Essay on Modernity and The Age of Enlightenment

1373 Words 6 Pages
When talking about the concept of modernity, most people will probably think such concept is related to the contemporary era they live in where many advanced technology present in everyday life. In this so-called modern era, people from different regions and cultural backgrounds share many similar characteristics, such as their daily technology or civilization, general knowledge and science, and even the way they dressed. In fact, many characteristics or values that are different with those shared contemporary characteristics or values are often labelled as “traditional” or “alternative”. Some people believed that the beginning of modernity was marked by the age of Enlightenment where rationalism prevailed. Nevertheless, others believe …show more content…
In fact, Mann pointed out that in the past, this collective identity was more commonly referred to as the Christendom. The external challenge from Islam on the East and the South also contributed to the formation of this collective identity. It is interesting, however, that rather that seeing the external challenge came from another specific country or region, Hall, along with the writers whom he cited, mentioned that the challenge was coming from another religion. This kind of paradigm further indicated that the collective identity among the different Western European communities was indeed established based on the similar religious belief.
As the said concept of collective identity deals with the similarities among societies, such concept became more significant when the members of the group assuming the collective identity face other groups which are very different with their own group. This, in turn, forms the concept of “we” and “others”, as happened during the era of European exploration to the “new worlds”. During that era, explorers from Western Europe came into contacts with various culture different from their Christendom’s culture. Within the discourse that becomes the focus of his work, Hall (1996) mentioned the use of binary system of “The West” versus “The Rest”, in which the latter was used to group together

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