The transformation of modern societies

In 1971, the American sociologist Daniel Bell (Harvard) published a book on the advent of the "post-industrial society". He pointed out what many had observed elsewhere: Western countries were no longer industrial countries. Their society changed accordingly. Since then, the processing industry's share in modern societies has fallen below 20%. This transformation of modern societies, cause or effect, is not only economic, but also cultural, sociological and even political.

For many observers and analysts, modern society has reconfigured itself to the point of being described as "post modern" or, according to that, as "supermodern", "hypermodern", "advanced modernity" ".

What are these transformations and why qualify what results from as "post modern"? To answer this question, first we will  try to clarify what is meant by modernity and modernization, and then we must examine what has actually changed since the middle of the last century. Finally, we will study the configuration of post-modern society through the debates it raises in the world of knowledge, especially in the social sciences. To do this, we will move back and forth between America (the United States) and Europe, especially France and its "modern" critical thinkers (grouped in the United States under the term " French Theory "), which the Americans have inspired to advance and demonstrate the idea of ??post-modern society.




Louis Dupont is Professor of Universities in Geography and Planning at the Faculty of Arts & Humanities Sorbonne Université.


He is also Director CNRS Laboratory, EneC and Director of the Master Culture, Politics, Heritage.