The new worlds and sociology: An overview
Since 1988 the world has witnessed unexpectedly massive changes and reforms, including the destructuring of the bipolar world of the Cold War era, the adoption of market economies to replace centrally planned economies, and the democratisation of authoritarian regimes. Essentially, this paper argues that the turbulent transition period of this decade is one that may be characterised as a ‘new world of new worlds’, presenting a vast ensemble of challenges for the sociological analysis of modernity. A historical perspective with previous periods of transition from one social order to the next is proposed, as well as a discussion of salient general socio-psychological features of the contemporary situation, such as changes in collective identity. Finally, attention is given to a methodological approach suitable to make sense of our world situation. © 1994, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
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