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Social Theory at the Early End of a Short Century

Charles Lemert
Sociological Theory
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Jul., 1994), pp. 140-152
DOI: 10.2307/201860
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/201860
Page Count: 13
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Social Theory at the Early End of a Short Century
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Abstract

It is, perhaps, time to move beyond the postmodernism debate if only because the challenges it poses cannot be solved from within its terms. In fact, there is every good reason to believe that modernity is ending but the facts of this matter will not be discovered by theory alone. It is, thus, time for social theory to return to original purposes-to write the history of the present. Accordingly, social theory must reread its classics, not to return to origins, but to recognize just how difficult it was for even the best of the modernists to face the reality of modernity's divided and multiplied natures. Thus disabused, it might be possible for social theory to study the present for what it is.

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