Multiple Modernities and Turkish Modernity

A Continuous Journey of Europeanization
  • Ayhan Kaya
Part of the Identities and Modernities in Europe book series (IME)


Traditionally, modernity is perceived to be a linear and teleological process, spreading from the West to the rest of the world. Almost all 19th- and 20th-century sociology teleologically took modernity as a one-way process, experienced by all nations being transformed from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft. Auguste Comte, Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel, Ferdinand Tönnies, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Max Weber, Bronislaw Malinowski and several other social scientists assumed and claimed that all societies undergo the same transformations, but over differing periods of time. In the final analysis, they would all be ‘modern’ in a Western sense. According to the meta-narratives of modernity such as the nation-state; the West; the proletariat; high culture; teleological thinking; and progress and totality, irrational attachments to the local, the particular, tradition, roots, national myths and superstitions would gradually be replaced by more rational, secular and universalist social identities. In this frame of reference, modernization is equated with Westernization, a process which is very visible in the narrative of Turkish modernization. This belief also resulted in a subjective evaluation of Western-type civilization as the superior model of civilization, thus promoting Euro-American hegemony in the discourse on modernity.


Soft Power Military Coup Dual Citizenship Turkish State Turkish Republic 
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Copyright information

© Ayhan Kaya 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayhan Kaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Istanbul Bilgi UniversityTurkey

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