Entr’acte: Sound Junctures of Global Modernity
In listening to nineteenth-century modernity, we hear the recurring motives of modernity’s dual logic in the simultaneous uniformization and fragmentation of economic systems, social institutions, cultural practices, and identity formations across the globe. In describing this process of uniformization, I refer to global historian C.A. Bayly’s discernment of the difference between homogeneity, and the pessimistic vision of a monoculturalisation of the world. Instead, I employ the notion of uniformization to observe the increased commonality in the practices and implementations of technologies and bodily practices across societies and cultures. In understanding the process of uniformization, I want to point to the inter-twining common aspirations for modernity by various societies across the world taking into account that the different interpretations of modernity bring about plural articulations and practices. This concomitant fragmentation of modernity into modernities is echoed in its replication, displacement, and diversification of economic systems, social institutions, cultural practices, and identity formations in various spaces and societies at the local and global level. In the next three chapters, this will further become clear as I investigate the inter-twined forces of nation-building and translocal migrations. Rather than a teleological exposition of a singular red thread, my research follows through junctures of modernity that brought about the increasing entanglement of the global histories of peoples, cultures, and ideas.
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