to Baumana, it has indeed become an extraterritorial (independent of the place) and the place is not closely connected, as in the times of modernity. Because a variety of information and commands can move at the speed of an electronic signal. Time has become a means of conquering space in a globalized world. This has the effect of bringing back the nomadic customs of life into fluid modernity. Bauman says living mobile is better than living stale. The present symptom is flexibility, instantness, circulation and disposable consumption. “The capital in its hard stage was more firmly fixed to the place, and the same was true for the workers it hired. Today’s capital is already light, only with hand luggage, including only a briefcase, a mobile phone, and a portable computer. ”
Another feature of life in fluid modernity is uncertainty. Flexibility or instantness is also imprinted on work. Work is no longer a means of achieving higher goals or plans, but only a short-term way to achieve their desires and consumption. Working in solid modernity, Bauman presents, for example, a Ford factory, where employees were almost certain to stay. On the other hand, in fluid modernity, most employees suffer from uncertainty as power and capital are not tied to the territory. In addition, capital is primarily consumer-oriented, so all labor-related things are secondary. According to Baumana, the insecurity of employees is a powerful individualizing force which leads to resignation over the outlook for the future and the desire for “immediate satisfaction”. The uncertainty of social existence can lead to the perception of the world around us, but also of interpersonal relationships as products of immediate consumption. “Diligence-to-death” is changing into “until satisfaction” type contracts that are temporary and fleeting in nature, planned or pragmatic – and as such they are prone to unilateral termination whenever one of the partners gets better opportunity and value finds himself in escape from the partnership relationship instead of trying to keep it at any price. ” Bauman devoted himself in greater detail to interpersonal relations at the time of fluidity in the Book of Liquid Love: The Fragility of Human Bonds.
Social theorists and sociologists such as Scott Lash, Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman and Anthony Giddens maintain (against postmodernists) that modernization continues into the contemporary era, which is thus better conceived as a radical state of late modernity. On technological and social changes since the 1960s, the concept of “late modernity” proposes that contemporary societies are a clear continuation of modern institutional transitions and cultural developments. Such authors talk about a reflexive modernization process: in Giddens’ words, “social practices are constantly examined and reformed in the light of incoming information about those very practices, thus constitutively altering their character”. Modernity now tends to be self-referring, instead of being defined largely in opposition to traditionalism, as with classical modernity.
Anthony Giddens does not dispute that important changes have occurred since “high” modernity, but he argues that we have not truly abandoned modernity. Rather, the modernity of contemporary society is a developed, radicalized, ‘late’ modernity—but still modernity, not postmodernity. In such a perspective, postmodernism appears only as a hyper-technological version of modernity.’
Zygmunt Bauman – who introduced the idea of liquid modernity – wrote about its consequences on individuals, specifically increasing feelings of uncertainty and a privatization of ambivalence. It is, for this author, a chaotic continuation of modernity, where a person can change from one social position to another in a fluid way. The nomadism becomes a general feature of modern man liquid as it flows through his own life as a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, and sometimes values such as political orientation or sexual excluded from traditional networks of containment.
Bauman accentuates the new burden of responsibility that liquid modernism places on individuals, where traditional patterns are replaced by other self-chosen ones. 8 The expression “liquid modernity” seeks to define a social model that implies “the end of the era of mutual commitment”, where public space recedes and an individualism is imposed that leads to “corrosion and the slow disintegration of the concept of citizenship ” 9 The entrance to the globalized society is open to anyone with their own position and ability to pay, in a similar way to how it was the reception of travelers in the old caravanserai. 10
The result is a normative mentality with an emphasis on change rather than permanence-on a temporary rather than permanent (or “solid”) commitment – that can lead the person to the prison of their own existential creation.
The subject is constructed in late modernity against the backdrop of a fragmented world of competing and contrasting identities and life-style cultures. The framing matrix of the late modern personality is the ambiguous way the fluid social relations of late modernity impinge on the individual, producing a reflexive and multiple self.
Zygmunt Bauman, who introduced the idea of liquid modernity, wrote that its characteristics are about the individual, namely increasing feelings of uncertainty and the privatization of ambivalence. It is a kind of chaotic continuation of modernity, where a person can shift from one social position to another in a fluid manner. Nomadism becomes a general trait of the ‘liquid modern’ man as he flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and sometimes more—such as political or sexual orientation—excluding himself from traditional networks of support, while also freeing himself from the restrictions or requirements those networks impose.
Bauman stressed the new burden of responsibility that fluid modernism placed on the individual—traditional patterns would be replaced by self-chosen ones. Entry into the globalized society was open to anyone with their own stance and the ability to fund it, in a similar way as was the reception of travellers at the old-fashioned caravanserai. The result is a normative mindset with emphasis on shifting rather than on staying—on provisional in lieu of permanent (or ‘solid’) commitment—which (the new style) can lead a person astray towards a prison of their own existential creation.
Anthony Giddens believes that the late modern society is a radicalization and thus a continuation of modernity, but not a replacement. That is precisely why it is not a postmodern society (which involves a break with modernity). The late modern society is characterized by the dissolution of traditions and traditional communities, as well as an individualized value-pluralistic culture with greatly increased reflexiveness. The late modern society is characterized by self-realization, with an endless array of choices among an almost endless range of possibilities, which means great personal freedom for the individual, but also an almost overwhelming responsibility for making the right choices.
Separation of time and space
In the traditional communityit was necessary to be present at the same place and time if you wanted to communicate with someone. Modern technology has made it possible to communicate with others at great distances, anywhere in the globe. You can send a message that the recipient will receive at a later date. This separation of time and space in connection with human interactions offers a different type of social relations and forms of intercourse. These are especially visible in various social media and tend to be less close and profound, as well as taking time from family life and close friend relationships. Conversely, there is also a larger social touch surface that allows for more contact with a larger part of the extended family and old friends, as well as maintaining contact despite the separation in time and distance.
Anthony Giddens says that in the late modern society we depend on abstract or expert systems and symbolic characters, as well as the occurrence of social relations.
Abstract and expert systems may have different grades. Citizens of the late modern society are forced to trust the abstract systems. Parents and children depend entirely on the fact that there are experts in childcare and education that can take over while the parents are at work. Anthony Giddens calls this deployment of social relations because there are just talk of tasks that were previously performed by the family. In the late modern society there are experts ranging from health care to road safety. This deployment of social systems into abstract systems also makes the late modern society dependent on the Giddens symbol as symbolic characters. Symbolic characters are usually part of the placement. The best example of a symbolic sign is money.
The abstract systems can therefore not be avoided in a late modern society where globalization and technological development mean that we rely on the ability of the abstract systems to function, while also relying on the fact that the experts who develop and control abstract systems, do it in such a way that the systems made are safe.
One of the key features of the late modern society is the dissolution of traditions and traditional communities, as well as an individualized value-pluralistic culture with a greatly increased reflexiveness. Aftraditionalization means that no norms, values, and life-span anymore is what late modern man gets from the community, but has become something one chooses. For that reason, the late modern society is characterized by continuous individualization and self-realization, where any social activity is a reason for reflection. Everything in late modern life is a choice: work, circle of friends, leisure time, partner, etc., etc.
In the late modern society, the closest relationships are no longer necessarily the core family, but may be, for example. friends and acquaintances, or new alternative family structures. Sociologist Lars Dencik talks about four different types of families in the late modern society: the team family, the traditional strong family, the swing-door family and the social aquarium.
German sociologist Ulrich Beck calls the new community type for the risk society (Risikogesellschaft (1986)). He believes that the late modern society is characterized by its production of risks, and is a pessimistic view of modern development thinking. Where the modern society produced values and benefits to society, which, of course, were distributed unequally, late-modern society produces risks that are more even. With risks, Beck considers societal issues. These are not always objectively measurable and can therefore depend much on the perspective of the reflective person, where the definitions and understanding of the problems play a crucial role. Terrorism and climate change are good examples. Beck himself believes that the risk societymust be understood as a civilization-critical concept, while Giddens believes that the term fits into his own theories.
Criticism of modernization
Where Jean-Jacques Rousseau described in the book “The Society Pact ” the relationship between the community and the individual as an implied agreement, where the individual waives his unconditional freedom and enters an obligation to respect and comply with the laws and regulations on which society rests, some critics of late modern society believe that this pact is actually denounced today. Henrik Jensen believes in his debate book “The Real Man” that ” Modernization brings about a relativization of morality, we go from morality to” ethics “and from there to” how it feels. “The globalized world is bad long before it becomes chaotic. Where the nomos – law prevailed, anomy – norm resolution occurs. ” He continues: ” Anomy is a state that occurs when the wall erodes or even collapses and there are no longer fixed moral points of view to delineate, guide and sustain human and group actions in the interest of the social good. ” According to Jensen, the result that he calls “modern barbarians” characterized by irresponsibility, corruption, anarchy, apparent mockery on the public based on the “culture of justice” and psychopathic behavior For example, steal cars, drive bikers down and steal them.
Source from Wikipedia