Book Review: Hyperculture by Byung-Chul Han

This is a small volume that explores how our world and sense of culture is changing. We are becoming detached from our places of origin. The familiar and the exotic are melding together as is the way of fusion food. Culture is unraveling and is unrestricted, becoming a hyperculture.

The author draws on the work of philosophy and academic thinkers such as Herder, Hagel, Kafka and Kant. It was the chapters on “Appropriation” and “On lasting Peace” that spoke to me the most and pushed my thinking forward. Han asks whether we should welcome the human of the future as a hypercultural tourist, or should we aspire to a different way of being in the world.

The author does not mention the change that the covid pandemic has brought to our world. However, the book sheds light on how the world wide web has changed knowledge and thinking. This book will be of use to a wide range of students of society and philosophy but also to those who wish to think differently about the world in which we reside either as Cul-tour or Culture.

It is structured in short chapters that each build on the central ideas but also add to the argument. It offers a clear progression of a build in knowledge using a wide range of disciplines and reference.

Byung-Chul Han’s Hyperculture, translated by Daniel Steur, is due for publication on 27th January via Polity Press – order here

Review by Carolyn Batcheler

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