The End of the World as We Know it: Social Science for the Twenty-first Century

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University of Minnesota Press, 1999 - 277 páginas
This book in nothing short of a state-of-the-world address, delivered by a scholar uniquely suited to the task. Immanuel Wallerstein, one of the most prominent social scientists of our time, documents the profound transformations our world is undergoing. With these transformations, he argues, come equally profound changes in how we understand the world.

Wallerstein divides his work between an appraisal of significant recent events and a study of the shifts in thought influenced by those events. The book's first half reviews the major happenings of recent decades -- the collapse of the Leninist states, the exhaustion of national liberation movements, the rise of East Asia, the challenges to national sovereignty, the dangers to the environment, the debates about national identity, and the marginalization of migrant populations. Wallerstein places these events and trends in the context of th changing modern world-system as a whole and identifies the historical choices they put before us.

The second half of the book takes up current issues in the world of knowledge -- the vanishing faith in rationality, the scattering of knowledge activities, the denunciation of Eurocentrism, the questioning of the division of knowledge into science and humanities, and the relation of the search for the true and the search for the good. Wallerstein explores how these questions have arisen from larger social transformations, and why the traditional ways of framing such debates have become obstacle to resolving them. The End of the World As We Know It concludes with a crucial analysis of the momentous intellectual challenges to social science and suggests possible responses to them.

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Sobre el autor (1999)

Wallerstein studied at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in sociology in 1959. His work has focused primarily on what he calls "world systems theory," which deals with the socioeconomic dynamics of global dependence and interdependence. As Wallerstein sees it, the wealthy nations of the world control and manipulate the destinies of weaker nations and keep them dependent. The world system is an outcome of historic global, political, and ideological forces leading to Western hegemony.

Immanuel Wallerstein is a Senior Research Scholar at Yale University and Director of the Fernand Braudel Center at Binghamton University. Among his many books are The Modern World-System (three volumes); The End of the World as We Know It: Social Science for the Twenty-first Century; Utopistics: Or, Historical Choices of the Twenty-first Century; and Unthinking Social Science: The Limits of Nineteenth-Century Paradigms.

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