Individualisering og institutionalisering - om individualiseringens betydning i et moderne demokratisk samfund

  • Øjvind Larsen


Individualisation and institutionalisation: The Significance of Individualisation in a modern democratic society In recent years modern sociology has discussed the increasing individualisation. However there is no consensus about how this individualisation should be understood. In this article, I present the thesis that individualisation is not a new phenomenon, but is rather a fundamental feature of modern society, as Hegel discussed maintained in his Philosophy of Law from 1821. Individualisation, as we witness it today should then be seen as the development of modern society, and it isn’t a problem in itself. But it becomes a problem when it cannot be institutionalised. Put in another manner, the problem arises when institutions are not adapted to individual development. In modern society the state has become plural, it can no longer maintain the sovereignty that it is given in Hegel’s philosophy. Institutions within the state such as the market and civil society can no longer be summarized within one framework. This means that there is no final instance that can secure individual?s continual self-reflection. The question then is if such a modernity can be normatively cohesive if there no longer is a final instance that can judge normative questions. Sociology must point out this question of the connection between individualisation and institutionalisation and the necessity of democratising institutions if modernity is to be a successful project.