Reflexivity of Modernity: Conceptualizing Modernity in Contemporary Pakistan during COVID-19


Bilal Asmat Cheema


This article utilizes Anthony Giddens' concept of 'the reflexivity of modernity' to account for the dichotomy of traditional knowledge and scientific knowledge in the Pakistani context during the outbreak of COVID-19. It analyzes the concept of reflexivity as a form of criticism of irrationality and critiques notions of certainty. This article analyzes the concept of modernity endorsed by tradition in general, and by society in particular. Modernity is a constant process of interpreting and reinterpreting tradition in the light of knowledge at any given point of time. It also argues that pre-modern society refuses to reflect upon the nature of reflection itself. Self-reflexivity is the most crucial feature of modernity. The article views Pakistan as a society where reflexivity is not a part of contemporary culture, and it struggles to accept modernity. The article argues that modernity is intrinsically sociological, and contemporary Pakistani society shows resistance to modernity.  It also states that the appropriation of scientific knowledge is not made homogeneously in contemporary Pakistan during COVID-19. Pakistani society is predominantly influenced by religious discourse, which does not believe in self-reflexivity. The study will pave the way to employ the theory of reflexivity to analyze and interpret literary texts in terms of sociological perspectives.