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Tradition, modernity and European hegemony in the Mediterranean

Argyrou, Vassos


Vassos Argyrou


This paper argues that tradition and modernity, invented in European societies with an eye both on the European past and the non-European present, are ontological categories which structure the way we think about the world. This means that the world is not merely a social construct, not merely a European construct, but also one among possible others - an arbitrary construct. It also means that to the extent that the Mediterranean societies internalise the division between tradition and modernity - either because they valorise the modern or reject it by means of the traditional - they reproduce a world not of their own making (except in a derivative sense) and remain culturally dependent on Europe and the West. The paper concludes by proposing a 'utopian' strategy for dealing with Western hegemony that claims the epistemological and ontological high ground.


Argyrou, V. (2002). Tradition, modernity and European hegemony in the Mediterranean. Journal of Mediterranean studies, 12(1), 23-42

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2002
Publication Date Dec 31, 2002
Print ISSN 1016-3476
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 23-42
Public URL