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The Peripheral Centre
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The main theme of the book is the complex relationship between the patterns of Japanese modernity and the civilizational legacy on which they continue to grow. The author discusses the East Asian regional context of Japanese civilization, deals with the dynamics of state formation and the attendant cultural transformations in pre-modern Japan, and suggests ways of comparing the Japanese experience to the West. Presenting Japan as a test case for relating the emerging problems of multiple modernities to civilizational perspectives, the book examines the economic foundations as well as the philosophical self-interpretations of Japanese modernity.
Johann P. Arnason is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Born in 1940 in Iceland, he studied philosophy, history and sociology in Prague and Frankfurt. He taught sociology in Heidelberg and Bielefeld from 1972 to 1975, and at La Trobe University from 1975 to 2003. His research interests center on social theory and historical sociology, with particular emphasis on the comparative analysis of civilizations.
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