Modernity, Ambivalence and the Gardening State

Thesis Eleven 83 (1):78-89 (2005)
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This contribution attempts to show the ‘universality’ of Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of ‘modernity and ambivalence’. First it tries to explain the new feeling of insecurity and fear after the end of the Cold War: we have lost our intimate enemy, communism, and got ‘alien’ Islamism instead. Further, it is argued that ‘exotic’ modernity (from a Eurocentric perspective) is also in fear of ambivalence, as demonstrated by Sinophobia in Indonesia. The conclusion is that a ‘postmodern’ accommodation of ambivalence is still far from being accomplished. A rather guarded proposal is made that a self-image as a universal citoyen/ne might be part of a solution



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