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Author: Gerard Delanty

This article offers a theory of the notion ‘reference culture’ by taking as major examples modernity and Europe. Both constitute reference cultures and while different are closely related. A certain entanglement took place between the emergence of modernity and the formation of European culture whereby the latter came to be one of the main carriers of modernity. However, they need to be separated in that Europe, while being the first major expression of modernity, is not the only embodiment of modernity. Modernity can be termed a first-order reference culture and Europe a second-order one. While there have been many second-order reference cultures, the European one was an influential and powerful one, but it was also a temporary one. This article sets out the main features that define the specificity of Europe. Against accounts that emphasize a master narrative or an underlying cultural unity to Europe, it is argued that crucial to the making of Europe was the formation of modes of communication that enabled common practices to develop across a range of different cultures. In this way, it is argued, Europe consolidated as a consequence less of endogenous factors than exogenous ones. Important, too, was the mobile nature of European culture which facilitated translation into other cultures and which was also receptive to modernity. The twentieth century has witnessed the emergence of other varieties of modernity and the global decline of the European model.

Open Access
In: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity
In: The Idea of Europe
In: Comparing Modernities
Author: Gerard Delanty

Abstract

Theories of social integration presuppose a model of cultural consensus which is very much based on the nation-state. This idea of culture as a unitary framework based on consensus on core values, which are supposed to be embodied in European cultural identity, is reflected in many debates on European integration which stress the need for a socio-cultural dimension. But this idea of cultural cohesion as a prerequisite for social integration fails to understand the nature of culture and social integration. Culture is becoming the site for new conflicts over identity politics and European integration is not leading to greater cohesion but to increased opportunities for contentious action. This paper examines conceptions of culture and social integration in particular with respect to the prospects of a Europeanization based on reflexivity and pluralization.

In: Europeanization
Author: Gerard Delanty

Abstract

Theories of social integration presuppose a model of cultural consensus which is very much based on the nation-state. This idea of culture as a unitary framework based on consensus on core values, which are supposed to be embodied in European cultural identity, is reflected in many debates on European integration which stress the need for a socio-cultural dimension. But this idea of cultural cohesion as a prerequisite for social integration fails to understand the nature of culture and social integration. Culture is becoming the site for new conflicts over identity politics and European integration is not leading to greater cohesion but to increased opportunities for contentious action. This paper examines conceptions of culture and social integration in particular with respect to the prospects of a Europeanization based on reflexivity and pluralization.

In: Europeanization
Author: Gerard Delanty

Abstract

Theories of social integration presuppose a model of cultural consensus which is very much based on the nation-state. This idea of culture as a unitary framework based on consensus on core values, which are supposed to be embodied in European cultural identity, is reflected in many debates on European integration which stress the need for a socio-cultural dimension. But this idea of cultural cohesion as a prerequisite for social integration fails to understand the nature of culture and social integration. Culture is becoming the site for new conflicts over identity politics and European integration is not leading to greater cohesion but to increased opportunities for contentious action. This paper examines conceptions of culture and social integration in particular with respect to the prospects of a Europeanization based on reflexivity and pluralization.

In: Europeanization