Commentary Kim


Jongtae Kim The Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University

The concept of modernity first appeared in Europe to reflect Europeans’ self-consciousness as a conceptual tool for distinguishing themselves from those in the past and in other regions. Thus, it contained Eurocentric elements in itself to some degree. It tended to assume ‘a single historical time-scale’ (Hall, 1996: 11) and transform ‘spatial differences’ into ‘temporal differences’, in which western societies moved ahead of others. The path to modernity was supposed as single and universal, based on Eurocentric ‘tunnel’ historiography (Blaut, 1993).

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