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Satisfaction Not GuaranteedDilemmas of Progress in Modern Society$
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Peter N. Stearns

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814783627

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814783627.001.0001

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Modernity’s Deficiencies

Modernity’s Deficiencies

(p.61) 4 Modernity’s Deficiencies
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Peter N. Stearns

NYU Press

This chapter sketches measurable deteriorations under modernity's shadow, which are capable of at least recurrently affecting resultant overall satisfaction. Deteriorations of community cohesiveness, environment, and outbreak of war, among others, illustrate that human beings have developed the capacity to destroy themselves and the planet, and some would argue that they are busily doing so already. But there are greater complications to this negative vision that must be taken into account, such as the fact that the many downsides discussed so far in this chapter may be evaluated differently according to each affected individual or community. Hence, while modernity has a number of measurable down sides, its more complicated impacts may in fact be the more interesting and decisive contributors to the happiness gap. Arguably, the processes that require adjustment in daily behaviors, particularly when they mix advantages and disadvantages, induce the most nuanced reactions to modernity as a whole.

Keywords:   war, environmental disasters, community cohesiveness, measurable deteriorations, modernity, modernity impacts, happiness gap, modernity reactions

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