Badlands of Modernity: Heterotopia and Social Ordering by Kevin Hetherington

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By Kevin Hetherington

IThe Badlands of Modernity deals a panoramic and unique interpretation of modernity. via an research of a few of crucial social areas of the eighteenth century, this publication examines modern debates approximately modernity and postmodernity, the nature of social order and the importance of marginal area relating to problems with order, transgression and resistance. Drawing on Foucault's research of heterotopia, or areas of trade ordering, Kevin Hetherington argues that modernity originates via an interaction among principles of utopia and heterotopia. Tha Palais Royal in the course of the French Revolution, the masonic inn and the early factories of the commercial revolution are all analyzed as heterotopia, within which smooth social ordering is built. instead of seeing modernity as being outlined via social order, the publication argues that we have to take account of the tactics that produce social ordering, their ambiguity and the areas during which they emerge, if we're to appreciate the nature of contemporary societies.

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Additional info for Badlands of Modernity: Heterotopia and Social Ordering (International Library of Sociology)

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Ordering is a performance context: social, technical, material, temporal and spatial, and this context is not fixed but open to infinite change and uncertain consequences. The Palais Royal was one form of ordering that agents found themselves in. It was a spatial context, socially and materially constituted, most significantly, for a short period of time in the late eighteenth century, through which a utopics of the modern was expressed as an alternative social ordering. That ordering was defined by activities that were not only transgressive and resistant but also revolutionary.

Wilson considers how women have come to represent the Other of the city in terms of figures such as the prostitute or lesbian, and how the city comes to be seen as feminine through the promiscuity of crowds, consumption and temptation in male discourse. Woman, for Wilson, becomes the uncertain figure of the Sphinx who inhabits the Other places of the city. As such, the city becomes not so much a place from which women are excluded, in the way that other feminist writers on the city have suggested (see Wolff 1985), but a place whose uncertain spaces offer sites of resistance for women.

Such practices were tolerated by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities during this period (1986:10). The market, especially in relation to its association with the fair, gathers and organizes nearness and remoteness into a unity. The market, while it might be associated with the town in relation to the countryside, is also a place that can be contrasted with itself at different times. Market day, Saints’ days and festivals in which the carnivalesque makes its appearance are temporally situated in relation to other times.

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