In the first centuries of modernization in the West, the social world was described and thought of in terms of politics: order and disorder, king and country, the people and revolution. In the wake of the industrial revolution, capitalism freed itself from political power and gave birth to another paradigm, one that was both economic and social. We began to speak in terms of class and inequality, wages and strikes, wealth and its redistribution. Today, in the age of a global economy and the triumph of the individual, globalization has shattered these old models of society.
Each of us, caught up in processes of production and mass culture, strives to escape from them and to make ourselves the subject of our own lives. The new paradigm through which we try to make sense of these new preoccupations is cultural.