Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Feminist theory
Neither a manifesto nor a one-sided critique, this new book introduces a number of original essays exploring various aspects of that contemporary cultural phenomenon named postmodernism. These essays are prefaced by an introductory essay which sets out the major lines of a debate which is about nothing less than the current shape and future prospects of our society.
By using a series of studies of contemporary mainstream Hollywood movies - "Blue Velvet, Wall Street, Crimes and Misdemeanors, When Harry Met Sally, Sex Lies and Videotape, Do the Right Thing "- Norman Denzin explores the tension between ideas of the postmodern, and traditional ways of analyzing society. The discussion moves between two forms of text: social theory and cinematic representations of contemporary life. Denzin analyzes the ideas of society embedded in poststructuralism, postmodernism, feminism, cultural studies and Marxism through the ideas of key theorists like Baudrillard, Barthes, Habermas, Jameson, Bourdieu and Derrida. He relates these to the problematic of the postmodern self as exposed in cinema centering on the decisive performance of race, gender and class.
Postmodernity proposes the idea that society is no longer governed by history or progress. A postmodern society is highly pluralistic, differentiated, and diverse. It rejects all grand narratives such as Marxism, Gandhism, and rationalism, which are propagated as universal explanations of society. Postmodernity meets the challenges given by modernity. In India, modernity's benefits are cornered by high caste Hindus, elites, political leaders, and higher classes. The subalterns, the marginals, and the disadvantaged masses have been left high and dry. It is the modernity which has created religious, academic, and market fundamentalism and an age of dark dogma. In Indian society, modernity has brought damage to various ethnicities. In this book, the author applies the perspective of postmodernity to the interpretation of increasingly changing contemporary Indian society. With this, he looks afresh at family, caste, village, culture, and religion. From a sociological perspective, fundamentalism is given a thorough examination. The author courageously establishes that Indian society is a postmodern society.
Human-centredness: A Challenge to Post-industrial Europe? The key power in industrial society has been linked to the possession of capital and factory. In the "information society" it could be rather different. If one accepts that that the key power in the information society will be linked not so much to the ownership of information but to human creativity nourished by that information, the productive force of today and tomorrow, could be more and more the human brain. Making use of one's intelligence is always accompanied by positive emotion, which in turn further activates the intelligence. But, unfortunately, under present conditions workers of all levels live in fear, anxiety and stress rather than desire and motivation. The question of "basic human ecology" (quality of life) is, therefore, a major strategic factor. It is precisely the opposite to the mechanisms of exclusion that currently dominate our society: exclusion of young people through joblessness - but also exclusion through technology, as with the helplessness of older people or the poorly educated confronted with ticket dispensing machines or other automats. This is not idle theorizing, it corresponds to concrete facts. It is, for example, how some observers interpret the crisis at IBM. Because its programs were less 'human-friendly', it was shaken to its foundations by Apple and Microsof- though it seems since to have learnt its lesson.
This book takes a genuinely new spiritual stance reflecting the emergence of a post-modern science and differing from the relativistic nihilism that calls itself postmodern but is really modernism extended to its limit. Based on a direct experience of reality as divine, this postmodern spirituality transcends modernity's individualism and patriarchy, its forced choices between dualism and materialism, anthropocentrism and relativism, supernaturalism and atheism, intolerance and nihilism. Bringing moral and ethical values back into rational discourse, this book provides a critique of various aspects of modern society--political, economic, social, agricultural, and technological aspects. This criticism, informed by the postmodern worldview, points toward a more satisfying form of personal existence and a sustainable form of global order.
This authoritative and revealing book provides the first sociological examination of postmodernism. Lash examines the differences between modernism and postmodernism, providing a clear explanation of why postmodernism is important.
Readings on Postmodernism in American Culture and Society
Author: Arthur Asa Berger
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
Category: Social Science
Instead of summing up the various perspectives of scholars and the variety of ideas to which the term postmodernism has been assigned, this text lets this diversity speak for itself. By bringing together articles and essays on the impact of the postmodern temper on an eclectic range of subjects, Berger presents a few of the many ways different theorists have come to terms with postmodernism, while examining manifestations of postmodernism in the culture of everyday life.
The major themes of postmodernist writing are demystified in this introductory text. Robert Hollinger reviews key postmodern discussions on critical topics such as values, identity, and the self and society. He compares postmodern thinking with that of the enlightenment project, modernism, modernity, Marxism and Critical Theory. This, together with his treatment of Foucault, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari and other leading postmodern theorists, provides an excellent introduction to modern social theory.
Modern/Postmodern: Society, Philosophy, Literature offers new definitions of modernism and postmodernism by presenting an original theoretical system of thought that explains the differences between these two key movements. Taking a contrastive approach, Peter V. Zima identifies three key concepts in the relationship between modernism and postmodernism - ambiguity, ambivalence and indifference. Zima defines modernism and postmodernism as problematics, as opposed to aesthetics, stylistics or ideologies. Unlike modernism, which is grounded in an increasing ambivalence towards social norms and values, postmodernity is presented as an era of indifference, i.e. of interchangeable norms, values and perspectives. Taking an historical, interdisciplinary and intercultural approach that engages with Anglo-American and European debates, the book describes the transition from late modernist ambivalence to postmodern indifference in the contexts of philosophy, literature and sociology. This is the ideal guide to the relationship between modernism and postmodernism for students and scholars throughout the humanities.
Essay from the year 2008 in the subject Politics - Political Theory and the History of Ideas Journal, grade: 80%=good, University of Kerala (Department of Political Science), course: Modern Political Analysis, language: English, abstract: Few people would deny that they are living in an age of great transformational processes. For centuries, if not millennia, the changes in human society had occurred slowly and usually did not affect the lives of the majority of the people significantly. That is not to say that the event of a war, a draught or another catastrophe did not have devastating consequences and indeed it were predominantly the ordinary people who suffered the most if such an event took place. The conducting of life however remained unaffected and continued as it had before. Scientific inventions were rarely made and if they did happen it was only a small privileged section of society benefiting from them. Whatever influenced the life of most people occurred gradually, making it both possible and easy to adjust. It could even be argued that because these influences did not have an impact during a person's lifespan but developed over generations people failed to recognize them as changes at all. This has profoundly changed in the age of globalization that has already shaped the economic, social, and cultural lives of hundreds of millions of people. The majority of them may not be able to clearly identify these changes but they would all agree that something is happening in their lives. The feeling evolving out of this is one of uncertainty; there are both greater opportunities and greater risks. The previous era had already witnessed the transformation that industrialization brought about and it provoked sharp reactions. Industrialization not only transformed people's lives it changed the character of warfare as well and the 20th century had to endure the consequences. Technology brought many improvements but people start to realize that there is a flipsid
"...written with enthusiasm and a commitment to clarity...Lyon shows that the employment of a sociological imagination can add new and unexpected depth to cultural analyses." Keith Tester, University of Portsmouth * What does 'postmodernity' mean? How does it help us grasp the meaning of 'modernity'? Is it better than similar terms such as 'high', 'late', 'reflexive' or 'radicalized' modernity? * What are the enduring social consequences of the widespread diffusion of communication and information technologies and of consumer-oriented lifestyles? * Does being postmodern mean that 'anything goes', or are values and beliefs still socially significant? In the second edition of this highly successful text, postmodernity is seen as the social condition of the twenty-first century, in which some of the most familiar features of the modern world are not only called into question, but actually undermined by novel trends. The key carriers of the postmodern - new technologies and consumerism - emerged in thoroughly modern contexts, but so profoundly affect everyday social life that modernity itself is changing shape. Postmodernity is a way of describing a new society in-the-making without supposing that modernity has been entirely left behind. While some dub these changes as 'high' or 'late' modern, this book argues that 'postmodernity' best captures today's transformations of modernity. Postmodernity is explored as a theoretical concept in order to uncover and illuminate central social trends of the present. Its historical roots and cultural dimensions are examined, as are the ideas of its leading theorists. In this updated and expanded edition, greater attention is paid to processes of globalization as well as to the postmodern view of cyberspace, cyborgs, and the body as a site of moral conflict.
Is the notion of society obsolete? Aiming to answer this question, this book considers various critiques of the concept, including the arguments of: Neo-liberals, Postmodernists, Globalization theorists, and Evolutionary psychologists. It argues that we do still need the concept in order to make sense of the forces which structure our lives.
People have always been consumers and consumption is about far more than buying and using things. The fact that we inhabit a consumer society has incredibly far-reaching implications, in terms of the way we live our lives, the things we value and the direction society is taking. The city has always been a prime site of social change and the relationship between the consumer society, and the postmodern city is the focus of this book. Drawing on the work of the consumer society's most influential theorists, Jean Baudrillard and Zygmunt Bauman, this book examines the nature of consumption and its increasing centrality to postmodern society by: considering the development of consumerism as a central facet of social life; demonstrating that social inequalities are increasingly structured around consumption; uncovering the hidden consequences of consumerism; pondering the meaning of lifestyle; and revealing how the nature of reality is changing in an age of globalization. Working through the often controversial ideas of Baudrillard and Bauman, the book assesses the ways in which consumerism is reshaping the nature and meaning of the city. Employing a sustained theoretical analysis, the book ranges across a variety of perhaps unexpected topics. It represents an impassioned plea for everyone interested in the social life of cities to take the notion of the consumer society - and the arguments of its major theorists - seriously.
The first edition of this contemporary classic can claim to have put 'consumer culture' on the map, certainly in relation to postmodernism. This expanded new edition includes: a fully revised preface that explores the developments in consumer culture since the first edition a major new chapter on 'Modernity and the Cultural Question' an update on postmodernism and the development of contemporary theory after postmodernism an account of multiple and alternative modernities the challenges of consumer culture in Japan and China. The result is a book that shakes the boundaries of debate, from one of the foremost writers on culture and postmodernism of the present day.
Work, Postmodernism and Organization provides a wide-ranging and very accessible introduction to postmodern theory and its relevance for the cultural world of the work organization. The book provides a critical review of the debates that have shaped organization theory over the past decade, making clear the meaning and significance of postmodern ideas for contemporary organization theory and practice. Work, Postmodernism and Organization will provide valuable material to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of organization theory, organizational behaviour, industrial sociology, and more general business, management and sociology courses.
In an introductory chapter, Murphy looks at the differences between modernism and postmodernism and discusses the "metanarratives" that characterize the former. He goes on to clarify key assumptions and concepts, especially the postmodern opposition to the traditional Western separation of subject and object. In subsequent chapters, he describes the research methodology used by postmodernists, their views of social ontology and the relationship between order and structure, and the creation of socially responsible institutions. The postmodernists' reconceptualization of key aspects of cultural reality, including time, space, reason, and social relations, is examined in detail. Murphy concludes by exploring the political ramifications of the postmodernist model and its potential as a vehicle for building a genuinely democractic society.
Postmodernism and Japan is a coherent yet diverse study of the dynamics of postmodernism, as described by Lyotard, Baudrillard, Deleuze, and Guatarri, from the often startling perspective of a society bent on transforming itself into the image of Western “enlightenment” wealth and power. This work provides a unique view of a society in transition and confronting, like its models in the West, the problems induced by the introduction of new forms of knowledge, modes of production, and social relationships.