Sociological Theory 8 (1):48-57 (1990)

Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is "read" as a nineteenth century conceptualization of modernity. Its method is one of induction from a dense mass of details drawn from the literature, historiography, and art of the Renaissance. In some respects, Burckhardt anticipates Weber and parallels Marx, but he also includes certain elements of modernity that are absent from the other theorists, such as the emergence of modernity from the interstices of the political order, the formation of the totalitarian state, the cult of celebrity, and the tendency toward crime. He is particularly concerned with Renaissance society as a transitional form of society, and thus implicitly, with the nature of transitions
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DOI 10.2307/202194
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