“Dangerous modernity!”, or the shadow play of modernity and its characters: Instrumental rationality - money - technology (Part 2)

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The article is the second part of the essay on the phenomenon of alienation and its forms in modern societies (the first part was published in 2021, No. 4). In this part, the author focuses on technology as ‘fetishized’ by the modern thinking and on various manifestations of alienation in labor, which are not only (and not so much) a consequence of private ownership of the ‘means of production’ (according to Marx), but also a by-product of objective tendencies of social differentiation as aggravated in the course of historical development (division of labor) and the subordination of most spheres of the modern social experience to the logic of instrumental rationality. Excessive specialization, standardization, algorithmization, routinization of activities, technological and functional operationalization of the work process and professional roles, the dominance of means over goals, administrative and bureaucratic regulation and control have become ‘signs of the time’ and distinctive features of the ‘rhythm of activity’ not only in industrial enterprises, but also in non-physical labor. An important aspect (and a background circumstance) in the diagnosis of modernity is the fact that in recent centuries, modern societies have developed mainly in the urban social-ecological environment. The format and style of urban life with its role-based fragmentation and specific depersonification (and an increase in anonymity) also provoked a range of consequences that make alienation a challenge for modern societies. The author uses the concepts of classical sociological theory as a key tool for analyzing and describing the ‘universe of modernity’, and refers to the ideas of M. Weber, G. Simmel, L. Wirth, H.M. McLuhan, H. Marcuse, G. Friedmann, С. Lefort and others.

About the authors

D. G. Podvoyskiy

Lomonosov Moscow State University; RUDN University; Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS

Author for correspondence.
Email: dpodvoiski@yandex.ru

кандидат философских наук, доцент кафедры социальной философии и философии истории Московского государственного университета им. М.В. Ломоносова; доцент кафедры социологии Российского университета дружбы народов; ведущий научный сотрудник отдела теории и истории социологии Федерального научно-исследовательского социологического центра Российской академии наук

Lomonosovsky Prosp., 27-4, GSP-1, Moscow, 119991, Russia; Miklukho-Maklaya St., 6, Moscow, 117198, Russia; Krzhizhanovskogo St., 24/35-5, Moscow, 117218, Russia


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