The modern

term modern trend designates a paging within all ranges of the individual, social and political life in relation to the tradition. Today this term becomes predominantly with the developments 18. and 19. Century brought in connection: Spirit-historically with the clearing-up, politically with that French revolution, economically with the industrialization. In the history of art applies in particular early 20. Century as the classical modern trend.

Table of contents

to word history

Bernhard von Chartres (called Sylvestris, 1080-1167) uses the term „to decay “in a historical equalsneeze „moderni “as dwarves:

We are dwarves, on thatShoulders of giants sit. We cannot see as our ancestors and in the measure are our knowledge more largely than the ihrige and would be we anything nevertheless, became us further the sum of their knowledge not the way to point.

Latin word modernus (again; modern; at present) comesof latin adverb modo (evenly; evenly only). Later taken out of the French (modern and more moderniser), it appears in German than foreign word since 1727 in the meaning of „again “, than contrast too old, antique etc. Modernité is used for the first time as noun 1849 of Chateaubriand(in a devaluing sense) and 1859 considerably taken up by Baudelaire. In German used for the first time Eugen Wolff 1887 the expression „the modern trend “on the art referred.

at the beginning of the modern trend

the term of the modern trend goes a tendentious far over epoch term - as for instance thatthe Middle Ages - outside. Historical using of the modern trend is always thereby a question of theoretical interests and bases. Characteristic expression for it is a with difficulty damable antedating.

From, a there eurozentristischen view however limited using the modern trend with good in each case reasons shifts backwards: OfCollapse of socialism and one „end of history “over the vibrations by the First World War, the industrialization 19. Century, the modern times with the reformation and the discovery America, over the Imperium of Rome back up to the attischen democracy and for educationthe commonwealth at all and/or. to the collapse earliest commonwealth.

Eric Hornung writes over the collapse of the old person of realm in Egypt:

As answer to the deep vibrations of the first meantime [2180 - 1987 v.Chr.] we find first complaint seal. It rises from the effort, a confused, from thatJoints turned out time by representative complaint to master… From now on the formulas from fall and reorganization become to the firm existence of the literature. … The consequences [paging] are described up-shaking in detail, whereby one deplores Überfremdung, noise, tree dying and food shortage already at that time.Those once making are in the misery, which prunken arms in new wealth… and whole mankind are (quotation): As a herd erred, which does not have a Hirten.

the core

everything forms closer regulations reflection on the vibration of traditional values however to a large extentTheories to the modern trend. Exceptions form for instance concepts, after which tradition change is firm existence of all human development, or, which do not recognize the development as such. Characteristically of the term of the modern trend, in particular in contrast to the postmodernism, is besides the replacement of the tradition by new „promises “,some changed, but again strengthened value catalog or reference framework give. From this view a circulation of the tradition appears to the modern trend as myth.

literature-scientific view

this is reflected also in the literary modern trend at the beginning 20. Century, whereby experimenting alsoin the foreground stands for new literary techniques. Like that are the free indirect speech and a fragmented world view as well as relating of opinions a characteristic in modernistic novels. Further Subjektivierung and Psychologisierung of the reality experience, withdrawing the mediating telling instance, are the renouncement of a coherent Plot, aestheticSelf reflexivity and the rendition of subjective perception and consciousness procedures marking. The space and figure representation broke through often perspectively and the event chronology the subjective time feeling were subordinated.

art-historical view

art-historically regarded is it the epoch, in 20. Century with the revolutionariesWorks of the expressionists and Avantgardisten in Europe, first in the painting, sculpture, to which new music and with theatre performances their high point found, and whose end in (first west) Europe by the seizure of power of the national socialists (see. if art degenerated, degenerate music) in Germany was forced.Many the pursued Protagonisten fled first to France, later into the United States and to Israel, where those most architectural (late) works of the modern trend developed by far.

Within the range of the forming arts the term calls „classical modern trend “the variety today still innovative more outstanding, more heterogeneouslyStyle directions in the forming arts. Painters as for example Pablo Picasso, Franz Mark, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Mark Chagall, Elfriede Lohse Wächtler and Wassily Kandinsky are for it typical representatives. Particularly the German building house has itself as cultural germ cellthe modern trend out-done. In Austria this applies in particular to the architect Adolf Loos and the architects and representative of applied art, which the Viennese workshop formed.

During in Russia first the Bolsheviks and in Italy the fascists at least in the forming art and in particular in that Architecture of concepts of the modern trend took up, the German national socialists these to a large extent as “degenerated” fought. Also Stalin was not a trailer of the modern trend; its preferences in art and architecture were with socialist realism.

sociological view

in the sociology has Ferdinand sound-sneezes (with the help ofthe term „modern times “(spirit of the modern times, 1935 [1998]) the modern trend with the withdrawing of the mentality „of the community “and a Überhandnehmen of the mentality of „society “to explain undertaken (see.Community and society “). Thus you moveBeginning historically further back, with their roots in the Middle Ages. After it in detail the structure functionalism worked to set the modern trend with the functional differentiation ineins.

As advantage of these beginnings it is seen that one then also analytically over „the beginning of the modern trend “in z.B.Japan or China to speak can (see. in addition recently: Ho-fung Hung, “Early Modernities and Contentious Politics in avoid Qing China, C. 1740-1839 ", in: Internationally Sociology, 2004: S. 478-503), without there at that time of „modern trend “one would have spoken.

epoch-historical view

the beginning of the modern trendhistorically frequently on the French revolution is put. Thus the US-American sociologist Daniel Bell sees the Hereinbruch of the modern trend with the year 1789. Others see themselves rather a process of the emergence of the modern trend, to that gradual after 1789 in 19. Century carries out.

As substantial elementsare regarded to the modern trend:

One must make oneself clear to understand the modern trend that all these elements, the many of ustoday as natural appear, by no means always and convictions prevailing everywhere were and are.Epochs can be marked best by which humans of this epoch without demands accept as natural „truths “and fundamental convictions. This naturalnesses changes in the run the time. To the changes ofTo naturalnesses see z. B. the paradigm theory of Thomas's S. Boldly.

Apart from the temporal dimension also the spatial delimitation of the modern trend should be regarded. Even if modern influences are to be determined today on all cultures, then that is for example in Asia prevailing circular letters thinking the linearThink the western progress faith clearly opposite.

The modern trend in Europe and North America achieves the cultural high point in the time before and between the two world wars.

But also in other European countries and in the USA the international modern trend stood contrary to the again-aroused Nationalism and many fundamentalist tendencies.

Those follow-uppounds the modern trend calls itself today the postmodernism and also for the Wegbereiter of the modern trend has one in the meantime the correct technical term ready: The Protomoderne.


„which we modern trend call - thus the time between thatEuropean clearing-up and the First World War - us with idealistic Zumutungen overloaded and with human ideals geködert. Therefore we have today a ambivalente attitude to the modern trend: it is utopia and nightmare at the same time. Therefore it falls us so heavily to occur sovereign into a recent time.We have a curing trauma of the terminated modern trend. “ Norbert Bolz (in theory of the tiredness - theory tiredness, 1997)
„once a sociology will ask itself if later, what the most tremendous historical change of the outside insertion of humans was probably into the life, that, all this itsLife contents most deeply rolled over, then she will draw surely always again the procedure, which over there-led the procedure, which represents the actual social revolution of the nineteenth century from this condition to the today's, from „the grown “condition of all ways of life into the rational organizingness -. “ from Alfred weber 1979/1910: The official, in: ders.: Did we malfunction Germans after 1945?


from „the modern trend “was out-differentiated the term of the second modern trend (see there).


the expression „modernity “becomes frequently also equivalent to bareProgressiveness or topicality uses. At all „the modern trend was always vague “, since it was introduced to the naturalism as term into Germany, in its contentwise meaning. It designated actually in each case each again arising style direction or art kind

deviating meanings

with reference to those Mode is modern that, which orients itself at the newest in each case taste, especially dresses.

Modern (with stress on the first syllable) disintegrating means, e.g. of wood.


  • Zygmunt Bauman, modern trend and ambivalence. Hamburg 1998.

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