Anthony Giddens is arguably the world’s leading sociologist. In thiscontroversial contribution to the Giddens debate, Stjepan G.Meštrovi
takes upand criticises the major themes of his work—particularly the concept of “highmodernity” as opposed to “postmodernity” and his attempted construction of a“synthetic” tradition based on human agency and structure.Confronting Giddens as theorist and social critic with the realities of worlddevelopments from the continuing genocide in Africa to atrocities in Chechnyato the secessionism in Quebec, this book argues that the construction of synthetictraditions holds the ominous potential of ushering in a new form of totalitariancontrol—what Meštrovi
calls “postemotionalism,” rather than the possibility of freedom and agency promised by Giddens.
is Professor of Sociology at
Texas A & M