1. The Crisis of Modernity

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Modernity has brought many benefits (including technological improvements, material comfort, longer life expectancy and improved health), but the downside includes the emergence of new problems which stem from the way we live our lives and structure our society. These ‘dis-eases’ of modernity include obesity, loss of wellbeing, addictions and widening inequalities.  They can be traced in their origin to the rise of a number of ‘isms’ that now afflict society: economism; materialism; individualism; and consumerism.  There is little evidence that the majority of people are responding to the crisis of modernity by embracing a new wave of change. Instead, we observe denial, resistance or, at best, passive adaptation. We might be able to ignore or deny many of the adverse effects of modernity but there is one problem we will not be able to ignore: in a finite world, infinite growth is not possible: this is the crisis of sustainability that people everywhere must now face. 

Further resources

In this section, we have assembled a number of resources that look in more detail at the Crisis of Modernity. Why not start with the paper Modernity in Crisis and then explore the Other Resources section where we investigate some hot topics in video and written form?

2. The Future Public Health

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