Non Place Essays On Abortion

First published in 1992 and reissued with a new introduction, anthropologist Marc Augé's book is a haunting analysis of modern life and in particular those homogenised "non-places" where we spend so much of our time: airports, railway stations, superstores, motorways and international hotel chains. Unlike conventional "anthropological places" (the symbolic site of an altar), these "spaces of circulation, consumption and communication" exist beyond history, relations and the game of identity. Yet, as Augé shows, the anodyne and anonymous solitude of these non-places offers the transitory occupant the illusion of being part of some grand global scheme: a fugitive glimpse of a utopian city-world. The forces of globalisation and urbanisation are creating ever more of these Ballardian non-places, symptoms of a Muzak-filled supermodernity in which "people are always, and never, at home". Unsettling, elegantly written and illuminating: essential reading for anyone seeking to understand our supermodern condition.

Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity3.77 · Rating details ·  1,023 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

An ever-increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports and hotels, on motorways or in front of TVs, computer and cash machines. This invasion of the world by what Marc Auge calls ‘non-space’ results in a profound alteration of awareness: something we perceive, but only in a partial and incoherent manner. Auge uses the concept of ‘supermodernity’ to dAn ever-increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports and hotels, on motorways or in front of TVs, computer and cash machines. This invasion of the world by what Marc Auge calls ‘non-space’ results in a profound alteration of awareness: something we perceive, but only in a partial and incoherent manner. Auge uses the concept of ‘supermodernity’ to describe the logic of these late-capitalist phenomena—a logic of excessive information and excessive space. In this fascinating and lucid essay he seeks to establish and intellectual armature for an anthropology of supermodernity. Starting with an attempt to disentangle anthropology from history, Auge goes on to map the distinction between place, encrusted with historical monuments and creative social life, and non-place, to which individuals are connected in a uniform manner and where no organic social life is possible.

Unlike Baudelairean modernity, where old and new are interwoven, supermodernity is self-contained: from the motorway or aircraft, local or exotic particularities are presented two-dimensionally as a sort of theme-park spectacle. Auge does not suggest that supermodernity is all-encompassing: place still exist outside non-place and tend to reconstitute themselves inside it. But he argues powerfully that we are in transit through non-place for more and more of our time, as if between immense parentheses, and concludes that this new form of solitude should become the subject of an anthropology of its own....more

Paperback, 122 pages

Published May 17th 1995 by Verso (first published April 1992)

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