Giddens’ argument that we are not yet in a post-modern world is an outcry to all those who study the development of history. He is articulating that although we have come a long way since seventeenth century England, we have not yet left the modern world. People that study how technology shapes what’s around us are also targeted in this theoretical statement, inventions that may have seemed to propel us into post-modernity could just be advances in our modern world. His introduction to this essay states that to move into a different era, our whole social system must change, we need to change the way we think and the way we do things. Giddens wants the reader to challenge what they think they know. He wants his readers to look at the world from a different perspective even if they don’t agree with that way of thinking.
In the author’s introduction, it soon becomes clear that he wants to evaluate society’s thinking as a whole. He equates modernity to “modes of social life or organization which emerged from Europe from about the seventeenth century onwards” (Giddens, 1). Anthony Giddens wants to show that his arguments will be based off of the world’s accomplishments and how they have affected our interactions throughout history. He also wants to compare our current society’s traditions to those in the seventeenth century, where the era of modernity supposedly began. Society obviously plays a big part in any change in history and Giddens is narrowing down just what part of society has kept us in this era.
Giddens’ most compelling argument came from his discussion about the calendar, and how it transformed our world from pre-modern to modern. Before there was a way to keep time, “’when’ was almost universally either connected with ‘where’ or identified by regular natural occurrences” (Giddens 17). The invention of the calendar and eventually the mechanical clock surged us into a modern world where we could have decisive times and places without mixing when and where up. The advancement in time and space was what made the world turn modern, and what Giddens implies is that post-modernity won’t be reached until we have another advancement of that magnitude.
In his introduction to describing modernity, Giddens is able to dissect pieces of the world that I have never thought could be dissected. What’s more, he’s able to do it in a manner that allows most people to understand, not just scholars looking to further their intellect on world culture. Although his writing is simple enough to comprehend, it is sophisticated enough to show that the person writing this argument was meticulous in his research in order to give the best argument of the consequences of modernity possible.