We Have Never Been Modern Background

We Have Never Been Modern Background

We Have Never Been Modern is a book written by Bruno Latour, published in 1991. It was originally written and published in French, and later translated into English, in 1993. Latour is a French sociologist, philosopher, professor, and writer. He has taught at many highly acclaimed French universities, lecturing on science and technology studies and sociology. Many consider his studies to be more associated with social constructionism; he has turned away from that significantly and has redeveloped his work and thought process concerning sociology. Though he is a famed sociologist and professor, Latour gained the most fame from his books, one of them being this one, We Have Never Been Modern.

Latour's text explores the idea that the rise of science has changed our modern world forever, never able to turn back. The road that we are traveling is a one way road that is forever leading us forward and forever separating us from our so-called primitive ancestors. Considered by many critics to be an “anthropology of science,” We Have Never Been Modern is a book that forces the reader to contemplate the division modernity makes between nature and society, which is a recent development, in terms of human history. The many modern issues we have such as global warming/climate change, HIV, and the ever improving biotechnologies are matters that deserve much public concern. In We Have Never Been Modern, Latour works to convince the reader to let go of our common idea of permanent separation from our ancestors and shows us that our world today is built mostly on faith that our modernity will not fail.

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