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The Loneliness of Modernity: Reading Modernization as an Age of Social Isolation

Dr. Denis Newiak


July 17, 2024 / 17:00-18:30

Room 301, 3F, Building 10, Sophia University

In person only / No registration required

Modernity presents itself as an age of increasing social disintegration: secularization and rationalization, urbanization and globalization, individualization and digitalization make it difficult for functional communities today. Modernity comes with desirable promises that make it attractive, but it does not come free: its price is escalating modern loneliness. What are the consequences of the rising social atomization for our highly developed late-modern societies like Japan and Germany?

Denis Newiak tells a cultural history of modernization that, from industrialization to the late-modern network society, produces ever new and harsher experiences of loneliness. Reading from his new monograph “Modern Lonelinesses. Why communities have a hard time today – and what we can do about it”, Denis Newiak provides insights how to deal with the challenges of our fragmented society by comparing Japanese and German perspectives.


Denis Newiak is a Research Associate at the Chair of Applied Media Sciences at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany. He studied Media and Film studies in Potsdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, conducted research in Washington D.C. and received his PhD with a dissertation on modern loneliness in television series (published also in English language by Springer VS). His research interests include: social effects of TV shows, disasters and crises in science fiction films and series, conspiracy theories in popular culture.


This talk is organized by Sven Saaler (Professor, Sophia University).


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