Currents and perspectives in contemporary civilisational analysis
in Debating civilisations

The key contention is that contemporary historians and comparative sociologists have posited integrationist, processual and relational images of civilisations. The three images apply to a more diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives than prevailed in earlier studies of civilisations in anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology. This chapter aims to articulate the insights and limitations of each image by setting out how each image shapes approaches to civilisations. In the 1990s, S. N. Eisenstadt spearheaded major research enterprises by defining the agenda for contemporary civilisational analysis, where a conflation of religion and civilisation. Norbert Elias's historical sociology of the civilising process reconstructs the emergence of social constraint towards self-constraint in observable daily habits and behaviour over the course of the long European Middle Ages. Urging problematisation of conceptions that postulate the internal unity of civilisations, Arnason expounds a 'stronger emphasis on and better understanding of differences and differentiation'.

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Debating civilisations

Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age

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