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{{PhilPsy}}
 
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{{Postmodernism}}
 
{{Postmodernism}}
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'''Postmodernism''' literally means 'after the [[modernist]] movement'. While "[[modern]]" itself refers to something "related to the present", the movement of [[modernism]] and the following reaction of postmodernism are defined by a set of perspectives. It is used in [[critical theory]] to refer to a point of departure for works of [[literature]], [[drama]], [[architecture]], [[Film|cinema]], [[journalism]] and [[design]], as well as in marketing and business and in the interpretation of [[history]], [[law]], [[culture]] and [[religion]] in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In psychology it is the context for the development of [[post modern psychology]]
'''Postmodernism''' is a term describing a wide-ranging change in thinking beginning in the early 20th century. Although a difficult term to pin down, "postmodern" generally refers to the criticism of absolute truths or identities and "[[metanarrative|grand narratives]]." Perhaps the best way to think about postmodernism is to look at [[modernism]], because postmodernism is generally characterized as either emerging from, or in reaction to it.
 
Postmodernism has had large implications in [[philosophy]], [[art]], [[critical theory]], [[architecture]], [[literature]], [[history]], and [[culture]].
 
The adjective ''postmodern'' (in slang abbreviated to ''pomo'') can refer to aspects of either postmodernism or [[postmodernity]].
 
   
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Postmodernism is an aesthetic, literary, political or social philosophy, which was the basis of the attempt to describe a condition, or a state of being, or something concerned with changes to institutions and conditions (as in Giddens, 1990) as postmodernity. In other words, postmodernism is the "cultural and intellectual phenomenon", especially since the 1920s' new movements in the arts, while postmodernity focuses on social and political outworkings and innovations globally, especially since the 1960s in the West.
== Uses of the term ==
 
   
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The Compact Oxford English Dictionary refers to postmodernism as "a style and concept in the arts characterized by distrust of theories and ideologies and by the drawing of attention to conventions."<ref>http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/postmodernism?view=uk</ref>
===Historically===
 
The term derives from [[postmodernity]], which postmodern theorist
 
[[Jean-François Lyotard]] understood to represent the culmination of
 
the process of [[modernity]] and Enlightenment thought, towards an
 
accelerating pace of cultural change, to a point where constant change
 
has in fact become the ''[[status quo]]'', leaving the notion of
 
[[progress]] obsolete.
 
   
  +
The term postmodern is described by Merriam-Webster as meaning either "of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one" or "of, relating to, or being any of various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature)", or finally "of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language".<ref>[http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/postmodernism Merriam-Webster's definition of postmodernism]</ref>
As with many other divisions, the use of the term is subject to the
 
[[lumpers and splitters]] problem. There are those who use very small
 
and exact definitions, and there are those who deny that there is a
 
postmodernism at all distinct from the modern period, preferring
 
instead to use terms such as "late modernism".
 
   
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The American Heritage Dictionary describes the meaning of the same term as "Of or relating to art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes: “It [a roadhouse] is so architecturally interesting ... with its postmodern wooden booths and sculptural clock”.<ref>Ruth Reichl, Cook's November 1989; [http://www.bartleby.com/61/26/P0472600.html American Heritage Dictionary's definition of the postmodern]</ref>
Post-modernism is not counter-this or anti-that. The term does not apply to post-anything aside from following modern thought. Post-modernism is an ideology that cannot be placed into a specific category. Accordingly, post-modernism is a term more relevant to modernists.
 
   
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==Reaction to modernism==
The term ''post-modern'' can also be viewed as an intentional contradiction.
 
  +
Postmodernism was originally a reaction to [[modernism]]. Largely influenced by the Western European disillusionment induced by [[World War II]], postmodernism refers to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, interconnectedness or interreferentiality,<ref>[http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/theory/pomo.html Postmodernism. Georgetown university]</ref> in a way that is often indistinguishable from a [[parody]] of itself. It has given rise to charges of fraudulence.<ref>[http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/nagel.html The Sleep of Reason]</ref>
   
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[[Postmodernity]] is a derivative referring to non-art aspects of history that were influenced by the new movement, namely developments in society, economy and culture since the 1960s.<ref>Britannica, 2004</ref> When the idea of a reaction or rejection of [[modernism]] was borrowed by other fields, it became [[synonymous]] in some contexts with postmodernity. The term is closely linked with ''[[poststructuralism]]'' (cf. [[Michel Foucault]]) and with modernism, in terms of a rejection of its perceived [[bourgeois]], elitist culture.<ref>Wagner, British, Irish and American Literature, Trier 2002, p. 210-2</ref>
====First Usage====
 
In an essay ''From Postmodernism to Postmodernity: the Local/Global Context'', {{ref|www.ihabhassan.com.608}}, <!-- last visited [[August 23]] [[2005]] --> [[Ihab Hassan]] points out a number of instances in which the term "postmodernism" was used before the term became popular:
 
*[[John Watkins Chapman]], an English academic painter, used the term in the [[1870s]], to mean [[Post-Impressionism]].
 
*[[Federico de Onís]], in [[1934]], used the term ''postmodernismo'' to mean a reaction against the difficulty and experimentalism of modernist poetry.
 
*[[Arnold J. Toynbee]], in [[1939]], used it to mean the end of the "modern," Western [[bourgeois]] order dating back to the seventeenth century.
 
*[[Bernard Smith]], in [[1945]], used it to mean the movement of [[socialist realism]] in painting.
 
*[[Charles Olson]] used the term during the [[1950s]].
 
*[[Irving Howe]] and [[Harry Levin]], in [[1959]] and [[1960]], respectively, used the term to mean a decline in high modernist culture.
 
*[[Ihab Hassan]] in ''The Dismemberment of Orpheus: Toward a Postmodern Literature'' ([[1971]]), wrote the first comparative description of the differences between modernism and postmodernism.
 
*[[Charles Jencks]]'s ''The Language of Postmodern Architecture'' ([[1977]]) is among the earliest works which shaped the use of the term today.
 
*[[Jean-François Lyotard]] in [[1979]] wrote a short but influential work: ''[[The Postmodern Condition]]: a report on knowledge''.
 
* The title of [[Richard Rorty]]'s ''[[Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature]]'' could also serve as the defining element of postmodernism - that we cannot make sense of the mind mirroring anything outside the mind accurately.
 
   
  +
== History of the term ==
Postmodernism was first identified as a theoretical discipline in the [[1970s]]. For a thorough historical overview distinguishing the threads of development in different decades, cultural realms, and academic disciplines, see Hans Bertens' ''The Idea of the Postmodern: A History,'' (New York: Routledge, 1995).
 
   
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The term was first used around the 1870s in various areas. For example, John Watkins Chapman avowed "a postmodern style of painting" to get beyond French [[Impressionism]]<ref>The Postmodern Turn, Essays in Postmodern Theory and Culture, Ohio University Press, 1987. p12ff</ref> Then, J.M.Thompson, in his 1914 article in [[The Hibbert Journal]] (a quarterly philosophical review), used it to describe changes in attitudes and beliefs in the critique of [[religion]]: "The raison d'etre of Post-Modernism is to escape from the double-mindedness of [[Modernism (Roman Catholicism)|Modernism]] by being thorough in its criticism by extending it to religion as well as [[theology]], to Catholic feeling as well as to Catholic tradition" ('Post-Modernism, J.M.Thompson, The Hibbert Journal Vol XII No.4 July 1914 p.&nbsp;733).
===A general definition===
 
The term ''postmodernism'' is also used in a broader pejorative sense to describe attitudes, sometimes part of the general culture, and sometimes specifically aimed at critical theories perceived as [[relativist]], [[nihilism|nihilist]], [[counter-Enlightenment]] or [[antimodern]], particularly in relationship to critiques of [[rationalism]], [[universalism]], [[foundationalism]] or [[science]]. It is also sometimes used to describe social changes which are held to be antithetical to traditional systems of philosophy, religion, and [[morality]].
 
   
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In 1917 Rudolf Pannwitz used the term to describe a philosophically oriented culture. Pannwitz's idea of ''post-''modernism came from Nietzsche's analysis of modernity and its ends of decadence and nihilism. Overcoming the modern human would be the post-human. But, contrary to Nietzsche, Pannwitz also includes nationalist and mythical elements.<ref>Pannwitz: Die Krisis der europäischen Kultur, Nürnberg 1917</ref>
The role, proper usage, and meaning of ''postmodernism'' remain matters of intense debate and vary widely with context.
 
   
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It was used later in 1926 by B.I.Bell in his "Postmodernism & other Ess." In 1925 and 1921 it had been used to describe new forms of [[art]] and [[music]]. In 1942 H. R. Hays used it for a new literary form but as a general theory of an historical movement it was first used in 1939 by the historian [[Arnold J. Toynbee]]: "Our own Post-Modern Age has been inaugurated by the general war of 1914-1918." <ref>OED long edition</ref>
==The development of postmodernism==
 
{{main|The development of postmodernism}}
 
   
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In 1949 it was used to describe a dissatisfaction with [[modern architecture]], leading to the [[postmodern architecture]] movement.<ref>Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2004</ref> [[Postmodernism in architecture]] is marked by the re-emergence of surface ornament, reference to surrounding buildings in urban architecture, historical reference in decorative forms, and non-orthogonal angles. It may be a response to the modernist architectural movement known as the [[International style (architecture)|International Style]].
Postmodernism is often used in a larger sense, meaning the entire
 
trend of thought in the late 20th century, and the social and
 
philosophical realities of that period. Writers such as [[John Ralston Saul]] among others have argued that postmodernism represents an
 
accumulated disillusionment with the promises of the Enlightenment
 
project and its progress of science, so central to modern thinking.
 
   
  +
The term was applied to a whole host of movements, many in art, music, and literature, that reacted against modernism, and are typically marked by revival of traditional elements and techniques.<ref>Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 2004</ref> [[Walter Truett Anderson]] identifies postmodernism as one of four world views. These four worldviews are the postmodern-ironist, which sees truth as socially constructed, the scientific-rational in which truth is found through methodical, disciplined inquiry, the social-traditional in which truth is found in the heritage of American and Western civilisation and the neo-romantic in which truth is found either through attaining harmony with nature and/or spiritual exploration of the inner self.<ref>{{cite book|title=[[The Fontana Postmodernism Reader]]|author=Walter Truett Anderson|year=1996}}</ref>
The [[existentialist]]s like [[Friedrich Nietzsche|Nietzsche]] brought
 
a new [[nihilism]] and [[atheism]] which influenced culture.
 
[[Post-colonialism]] after WW2 contributed to the idea that one cannot
 
have an objectively superior lifestyle or belief. This idea was taken
 
further by the [[anti-foundationalism|anti-foundationalist]] philosophers: [[Martin Heidegger|Heidegger]], then [[Ludwig Wittgenstein]], then [[Jacques Derrida|Derrida]], who re-examined the fundamentals of knowledge. They
 
argue that rationality was neither as sure nor as clear as modernists
 
or rationalists assert. Even logic could be biased -- "[[logocentrism]]"
 
- the privileging of a system of logic. Psychologists have since gone
 
further in asserting a [[cognitive bias]], which points at a human bias of truth.
 
   
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==Influence and distinction from postmodernity==
[[Søren Kierkegaard]] and [[Karl Barth]]'s important [[fideist]]
 
  +
Postmodernist ideas in [[philosophy]] and the analysis of [[culture]] and [[society]] expanded the importance of [[critical theory]] and has been the point of departure for works of [[literature]], [[architecture]], and [[design]], as well as being visible in marketing/business and the interpretation of [[history]], [[law]] and [[culture]], starting in the late 20th century. These developments — re-evaluation of the entire Western value system ([[love]], [[marriage]], [[popular culture]], shift from [[industrial society|industrial]] to [[service economy]]) that took place since 1950's and 1960s, with a peak in the [[May 1968 in France|Social Revolution of 1968]] — are described with the term ''[[postmodernity]]'',<ref>[http://www.inst.at/trans/11Nr/luetzeler11.htm Influences on postmodern thought, Paul Lützeler (St. Louis)]</ref> as opposed to ''postmodernism'', a term referring to an opinion or movement. Whereas something being "postmodernist" would make it part of the movement, its being "postmodern" would place it in the period of time since the 1950s, making it a part of [[contemporary history]].
approach to theology and lifestyle, brought an irreverence to
 
[[reason]], and the rise of [[subjectivity]].
 
   
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==The usage and extent of the concept of ‘postmodernism’==
Features of postmodern culture begin to arise in the [[1920s]] with
 
the emergence of the [[Dada]] movement.
 
Both World Wars (perhaps even the concept of a World War), contributed
 
to postmodernism; it is with the end of the [[Second World War]]
 
that recognizably post-modernist attitudes begin to emerge.
 
Some identify the burgeoning anti-establishment movements of the
 
[[1960s]] as an early trend toward postmodernism.
 
The theory gained some of its strongest ground early on in French
 
academia. In 1979 [[Jean-François Lyotard]] wrote a short but
 
influential work ''The Postmodern Condition : a report on knowledge''. Also,
 
[[Richard Rorty]] wrote "[[Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature]]"(1979).
 
[[Jean Baudrillard]], [[Michel Foucault]], and [[Roland Barthes]] (in
 
his more post-structural work) are also strongly influential in 1970's
 
postmodern theory.
 
   
  +
Whether ‘postmodernism’ is seen as a critical concept or merely a buzzword, one cannot deny its range. Dick Hebdige, in his ‘Hiding in the Light’ illustrates this:
The book "[[Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature]]"(1979) by [[Richard Rorty]] is a famous postmodern text; its title could also serve as the defining element of postmodernism - that we cannot make sense of the mind mirroring anything outside the mind accurately.
 
   
  +
<blockquote>
[[Marx|Marxist]] critics argue that postmodernism is symptomatic of
 
  +
When it becomes possible for a people to describe as ‘postmodern’ the décor of a room, the design of a building, the diegesis of a film, the construction of a record, or a ‘scratch’ video, a television commercial, or an arts documentary, or the ‘intertextual’ relations between them, the layout of a page in a fashion magazine or critical journal, an anti-teleological tendency within epistemology, the attack on the ‘metaphysics of presence’, a general attenuation of feeling, the collective chagrin and morbid projections of a post-War generation of baby boomers confronting disillusioned middle-age, the ‘predicament’ of reflexivity, a group of rhetorical tropes, a proliferation of surfaces, a new phase in commodity fetishism, a fascination for images, codes and styles, a process of cultural, political or existential fragmentation and/or crisis, the ‘de-centring’ of the subject, an ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’, the replacement of unitary power axes by a plurality of power/discourse formations, the ‘implosion of meaning’, the collapse of cultural hierarchies, the dread engendered by the threat of nuclear self-destruction, the decline of the university, the functioning and effects of the new miniaturised technologies, broad societal and economic shifts into a ‘media’, ‘consumer’ or ‘multinational’ phase, a sense (depending on who you read) of ‘placelessness’ or the abandonment of placelessness (‘critical regionalism’) or (even) a generalised substitution of spatial for temporal coordinates - when it becomes possible to describe all these things as ‘postmodern’ (or more simply using a current abbreviation as ‘post’ or ‘very post’) then it’s clear we are in the presence of a buzzword.<ref name="Hebdige:410">’Postmodernism and “the other side”’, in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A reader, edited by John Storey, London, : Pearson Education .2006</ref></blockquote>
"late capitalism" and the decline of institutions, particularly the
 
nation-state. Other thinkers assert that post-modernity is the natural
 
reaction to mass broadcasting and a society conditioned to mass
 
production and mass politics.
 
   
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==Philosophical movements and contributors==
The movement has had diverse political ramifications: its
 
anti-ideological ideas appear conducive to, and strongly associated
 
with, [[Feminism|the feminist movement]], racial equality movements,
 
[[gay rights|gay rights movements]], most forms of late 20th century
 
[[anarchism]], even the [[peace movement]] and various hybrids of
 
these in the current [[anti-globalization movement]]. Unsurprisingly,
 
none of these institutions entirely embraces all aspects of the
 
postmodern movement in its most concentrated definition, but reflect,
 
or in true postmodern style, borrow from some of its core ideas.
 
 
<!--okay i know that a table is a cheesy way to opt-out of a history
 
lesson, but lets make this section '''clear''' and avoid article
 
bloat, and difficult sentances -->
 
   
 
<blockquote style="background: white; border: 0px solid black; padding: 1em;">
 
<blockquote style="background: white; border: 0px solid black; padding: 1em;">
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{|
{| border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" align="center"
 
   
 
! style="background:#ECE9EF;" | Influencer
 
! style="background:#ECE9EF;" | Influencer
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! colspan="2" style="background:#EEF6D6;" | Influence
 
! colspan="2" style="background:#EEF6D6;" | Influence
 
|-
 
|-
|'''[[Søren Kierkegaard]]'''
+
|'''[[Martin Heidegger]] '''
|c.1843
+
|c.1927
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|rejected the philosophical grounding of the concepts of "subjectivity" and "objectivity"
|"Truth is [[subjectivity]]" One aspect of Postmodernism that is almost impossible to debate: its language is inextricably linked to modernism.
 
|-
 
|'''[[Friedrich Nietzsche|Nietzsche]] '''
 
|c.1880
 
| no fixed values, [[god is dead]]
 
|-
 
|'''[[Dada|Dada movement]] '''
 
|c.1920
 
|a focus on the framing of objects and discourse as being as important, or more important, than the work itself
 
|-
 
|'''[[Wittgenstein]]'''
 
|c.1950
 
|[[anti-foundationalism]], no [[certainty]], a [[philosophy of language]]
 
 
|-
 
|-
|'''[[Thomas Samuel Kuhn]] '''
+
|'''[[Thomas Samuel Kuhn]]'''
 
|c.1962
 
|c.1962
 
|posited the rapid change of the basis of scientific knowledge to a provisional consensus of scientists, coined the term "[[paradigm shift]]"
 
|posited the rapid change of the basis of scientific knowledge to a provisional consensus of scientists, coined the term "[[paradigm shift]]"
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''[[Jacques Derrida]]'''
 
|'''[[Jacques Derrida]]'''
|c.1970
+
|c.1967
|re-examining the fundamentals of knowledge, [[deconstruction]]
+
|re-examined the fundamentals of writing and its consequences on philosophy in general; sought to undermine the language of western [[metaphysics]] ([[deconstruction]])
  +
|-
  +
|'''[[Michel Foucault]]'''
  +
|c.1975
  +
|examined discursive power in ''[[Discipline and Punish]]'', with Bentham's panopticon as his model, and also known for saying "language is oppression" (Meaning that language was developed to allow only those who spoke the language not to be oppressed. All other people that don't speak the language would then be oppressed.)
  +
|-
  +
|'''[[Jean-François Lyotard]]'''
  +
|c.1979
  +
|opposed [[Universality (philosophy)|universality]], meta-narratives, and generality
  +
|-
  +
|'''[[Richard Rorty]]'''
  +
|c.1979
  +
|argues philosophy mistakenly imitates scientific methods; advocates dissolving traditional philosophical problems; [[anti-foundationalism]] and anti-essentialism
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''[[Jean Baudrillard]] '''
 
|'''[[Jean Baudrillard]] '''
 
|c.1981
 
|c.1981
|[[Simulacra and Simulation]] - reality created by media
+
|''[[Simulacra and Simulation]]'' - reality disappears underneath the interchangeability of signs
 
</table>
 
</table>
 
</blockquote>
 
</blockquote>
Line 145: Line 80:
 
|}
 
|}
   
== Deconstruction ==
+
==Deconstruction==
  +
{{Citations missing|section|date=December 2009}}
 
{{Main|Deconstruction}}
 
{{Main|Deconstruction}}
Deconstruction is a term which is used to denote the application of post-modern ideas of criticism, or theory, to a "text" or "artifact". A deconstruction is meant to undermine the frame of reference and assumptions that underpin the text or the artifact.
+
Deconstruction is a term which is used to denote the application of postmodern ideas of criticism, or theory, to a "text" or "artifact", based on architectural [[deconstructivism]]. A deconstruction is meant to undermine the frame of reference and assumptions that underpin the text or the artifact.
   
  +
The term "deconstruction" comes from Martin Heidegger, who calls for the destruction or deconstruction (the German "Destruktion" connotes both English words) of the history of [[ontology]]. The point, for Heidegger, was to describe Being prior to its being covered over by Plato and subsequent philosophy. Thus, Heidegger himself engaged in "deconstruction" through a critique of post-Socratic thought (which had forgotten the question of Being) and the study of the pre-Socratics (where Being was still an open question).
In its original use, a "deconstruction" is an important textual "occurrence" described and analyzed by many postmodern authors and [[philosopher]]s. They argued that aspects in the text itself would undermine its own authority or assumptions, that internal contradictions would erase boundaries or categories which the work relied on or asserted. Post-structuralists beginning with [[Jacques Derrida]], who coined the term, argued that the existence of deconstructions implied that there was no intrinsic essence to a text, merely the contrast of difference. This is analogous to the scientific idea that only the variations are real, that there is no established norm to a genetic population, or the idea that the difference in perception between black and white is the context. A deconstruction is created when the "deeper" substance of text opposes the text's more "superficial" form. This too is not an idea isolated to post-structuralists, but is related to the idea of [[hermeneutics]] in literature, and was asserted as early as [[Plato]], and by modern thinkers such as [[Leo Strauss]]. Derrida's argument is that deconstruction proves that texts have multiple meanings, and the "violence" between the different meanings of text may be elucidated by close textual analysis.
 
   
  +
In later usage, a "deconstruction" is an important textual "occurrence" described and analyzed by many postmodern authors and [[philosopher]]s. They argue that aspects in the text itself would undermine its own authority or assumptions and that internal contradictions would erase boundaries or categories which the work relied on or asserted. Poststructuralists beginning with [[Jacques Derrida]], who coined the term, argued that the existence of deconstructions implied that there was no intrinsic essence to a text, merely the contrast of difference. This is analogous to the idea that the difference in perception between black and white is the context. A deconstruction is created when the "deeper" substance of text opposes the text's more "superficial" form. This idea is not isolated to poststructuralists but is related to the idea of [[hermeneutics]] in literature; intellectuals as early as [[Plato]] asserted it and so did modern thinkers such as [[Leo Strauss]]. Derrida's argument is that deconstruction proves that texts have multiple meanings and the "violence" between the different meanings of text may be elucidated by close textual analysis.
Popularly, close textual analyses describing deconstruction within a text are often themselves called ''deconstructions''. Derrida argued, however, that deconstruction is not a method or a tool, but an occurrence within the text itself. Writings about deconstruction perhaps are referred to in academic circles as ''deconstructive readings'', in conformance with this view of the word.
 
   
  +
Popularly, close textual analyses describing deconstruction within a text are often themselves called ''deconstructions''. Derrida argued, however, that deconstruction is not a method or a tool but an occurrence within the text itself. Writings about deconstruction are therefore referred to in academic circles as ''deconstructive readings''.
Deconstruction is far more important to postmodernism than its seemingly narrow focus on ''text'' might imply. According to Derrida, one consequence of deconstruction is that the text may be defined so broadly as to encompass not just written words, but the entire spectrum of [[symbol]]s and [[phenomenon|phenomena]] within Western thought. To Derrida, a result of deconstruction is that no Western philosopher has been able to successfully escape from this large web of text and reach the purely text-free "signified" which they imagined to exist "just beyond" the text.
 
   
  +
Deconstruction is far more important to postmodernism than its seemingly narrow focus on ''text'' might imply. According to Derrida, one consequence of deconstruction is that the text may be defined so broadly as to encompass not just written words but the entire spectrum of [[symbol]]s and [[phenomenon|phenomena]] within Western thought. To Derrida, a result of deconstruction is that no Western philosopher has been able to escape successfully from this large web of text and reach that which is "signified", which they imagined to exist "just beyond" the text.
The more common use of the term is the more general process of pointing to contradictions between the intent and surface of a work, and the assumptions about it. A work then "deconstructs" assumptions when it places them in context. For example, someone who can pass as the opposite sex is said to "deconstruct" gender roles, because there is a conflict between the superficial appearance, and the reality of the person's gender.
 
   
  +
The more common use of the term is the more general process of pointing to contradictions between the intent and surface of a work and the assumptions about it. A work then "deconstructs" assumptions when it places them in context. For example, someone who can pass as the opposite sex may be said to "deconstruct" gender identity, because there is a conflict between the superficial appearance and the "reality" of the person's gender.
==Postmodernism's manifestations==
 
===Lifestyle===
 
As a [[cultural movement]], features that have contributed to
 
postmodernity include [[globalization]], [[consumerism]], the
 
fragmentation of authority, and the commodification of knowledge. In
 
the era of postmodern culture, people have rejected the grand,
 
supposedly universal stories and [[paradigm]]s such as religion,
 
conventional philosophy, capitalism and gender that have defined
 
culture and behavior in the past, and have instead begun to organize
 
their cultural life around a variety of more local and
 
[[subculture|subcultural]] [[ideology|ideologies]], myths and stories.
 
   
  +
===Social construction, structuralism, poststructuralism===
The result of accepting postmodernism is the view that different
 
  +
{{Citations missing|section|date=December 2009}}
realms of discourse are incommensurable and incapable of judging the
 
  +
{{Further|[[Manifestations of Postmodernism]]}}
results of other discourse. It is the idea that all such
 
  +
Often opposed to deconstruction are social constructionists, labeled as such within the analytic tradition, but not usually in the case of the continental tradition. The term was first used in sociologists [[Peter L. Berger|Peter Berger]] and [[Thomas Luckmann]]'s book [[The Social Construction of Reality]].
[[metanarrative]]s and [[paradigm]]s are stable only while they fit the
 
available evidence, and can potentially be overturned when phenomena
 
occur that the paradigm cannot account for, and a better explanatory
 
model (itself subject to the same fate) is found.
 
   
  +
Usually in the continental tradition, the terms structuralism or poststructuralism are used. [[Maurice Merleau-Ponty]] is seen as the biggest contributor to structuralism, which is epitomized in the philosophy of [[Claude Levi-Strauss]]. [[Michel Foucault]] was also a structuralist but then turned to what would be termed poststructuralism, although he himself declined to call his work either poststructuralist or postmodern. Structuralism historically gave way to poststructuralism; often the role of postmodernism within the analytic tradition is played down, although works by major figures of the analytic tradition in the 20th century, including those of [[Thomas Kuhn]] and [[Willard Van Orman Quine]], show a similarity with works in the continental tradition for their lack of belief in absolute [[truth]] as well as in the pliability of language.
''See: "The Post Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge" by
 
[[Lyotard]] in 1979''
 
   
  +
In the continental tradition, most works argue that power dissimulates and that society constructs reality, while its individuals remain powerless or almost powerless. Often, both continental and analytic sources argue for a renewed subjectivity, borrowing heavily from [[Immanuel Kant]], while they largely reject his a priori/a posteriori distinction. They both minimize discussions of practical ethics, instead borrowing heavily from post-Holocaust accounts of the need for an ethics of responsibility, which is very rarely practically defined.
===Postmodernism in language===
 
{{main|Postmodernism in language}}
 
Important to postmodernism's role in language is the focus on the implied meaning of words and forms the power structures that are accepted as part of the way words are used, from the use of the word "Man" with a capital "M" to refer to the collective humanity, to the default of the word "he" in English as a pronoun for a person of gender unknown to the speaker, or as a casual replacement for the word "one". This, however, is merely the most obvious example of the changing relationship between diction and discourse which postmodernism presents.
 
   
  +
One of the large differences between analytic postmodern sources and continental postmodern sources is that the analytic tradition by and large guards at least some of the tenets of liberalism, while many continental sources flirt with, or completely immerse themselves in, [[Marxism]].
An important concept in postmodernism's view of language is the idea of "play" text. In the context of postmodernism, play means changing the framework which connects ideas, and thus allows the troping, or turning, of a metaphor or word from one context to another, or from one frame of reference to another. Since, in postmodern thought, the "text" is a series of "markings" whose meaning is imputed by the reader, and not by the author, this play is the means by which the reader constructs or interprets the text, and the means by which the author gains a presence in the reader's mind. Play then involves invoking words in a manner which undermines their authority, by mocking their assumptions or style, or by layers of misdirection as to the [[Authorial intentionality|intention of the author]]. [[Roland Barthes]] argued this concept, and coined it '[[Death of the Author]]'; this allows for 'freedom of the reader'. Barthes is well known for having stated, "It is language that speaks, not the author". Another key concept is the view that people are, essentially, blank slated linguistically, and that social acclimation, cultural factors, habituation and images are the primary ways of shaping the structure of how people speak.
 
This view of writing is not without harsh detractors, who regard it as needlessly difficult and obscure, and a violation of the implicit contract of lucidity between author and reader: that an author has something to communicate, and shall choose words which transmit the idea as transparently as possible to the reader. Thus postmodernism in language has often been identified with poor writing and [[communication skill]]s. The term '''pomobabble''' came to be within pop culture to illustrate this trend.
 
   
  +
Recently, it is noticeable that some of the ideas found in poststructuralism and postmodernism, as the lack of belief in absolute [[truth]] or the idea of a reality ''constructed'', is promoted in a new [[paradigm]] within [[constructivist epistemology]].
===Postmodernism in art===
 
{{Main|Postmodern art}}
 
 
Where modernists hoped to unearth universals or the fundamentals of art, postmodernism aims to unseat them, to embrace diversity and contradiction. A postmodern approach to art thus rejects the distinction between low and high art forms.
 
Postmodern style is often characterized by [[eclecticism]], digression, [[collage]], [[pastiche]], [[irony]], the return of ornament and historical reference, and the appropriation of popular media. Some artistic movements commonly called postmodern are [[pop art]], architectural [[deconstruction|deconstructivism]], [[magical realism]] in literature, [[maximalism]], and [[neo-romanticism]]. It rejects rigid genre boundaries and promotes [[parody]], [[irony]], and playfulness, commonly referred to as ''[[jouissance]]'' by postmodern theorists. Unlike modern art, postmodern art does not approach this fragmentation as somehow faulty or undesirable, but rather celebrates it. As the gravity of the search for underlying truth is relieved, it is replaced with 'play'. As postmodern icon [[David Byrne (musician)|David Byrne]], and his band [[Talking Heads]] said: "Stop making sense."
 
 
Post-modernity, in attacking the perceived elitist approach of Modernism, sought greater connection with broader audiences. This is often labelled "accessibility" and is a central point of dispute in the question of the value of postmodern art. It has also embraced the mixing of words with art, collage and other movements in modernity, in an attempt to create more multiplicity of medium and message. Much of this centers on a shift of basic subject matter: postmodern artists regard the mass media as a fundamental subject for art, and use forms, tropes, and materials - such as banks of video monitors, found art, and depictions of media objects - as focal points for their art. With his "invention" of "readymade", [[Marcel Duchamp]] is often seen as a forerunner on postmodern art. Where [[Andy Warhol]] furthered the concept with his appropriation of common popular symbols and "ready-made" cultural artifacts, bringing the previously mundane or trivial onto the previously hallowed ground of high art.
 
 
Postmodernism's critical stance is interlinked with presenting new appraisals of previous works. As implied above, the works of the [[Dada]] movement received greater attention, as did collagists such as [[Robert Rauschenberg]], whose works were initially considered unimportant in the context of the modernism of the [[1950s]], but who, by the [[1980s]], began to be seen as seminal. Post-modernism also elevated the importance of [[film|cinema]] in artistic discussions, placing it on a peer level with the other fine arts. This is both because of the blurring of distinctions between "high" and "low" forms, and because of the recognition that cinema represented the creation of simulacra which was later duplicated in the other arts.
 
{{See also|Contemporary art}}
 
 
==== Postmodernism in music ====
 
{{Main|Postmodern music}}
 
Postmodern music is both a musical ''style'' and a musical ''condition''. As a musical ''style'', postmodern music contains characteristics of [[postmodern art]]—that is, art ''after'' [[modernism]] (see [[Modernism (music)|Modernism in Music]]); [[Eclecticism in art|eclecticism]] in [[musical form]] and [[musical genre]], combining characteristics from different genres, or employing jump-cut [[section]]alization (such as [[block (music)|blocks]]). It tends to be [[Self-reference|self-referential]] and [[irony|ironic]], and it blurs the boundaries between [[fine art|"high art"]] and [[kitsch]]. [[Daniel Albright]] (2004) summarizes the traits of the postmodern style as [[bricolage]], [[polystylism]], and [[randomness]].
 
 
As a musical ''condition'', postmodern music is simply the state of music in [[postmodernity]], music after [[modernity]]. In this sense, postmodern music does not have any one particular style or characteristic, and is not necessarily postmodern in ''style'' or technique. The music of modernity, however, was viewed primarily as a means of expression while the music of postmodernity is valued more as a spectacle, a good for mass consumption, and an indicator of group identity. For example, one significant role of music in postmodern society is to act as a badge by which people can signify their identity as a member of a particular [[subculture]]
 
 
==== Postmodernism in graphic design====
 
{{Main|graphic design}}
 
Postmodernism in graphic design for the most part has been mainly a visual and decorative movement.
 
Many designers and design critics contend that postmodernism, in the sense of literary or architectural understanding of the term, never really impacted graphic design as it did in these other fields.
 
Alternatively, some argue that it did but took on a different persona. This can be seen in the work produced at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan during the late 1980s to late 1990s and at the MFA program at CalArts in California.
 
But when all was said and done, the various notions of the postmodern in the various design fields never really stuck to graphic design as it did with architecture. Some argue that the "movement" (if it ever was one) had little to no impact on graphic design.
 
More likely, it did, but more in the sense of a continuation or re-evaluation of the modern. Some would argue that this continuous re-evaluation is also just a component of the design process - happening for most of the second half of the 20th C. in the profession.
 
Since it was ultimately the work of graphic designers that inspired pop artists like Warhol, Liechtenstein, and architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown, it could be argued that graphic design practice and designs may be be the root of Postmodernism.
 
 
Graphic design saw a massive popular raising at the end of the seventies in form of Graffiti and Hip Hop culture's rise. Graphic form of expression became a vast everyday hobby among school kids all around the developed western countries. Along side this 'movement' that took rebellious and even criminal cultural forms was born the mass hobby of coding computer graphics. This phenomena worked as a stepping stone towards the graphic infrastructure that is applied in majority of computer interfaces today.
 
 
==== Postmodernism in literature ====
 
{{Main|Postmodern literature}}
 
Postmodern literature argues for expansion, the return of reference, the celebration of [[fragmentation]] rather than the fear of it, and the role of reference itself in literature. While drawing on the experimental tendencies of authors such as [[Ernest Hemingway]] and [[William Faulkner]] in English, and [[Jorge Luis Borges]] in Spanish - writers who were taken as influences by American postmodern authors such as [[Norman Mailer]], [[Thomas Pynchon]], [[Robert Lowell]], [[Don DeLillo]], [[John Barth]], [[William Gaddis]], [[David Foster Wallace]], and [[Paul Auster]] - the advocates of postmodern literature argue that the present is fundamentally different from the modern period, and therefore requires a new literary sensibility.
 
 
=== Postmodernism in architecture===
 
{{Main|Postmodern architecture}}
 
As with many cultural movements, one of postmodernism's most pronounced and visible ideas can be seen in architecture. The functional, and formalized, shapes and spaces of the modernist movement are replaced by unapologetically diverse aesthetics; styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound.
 
 
Architects generally considered postmodern include: [[Peter Eisenman]], [[Philip Johnson]] (later works), [[John Burgee]], [[Robert Venturi]], [[Ricardo Bofill]], [[James Stirling (architect)|James Stirling]], [[Charles Willard Moore]], and [[Frank Gehry]].
 
 
=== Postmodernism, planning & urban design===
 
Post modern landscapes in contemporary [[city|cities]] can be understood better in the context of [[globalization]] which can be described as a variant form of capitalism where a growing proportion of all economic activity is being progressively organised at the international rather than the national, spatial scale. {{ref|Engels}} This international scope not only influences economic patterns, but also induces a multicultural ambience to metropolitan cities, effectively blending cultures into an altered context. [[David Harvey (geographer)|David Harvey]], in his seminal work, ''The Condition of Postmodernity'' argues that postmodernism, by way of contrasts, privileges heterogeneity and difference as liberative forces in the redefinition of cultural discourse and rejects [[metanarrative]]s and overarching theories.{{ref|Harvey9}} It purports an existence of multi-visionary thinking within the mosaic of the contemporary metropolis. It heralded the shift from [[modernism]] to a "perspectivism that questions how radically different realities may co-exist, collide and interpenetrate." {{ref|Harvey41}}
 
 
===Postmodernism in political science===
 
{{Main|Postmodernism in political science}}
 
Many situations which are considered political in nature can not be adequately discussed in traditional [[Realism in international relations|realist]] and [[liberalism|liberal]] approaches to [[political science]]. Brief examples include the situation of a “draft-age youth whose identity is claimed in national narratives of ‘national security’ and the universalizing narratives of the ‘rights of man,’” of “the woman whose very womb is claimed by the irresolvable contesting narratives of ‘church,’ ‘paternity,’ ‘economy,’ and ‘liberal polity.’ In these cases, there are no fixed categories, stable sets of values, or common sense meanings to be understood in their scholarly exploration. Liberal approaches do not aid in understanding these types of situations; there is no individual or social or institutional structure whose values can impose a meaning or interpretive narrative.
 
 
Meaning and interpretation in these types of situations is always uncertain; arbitrary in fact. The [[power]] in effect here is not that of [[oppression]], but that of the [[culture|cultural]] and social implications around them, which creates the framework within which they see themselves, which creates the boundaries of their possible courses of action.
 
 
Postmodern political scientists, such as Richard Ashley, claim that in these marginal sites it is impossible to construct a coherent narrative, or story, about what is really taking place without including contesting and contradicting narratives, and still have a “true” story from the perspective of a “sovereign subject,” who can dictate the values pertinent to the “meaning” of the situation. By regarding them in this way, deconstructive readings attempt to uncover evidence of ancient cultural biases, conflicts, lies, tyrannies, and power structures, such as the tensions and ambiguity between [[peace]] and [[war]], [[lord]] and [[Slavery|subject]], [[male]] and [[female]], which serve as further examples of Derrida's binary oppositions in which the first element is privileged, or considered prior to and more authentic, in relation to the second. Examples of postmodern political scientists include post-colonial writers such as [[Frantz Fanon]], [[feminism|feminist]] writers such as Cynthia Enloe, and [[Postpositivism|postpositive]] theorists such as Ashley and James Der Derian.
 
 
===Postmodernism in Sociology===
 
In sociology, postmodernism is described as being the result of [[economic]], cultural and [[demographic]] changes (related terms in this context include [[post-industrial society]] and [[late capitalism]]) and it is attributed to factors such as the rise of the [[service economy]], the importance and ubiquity of the [[mass media]] and the rise of an increasingly interdependent world economy. [[Generation Y]] is the most heterogenious generation in terms of social groups and values. See also [[postmodern]], [[information age]], [[globalization]], [[global village]], [[media theory]].
 
 
===Postmodernism in philosophy===
 
{{Main|Postmodern philosophy}}
 
 
[[Postmodern philosophy]] is a radical criticism of [[Western philosophy]], because it rejects the universalizing tendencies of philosophy. It applies to movements that include [[post-structuralism]], [[deconstruction]], [[multiculturalism]], [[neo-relativism]], [[neo-marxism]], [[gender studies]] and [[literary theory]]. It emerged beginning in the 1950s as a rejection of doctrines such as [[positivism]], Darwinism, materialism and objective idealism.
 
 
Postmodern philosophy emphasizes the importance of power relationships, personalization and [[discourse]] in the "construction" of truth and world views. In this context it has been used by [[Critical theory|critical theorists]] to assert that postmodernism is a break with the artistic and [[philosophy|philosophical]] tradition of [[the Enlightenment]], which they characterize as a quest for an ever-grander and more universal system of [[aesthetics]], [[ethics]], and [[knowledge]]. [[Postmodern philosophy]] draws on a number of approaches to criticize Western thought, including [[historicism]], and [[psychoanalytic theory]].
 
 
Many figures in the 20th century [[philosophy of mathematics]] are identified as "postmodern" due to their rejection of [[mathematics]] as a strictly neutral point of view. Some figures in the [[philosophy of science]], especially [[Thomas Samuel Kuhn]] and [[David Bohm]], are also so viewed. Some see the ultimate expression of postmodernism in science and mathematics in the [[cognitive science of mathematics]], which seeks to characterize the habit of mathematics itself as strictly human, and based in human [[cognitive bias]].
 
 
Postmodern philosophy is criticised for prizing irony over knowledge, and giving the irrational equal footing with the rational. {{ref|www.filosofia.net/materiales/rec/glosaen.htm}}
 
 
The term "[[Neo-liberalism]]" has been used in a theological sense as a drive to deliberately modify the beliefs and practices of the [[church]] (especially [[evangelicalism|evangelical]]) to conform to postmodernism. (See also [[emergent church]])
 
 
====Postmodernism and post-structuralism====
 
In terms of frequently cited works, postmodernism and [[post-structuralism]] overlap quite significantly. Some philosophers, such as [[Jean-François Lyotard]], can legitimately be classified into both groups. This is partly due to the fact that both modernism and structuralism owe much to the Enlightenment project.
 
 
Structuralism has a strong tendency to be scientific in seeking out stable patterns in observed phenomena — an epistemological attitude which is quite compatible with Enlightenment thinking, and incompatible with postmodernists. At the same time, findings from structuralist analysis carried a somewhat anti-Enlightenment message, revealing that rationality can be found in the minds of "savage" people, just in forms differing from those that people from "civilized" societies are used to seeing. Implicit here is a critique of the practice of [[colonialism]], which was partly justified as a "civilizing" process by which wealthier societies bring knowledge, manners, and reason to less "civilized" ones.
 
 
Post-structuralism, emerging as a response to the structuralists' scientific orientation, has kept the [[cultural relativism]] in [[structuralism]], while discarding the scientific orientations.
 
 
One clear difference between postmodernism and poststructuralism is found in their respective attitudes towards the demise of the project of the Enlightenment: post-structuralism is fundamentally ambivalent, while postmodernism is decidedly celebratory.
 
 
Another difference is the nature of the two positions. While post-structuralism is a position in philosophy, encompassing views on human beings, language, body, society, and many other issues, it is not a name of an era. Post-modernism, on the other hand, is closely associated with "post-modern" era, a period in the history coming after the modern age.
 
 
===Postmodernity and digital communications===
 
Technological utopianism is a common trait in Western history — from the 1700s when [[Adam Smith]] essentially labelled technological progress as the source of the Wealth of Nations, through the novels of [[Jules Verne]] in the late 1800s (with the notable exception of his then-unpublished [[Paris in the 20th Century]]), through [[Winston Churchill]]'s belief that there was little an inventor could not achieve. Its manifestation in post-modernity was first through the explosion of analog mass broadcasting of television. Strongly associated with the work of [[Marshall McLuhan]] who argued that "the medium is the message", the ability of mass broadcasting to create visual symbols and mass action was seen as a liberating force in human affairs, even at the same time [[Newton N. Minow]] was calling television "a vast wasteland".
 
 
The second wave of technological utopianism associated with postmodern thought came with the introduction of digital internetworking, and became identified with [[Esther Dyson]] and such popular outlets as [[Wired Magazine]]. According to this view digital communications makes the fragmentation of modern society a positive feature, since individuals can seek out those artistic, cultural and community experiences which they regard as being correct for themselves.
 
 
The common thread is that the fragmentation of society and communication gives the individual more autonomy to create their own environment and narrative. This links into the postmodern novel, which deals with the experience of structuring "truth" from fragments.
 
 
==Relationship between modernism and postmodernism==
 
The relationship between [[modernism]] and [[postmodernism]], can best be examined through the works of several authors, some of whom argue for such a distinction, while others call it into question. Following a methodology common among the authors whose work this article examines, a number of artists and writers commonly described as modernist or postmodernist will be considered, although it is noted that this classification is at times controversial. Although useful distinctions can be drawn between the modernist and postmodernist eras, this does not erase the many continuities present between them.
 
 
One of the most significant differences between modernism and postmodernism in the arts is the concern for universality or totality. While modernist artists aimed to capture universality or totality in some sense, postmodernists have rejected these ambitions as "[[metanarrative]]s."
 
 
In comparing postmodernism and modernism as aligning historical philosophies, postmodernism becomes the point in modernism where modernism shows its ability to transform and change.
 
   
 
==Criticism==
 
==Criticism==
  +
{{Main|Criticism of postmodernism}}
The term ''post-modernism'' is often used pejoratively to describe tendencies perceived as [[Relativist]], [[Counter-enlightenment]] or [[Antimodernism|antimodern]], particularly in relation to critiques of [[Rationalism]], [[Universalism]] or [[Science]]. It is also sometimes used to describe tendencies in a society that are held to be antithetical to traditional systems of [[Morality|morality]]. The criticisms of postmodernism are often made complex by the still fluid nature of the term, in many cases the criticisms are clearly directed at [[poststructuralism]] and the philosophical and academic movements that it has spawned rather than the broader term postmodernism.
 
  +
Formal, academic critiques of postmodernism can be found in works such as ''[[Beyond the Hoax]]'' and ''[[Fashionable Nonsense]]''.
   
  +
The term ''postmodernism'', when used pejoratively, describes tendencies perceived as [[relativist]], [[counter-enlightenment]] or [[Antimodernism|antimodern]], particularly in relation to critiques of [[rationalism]], [[Universality (philosophy)|universalism]] or [[science]]. It is also sometimes used to describe tendencies in a society that are held to be antithetical to traditional systems of [[morality]].
The most prominent recent criticism of postmodern art is that of [[John Gardner]]. Gardner wrote that the classification "post-modern" / "modern" applied to the art of his time was an evasion, a stab at nothing - i.e., a move to elude the basic function of criticism, which, according to Gardner, is to judge art's moral value.
 
   
  +
==The Death of Postmodernism?==
[[Charles Murray (author)|Charles Murray]], a strong critic of postmodernism, defines the term:
 
  +
{{Main|Post-postmodernism}}
{{Quotation|By contemporary intellectual fashion, I am referring to the constellation of views that come to mind when one hears the words multicultural, gender, deconstruct, politically correct, and [[dead white males|Dead White Males]]. In a broader sense, contemporary intellectual fashion encompasses as well the widespread disdain in certain circles for technology and the scientific method. Embedded in this mind-set is hostility to the idea that discriminating judgments are appropriate in assessing art and literature, to the idea that hierarchies of value exist, hostility to the idea that an objective truth exists. Postmodernism is the overarching label that is attached to this perspective.|Charles Murray|[1]}}
 
  +
Recently the notion of the "death of postmodernism" has been increasingly widely debated: in 2007 Andrew Hoborek noted in his introduction to a special issue of the journal Twentieth Century Literature titled "After Postmodernism" that "declarations of postmodernism's demise have become a critical commonplace". A small group of critics has put forth a range of theories that aim to describe culture and/or society in the alleged aftermath of postmodernism, most notably Raoul Eshelman (performatism), [[Gilles Lipovetsky]] (hypermodernity), [[Nicolas Bourriaud]] ([[Altermodern]]), and [[Alan Kirby (writer)|Alan Kirby]] (digimodernism, formerly called pseudo-modernism). None of these new theories and labels has so far gained widespread acceptance.
   
  +
==Quotations==
Central to the debate is the role of the concept of "objectivity" and what it means. In the broadest sense, denial of the practical possibility of objectivity is held to be the postmodern position, and a hostility towards claims advanced on the basis of objectivity its defining feature. It is this underlying hostility toward the concept of [[Objectivity (philosophy)|objectivity]], evident in many contemporary [[critical theory|critical theorists]], that is the common point of attack for critics of postmodernism. Many critics characterise postmodernism as an ephemeral phenomenon that cannot be adequately defined simply because, as a [[philosophy]] at least, it represents nothing more substantial than a series of disparate conjectures allied only in their distrust of [[modernism]].
 
  +
In 1994, the then-[[President of the Czech Republic|President]] of the [[Czech Republic]] and renowned playwright [[Václav Havel]] gave a hopeful description of the postmodern world as one based on science, and yet paradoxically “where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.”<ref>Vaclav Havel, "The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World," speech in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 1994.</ref>
   
  +
[[Josh McDowell]] & Bob Hostetler offer the following definition of postmodernism: “A worldview characterized by the belief that truth doesn’t exist in any objective sense but is created rather than discovered.” Truth is “created by the specific culture and exists only in that culture. Therefore, any system or statement that tries to communicate truth is a power play, an effort to dominate other cultures.”<ref>Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler, ''The New Tolerance'' (Carol Stream IL: Tyndale House, 1998), p. 208.</ref>
This antipathy of postmodernists towards modernism, and their consequent tendency to define themselves against it, has also attracted criticism. It has been argued that modernity was not actually a lumbering, totalizing monolith at all, but in fact was itself dynamic and ever-changing; the evolution, therefore, between "modern" and "postmodern" should be seen as one of degree, rather than of kind - a continuation rather than a "break." One theorist who takes this view is [[Marshall Berman]], whose book ''All That is Solid Melts into Air'' (1982) (a quote from [[Karl Marx|Marx]]) reflects in its title the fluid nature of "the experience of modernity."
 
   
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The Italian medievalist and semiotician [[Umberto Eco]] characterised "the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows he cannot say to her, ''I love you madly,'' because he knows that she knows (and that she knows that he knows) that these words have already been written by [[Barbara Cartland]]."<ref> Umberto Eco, "Postscript to ''The Name of the Rose,'' (New York NY: Harcourt, 1984), pgs. 530-1.</ref>
As noted [[Postmodernism#The development of postmodernism|above]], some theorists such as [[Habermas]] even argue that the supposed distinction between the "modern" and the "postmodern" does not exist at all, but that the latter is really no more than a development within a larger, still-current, "modern" framework. Many who make this argument are [[left-wing politics|left]] academics with [[Marxist]] leanings, such as [[Seyla Benhabib]], [[Terry Eagleton]], [[Fredric Jameson]], and [[David Harvey (social geographer)]], who are concerned that postmodernism's undermining of Enlightenment values makes a progressive cultural politics difficult, if not impossible. For instance, "How can 'we' effect any change in people's poor living conditions, in inequality and injustice, if 'we' don't accept the validity of underlying universals such as the 'real world' and 'justice' in the first place?" How is any progress to be made through a philosophy so profoundly skeptical of the very notion of progress, and of unified perspectives? The critics charge that the postmodern vision of a tolerant, pluralist society in which every political ideology is perceived to be as valid, or as redundant, as the other, may ultimately encourage individuals to lead lives of a rather disastrous apathetic quietism. This reasoning leads Habermas to compare postmodernism with conservatism and the preservation of the status quo.
 
   
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==See also==
Such critics often argue that, in actual fact, such postmodern premises are rarely, if ever, actually embraced &mdash; that if they were, we would be left with nothing more than a crippling radical [[metaphysical subjectivism|subjectivism]]. They point to the continuity of the projects of the Enlightenment and modernity as alive and well, as can be seen in the justice system, in science, in political rights movements, in the very idea of universities, and so on.
 
  +
===Theory===
  +
* [[Critical race theory]]
  +
* [[Dystopia]]
  +
* [[Hypermodernity]]
  +
* [[Media studies]]
  +
* [[Recursion]]ism
   
To some critics, there seems, indeed, to be a glaring contradiction in maintaining the death of objectivity and privileged position on one hand, while the scientific community continues a project of unprecedented scope to unify various scientific disciplines into a [[theory of everything]], on the other. Hostility toward [[hierarchy|hierarchies]] of value and objectivity becomes problematic to them when postmodernity itself attempts to analyse such hierarchies with, apparently, some measure of objectivity and make categorical statements concerning them.
 
   
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===Culture and politics===
They see postmodernism, then as, essentially, a kind of semantic gamesmanship, more sophistry than substance. Postmodernism's proponents are often criticised for a tendency to indulge in exhausting, verbose stretches of rhetorical gymnastics, which critics feel sound important but are ultimately meaningless. In the [[Sokal Affair]], [[Alan Sokal]], a physicist, wrote a deliberately nonsensical article purportedly about interpreting physics and mathematics in terms of postmodern theory, which was nevertheless published by the Left-leaning [[Social Text]], a journal which he and most of the scientific community considered as postmodernist. Interestingly, [[Social Text]] never acknowledged that the article's publication was a mistake, but supported a counter-argument defending the "interpretative validity" of Sokal's false article, despite the author's rebuttal of his own article.
 
  +
* [[Decentralization]]
  +
* [[Defamiliarization]]
  +
* [[Remodernism]]
  +
* [[Syncretism]]
   
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===Law===
Although [[Ken Wilber]] embraces many aspects of post-modernism, he distinguishes between a healthy form and an unhealthy 'extreme' form. Inherent in the extreme version is the irreconcilability of the [[performative contradiction]]. Wilber argues postmodernism must take the stance that its view is 'better' than what preceded it ([[modernity]], [[Enlightenment (concept)]], [[metanarrative]]s, [[positivism]], etc.). This intrinsic and silent judgement that postmodernism imposes on its predecessors is in itself not only a value judgement (a thing it often rejects), but a hierarchy in itself (a hierarchy of values). Wilber claims his recent work in [[integral theory]] addresses these performative contradictions, while retaining many of the important contributions of postmodernism. Wilber's approach is distinguished from other critiques by asking a different question. It does not ask whether postmodernism, or modernism, or any other system of thought is 'correct' or 'not correct'. Rather, it asks what are the emergent qualities of 'consciousness' that allow all of these systems of thought to arise in the first place? And, what important aspect of truth do they have to contribute? [[Jorge Ferrer]] responds to Wilber's criticisms.
 
  +
* [[Critical legal studies]]
   
  +
===Philosophy===
In response to the critics of postmodernism, it has been suggested that no "postmodern" ethos or movement has actually taken practical form, and that the term "postmodernism" has been used by traditionalist intellectuals as a catch-all term serving to condemn trends in thought without adequately addressing their content.
 
  +
* [[Ontological pluralism]]
  +
* [[Physical ontology]]
  +
* [[Postmaterialism]]
  +
* [[Postpositivism]]
   
  +
===Psychology===
==Quotes about postmodern==
 
  +
* [[Postmodern psychology]]
{{incomplete list}}
 
*”A worldview that emphasizes the existence of different worldviews” [http://www.greeleynet.com/~cnotess/gloss.htm]
 
*”It accepts that reality is fragmented and that personal identity is an unstable quantity transmitted by a variety of cultural factors. Postmodernism advocates an irreverent, playful treatment of one's own identity, and a liberal society.” [http://www.ffotogallery.org/th-edu/glossary.htm]
 
*"Postmodernism is simply a juvenile tantrum about how uncooperative reality is with socialist thought" [http://majorityrights.com/index.php/weblog/comments/postmodernism]
 
*"A generation raised on channel-surfing has lost the capacity for linear thinking and analytical reasoning." [http://www.anewkindofchristian.com/archives/000160.html]
 
*"Enlightenment is totalitarian" [http://www.cultsock.ndirect.co.uk/MUHome/cshtml/general/pomodet.html]
 
*"A constitutional inability to adopt a reasonable way to tell the good stuff from the bad stuff" -[[Chip Morningstar]], author and developer of software systems for online entertainment and communication.
 
*"Postmodernism is incredulity towards [[metanarratives]]" Jean-Francois Lyotard
 
*"Postmodernism: the Grande Narrative that denies Grande Narrative" Cedric Watts, University of Sussex (Via Lee Goddard)
 
*"There is no single way to define postmodernism, and that is the single most postmodern thing about it." -Mark Williams, chair of film and television studies at [[Dartmouth College]]. [http://www.dartmouth.edu/~film/faculty.html]
 
*"Postmodernism can be defined as a procedural rebellion against totalizing systems of thought with an eventual affirmation of no centers of value." - Luca Petryshyn, Concordia university
 
*"Postmodernist fiction is defined by its temporal disorder, its disregard of linear narrative, its mingling of fictional forms and its experiments with language." - Barry Lewis, Kazuo Ishiguro
 
*"The postmodern challenges our thinking about time, challenges us to see the present in the past, the future in the present, the present in a kind of no time." - Andrew Bennet and Nicholas Royle
 
*"a new kind of superficiality" or "depthlessness" - [[Fredric Jameson]]
 
   
==See also==
+
==References==
  +
{{reflist|2}}
 
===Theoretical postmodernism===
 
*[[Critical race theory]]
 
*[[Localism]]
 
*[[Media studies]]
 
*[[Recursionism]]
 
 
===Cultural and political postmodernism===
 
*[[Anti-racist math]]
 
*[[Decentralization]]
 
*[[Defamiliarization]]
 
*[[New Age]]
 
*[[Reinformation]]
 
*[[Syncreticism]]
 
*[[Universism]]
 
   
===Further reading===
+
==Further reading==
  +
* Powell, Jim (1998). "Postmodernism For Beginners" (ISBN 978-1-934389-09-6)
  +
* Alexie, Sherman (2000). "The Toughest Indian in the World" (ISBN 0-8021-3800-4)
  +
* Anderson, Walter Truett. ''The Truth about the Truth (New Consciousness Reader)''. New York: Tarcher. (1995) (ISBN 0-87477-801-8)
 
* Ashley, Richard and Walker, R. B. J. (1990) “Speaking the Language of Exile.” ''International Studies Quarterly'' v 34, no 3 259-68.
 
* Ashley, Richard and Walker, R. B. J. (1990) “Speaking the Language of Exile.” ''International Studies Quarterly'' v 34, no 3 259-68.
  +
* [[Zygmunt Bauman|Bauman, Zygmunt]] (2000) ''Liquid Modernity''. Cambridge: Polity Press.
* Berman, Marshall (1982) ''All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity'' (ISBN 0140109625).
 
  +
* [[Ulrich Beck|Beck, Ulrich]] (1986) ''Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity''.
* Callinicos, Alex, ''Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique'' (Cambridge: Polity, 1999).
 
  +
* Benhabib, Seyla (1995) 'Feminism and Postmodernism' in (ed. Nicholson) ''Feminism Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange''. New York: Routledge.
* Harvey, David (1989) ''The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change'' (ISBN 0631162941)
 
  +
* Berman, Marshall (1982) ''All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity'' (ISBN 0-14-010962-5).
* Hicks, Stephen R. C. (2004) ''Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault'' (ISBN 1592476465)
 
  +
* [[Hans Bertens|Bertens, Hans]] (1995) ''The Idea of the Postmodern: A History''. London: Routledge.(ISBN 0-145-06012-5).
* Jameson, Fredric (1991) ''Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism'' (ISBN 0822310902)
 
* Lyotard, Jean-François (1984) ''The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge'' (ISBN 0816611734)
+
* Bielskis, Andrius (2005) ''Towards a Postmodern Understanding of the Political: From Genealogy to Hermeneutics'' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  +
* Brass, Tom, ''Peasants, Populism and Postmodernism'' (London: Cass, 2000).
* Sokal, Alan and Jean Bricmont (1998) ''[[Fashionable Nonsense]]: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science'' (ISBN 0312204078)
 
  +
* [[Judith Butler|Butler, Judith]] (1995) 'Contingent Foundations' in (ed. Nicholson) ''Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange''. New Yotk: Routledge.
* Norris, Christopher (1990) ''What's Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy'' (ISBN 0801841372)
 
  +
* [[Alex Callinicos|Callinicos, Alex]], ''Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique'' (Cambridge: Polity, 1999).
* Veith Jr., Gene Edward (1994) ''Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture'' (ISBN 0891077685)
 
  +
* Castells, Manuel (1996) ''The Network Society''.
  +
* Coupland, Douglas (1991). "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture" (ISBN 0-312-05436-X)
  +
*Downing, Crystal L. ''How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith'', (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006) ISBN 0-8308-2758-7
  +
* [[Margaret Drabble|Drabble, M.]] ''The Oxford Companion to English Literature'', 6 ed., article "Postmodernism".
  +
* Farrell, John. "Paranoia and Postmodernism," the epilogue to ''Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau'' (Cornell UP, 2006), 309-327.
  +
* Featherstone, M. (1991) Consumer culture and postmodernism, London; Newbury Park, Calif., Sage Publications.
  +
* Goulimari, Pelagia (ed.) (2007) Postmodernism. What Moment? Manchester: Manchester University Press (ISBN 978-0-7190-7308-3)
  +
* [[Anthony Giddens|Giddens, Anthony]] (1991) Modernity and Self Identity, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  +
* Grebowicz, Margaret (ed.), ''Gender After Lyotard''. NY: Suny Press, 2007. (ISBN 978-0-7914-6956-9)
  +
* Greer, Robert C. ''Mapping Postmodernism''. IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003. (ISBN 0-8308-2733-1)
  +
* Groothuis, Douglas. ''Truth Decay''. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000.
  +
* Harvey, David (1989) ''The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change'' (ISBN 0-631-16294-1)
  +
* Hicks, Stephen R. C. (2004) ''Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault'' (ISBN 1-59247-646-5)
  +
* [[Ted Honderich|Honderich, T.]], ''The Oxford Companion to Philosophy'', article "Postmodernism".
  +
* Jameson, Fredric (1991) ''[[Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism]]'' (ISBN 0-8223-1090-2)
  +
* Kirby, Alan (2009) ''Digimodernism''. New York: Continuum.
  +
* Lash, S. (1990) The sociology of postmodernism, London, Routledge.
  +
* Lyotard, Jean-François (1984) ''[[The Postmodern Condition]]: A Report on Knowledge'' (ISBN 0-8166-1173-4)
  +
* --- (1988). ''The Postmodern Explained: Correspondence 1982-1985''. Ed. Julian Pefanis and Morgan Thomas. (ISBN 0-8166-2211-6)
  +
* --- (1993), "Scriptures: Diffracted Traces." In: ''Theory, Culture and Society'', Vol. 21(1), 2004.
  +
* --- (1995), "Anamnesis: Of the Visible." In: ''Theory, Culture and Society'', Vol. 21(1), 2004.
  +
* MacIntyre, Alasdair, [[After Virtue]]: A Study in Moral Theory (University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, 2nd edn.).
  +
* [[Robert Magliola|Magliola, Robert]], ''Derrida on the Mend'' (Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1984; 1986; pbk. 2000, ISBN I-55753-205-2).
  +
* ---, ''On Deconstructing Life-Worlds: Buddhism, Christianity, Culture'' (Atlanta: Scholars Press of American Academy of Religion, 1997; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000; ISBN 0-7885-0295-6, cloth, ISBN 0-7885-0296-4, pbk).
  +
* Manuel, Peter. "Music as Symbol, Music as Simulacrum: Pre-Modern, Modern, and Postmodern Aesthetics in Subcultural Musics," Popular Music 1/2, 1995, pp.&nbsp;227–239.
  +
* Murphy, Nancey, ''Anglo-American Postmodernity: Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Religion, and Ethics'' (Westview Press, 1997).
  +
* Natoli, Joseph (1997) ''A Primer to Postmodernity'' (ISBN 1-57718-061-5)
  +
* Norris, Christopher (1990) ''What's Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy'' (ISBN 0-8018-4137-2)
  +
* Pangle, Thomas L., ''The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age'', Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991 ISBN 0-8018-4635-8
  +
* Park, Jin Y., ed., ''Buddhisms and Deconstructions'' (Lanham: Rowland & Littlefield, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7425-3418-6; ISBN 0-7425-3418-9.
  +
* Sokal, Alan and Jean Bricmont (1998) ''[[Fashionable Nonsense]]: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science'' (ISBN 0-312-20407-8)
  +
* Taylor, Alan (2005) ''We, the media. Pedagogic Intrusions into US Film and Television News Broadcasting Rhetorics', Peter Lang, pp.&nbsp;418 (ISBN 3-631-51852-8)
  +
* Vattimo, Gianni (1989). ''The Transparent Society'' (ISBN 0-8018-4528-9)
  +
* Veith Jr., Gene Edward (1994) ''Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture'' (ISBN 0-89107-768-5)
  +
* [[Keith Windshuttle | Windshuttle, Keith]] (1996) ''The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering our Past.'' New York: The Free Press.
  +
* Woods, Tim, Beginning Postmodernism, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999,(Reprinted 2002)(ISBN 0-7190-5210-6 Hardback,ISBN 0-7190-5211-4 Paperback) .
   
==External links and references==
+
==External links==
  +
* [http://www.toronto-h.schools.nsw.edu.au/postmodernism.htm Postmodernism Guide from Toronto High School]
#{{note|Engels}} Engels, B. (2000) ‘City Make-overs: the place-marketing of Melbourne during the Kennett years, 1992-1999’, Urban Policy and Research 18(4), p 470
 
  +
*“Love and Hatred of ‘French Theory’ in America.” ''Borderlands e journal''. / Rolando Pérez. 4.1. 2005. http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/
#{{note|Harvey9}} Harvey, D. (1990) The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell, U.K., p 9
 
  +
* [http://www.colorado.edu/English/courses/ENGL2012Klages/pomo.html A simpler description of Postmodernism]
#{{note|Harvey41}} Harvey, D. (1990) The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell, U.K., p 41
 
  +
* [http://wsws.org/category/feature/philos.shtml WSWS philosophy archives - incl. critiques of postmodernist thought]
  +
* [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/postmodernism/ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on postmodernism]
  +
* [http://christiancadre.org/topics/postmodern.html The Christian Cadre's Postmodernism Page]
  +
* [http://www.umass.edu/complit/aclanet/SyllPDF/JanuList.pdf Discourses of Postmodernism. Multilingual Bibliography by Janusz Przychodzen (PDF file)]
 
* [http://www.tasc.ac.uk/depart/media/staff/ls/Modules/Theory/PoMoDis.htm Modernity, postmodernism and the tradition of dissent, by Lloyd Spencer (1998)]
 
* [http://www.tasc.ac.uk/depart/media/staff/ls/Modules/Theory/PoMoDis.htm Modernity, postmodernism and the tradition of dissent, by Lloyd Spencer (1998)]
  +
* [http://www.critcrim.org/critpapers/milovanovic_postmod.htm Dueling Paradigms: Modernist v. Postmodernist Thought]
* [http://www.elsewhere.org/cgi-bin/postmodern The Postmodernism Generator: Communications From Elsewhere], randomly generate a completely meaningless essay!
 
  +
* [http://fleetwood.baylor.edu/certain_doubts/?p=453 Keith DeRose (Philosophy, Yale): Characterizing a Fogbank: What Is Postmodernism, and Why Do I Take Such a Dim View of it?]
* [http://christiancadre.org/topics/postmodern.html The Christian Cadre's Postmodernism Page]
 
  +
* [http://www.info.ucl.ac.be/~pvr/decon.html How to Deconstruct Almost Anything--My Postmodern Adventure]
* [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/postmodernism/ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on postmodernism]
 
  +
* [http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/articleprint.php?num=13 Postmodernism and truth] by philosopher [[Daniel Dennett]]
*[http://www.critcrim.org/critpapers/milovanovic_postmod.htm Dueling Paradigms: Modernist V. Postmodernist Thought]
 
  +
* [http://www.economist.com/world/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8401159 Postmodernism is the new black]: How the shape of modern retailing was both predicted and influenced by some unlikely seers (<CITE>The Economist</CITE> December 19 2006)
*[http://bengal-ng.missouri.edu/%7Ekvanvigj/certain_doubts/?p=453 Characterizing a Fogbank: What Is Postmodernism, and Why Do I Take Such a Dim View of it?]: Analytic philosopher, Keith DeRose (Yale), explains why he (and perhaps why other analytic philosophers) are skeptical about the value of postmodernism.
 
  +
* [http://nmc.loyola.edu/intro/postmod/table.htm Modernism vs. Postmodernism]
  +
* [http://acheret.co.il/en/?cmd=articles.326 Gaining clarity: after postmodernism], [http://acheret.co.il/en Eretz Acheret]Magazine
  +
   
   
=== Notes ===
 
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# {{note|www.ihabhassan.com.608}} {{cite web|title=From Postmodernism To Postmodernity: The Local/Global Context|url=http://www.ihabhassan.com/postmodernism_to_postmodernity.htm|accessdate=December 2|accessyear=2005 }}
 
# {{note|www.filosofia.net/materiales/rec/glosaen.htm}} A [http://www.filosofia.net/materiales/rec/glosaen.htm definition] of ''postmodernism'' in regards to philosophy.
 
   
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Postmodernism series

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Postmodernism literally means 'after the modernist movement'. While "modern" itself refers to something "related to the present", the movement of modernism and the following reaction of postmodernism are defined by a set of perspectives. It is used in critical theory to refer to a point of departure for works of literature, drama, architecture, cinema, journalism and design, as well as in marketing and business and in the interpretation of history, law, culture and religion in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In psychology it is the context for the development of post modern psychology

Postmodernism is an aesthetic, literary, political or social philosophy, which was the basis of the attempt to describe a condition, or a state of being, or something concerned with changes to institutions and conditions (as in Giddens, 1990) as postmodernity. In other words, postmodernism is the "cultural and intellectual phenomenon", especially since the 1920s' new movements in the arts, while postmodernity focuses on social and political outworkings and innovations globally, especially since the 1960s in the West.

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary refers to postmodernism as "a style and concept in the arts characterized by distrust of theories and ideologies and by the drawing of attention to conventions."[1]

The term postmodern is described by Merriam-Webster as meaning either "of, relating to, or being an era after a modern one" or "of, relating to, or being any of various movements in reaction to modernism that are typically characterized by a return to traditional materials and forms (as in architecture) or by ironic self-reference and absurdity (as in literature)", or finally "of, relating to, or being a theory that involves a radical reappraisal of modern assumptions about culture, identity, history, or language".[2]

The American Heritage Dictionary describes the meaning of the same term as "Of or relating to art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes: “It [a roadhouse] is so architecturally interesting ... with its postmodern wooden booths and sculptural clock”.[3]

Reaction to modernism[]

Postmodernism was originally a reaction to modernism. Largely influenced by the Western European disillusionment induced by World War II, postmodernism refers to a cultural, intellectual, or artistic state lacking a clear central hierarchy or organizing principle and embodying extreme complexity, contradiction, ambiguity, diversity, interconnectedness or interreferentiality,[4] in a way that is often indistinguishable from a parody of itself. It has given rise to charges of fraudulence.[5]

Postmodernity is a derivative referring to non-art aspects of history that were influenced by the new movement, namely developments in society, economy and culture since the 1960s.[6] When the idea of a reaction or rejection of modernism was borrowed by other fields, it became synonymous in some contexts with postmodernity. The term is closely linked with poststructuralism (cf. Michel Foucault) and with modernism, in terms of a rejection of its perceived bourgeois, elitist culture.[7]

History of the term[]

The term was first used around the 1870s in various areas. For example, John Watkins Chapman avowed "a postmodern style of painting" to get beyond French Impressionism[8] Then, J.M.Thompson, in his 1914 article in The Hibbert Journal (a quarterly philosophical review), used it to describe changes in attitudes and beliefs in the critique of religion: "The raison d'etre of Post-Modernism is to escape from the double-mindedness of Modernism by being thorough in its criticism by extending it to religion as well as theology, to Catholic feeling as well as to Catholic tradition" ('Post-Modernism, J.M.Thompson, The Hibbert Journal Vol XII No.4 July 1914 p. 733).

In 1917 Rudolf Pannwitz used the term to describe a philosophically oriented culture. Pannwitz's idea of post-modernism came from Nietzsche's analysis of modernity and its ends of decadence and nihilism. Overcoming the modern human would be the post-human. But, contrary to Nietzsche, Pannwitz also includes nationalist and mythical elements.[9]

It was used later in 1926 by B.I.Bell in his "Postmodernism & other Ess." In 1925 and 1921 it had been used to describe new forms of art and music. In 1942 H. R. Hays used it for a new literary form but as a general theory of an historical movement it was first used in 1939 by the historian Arnold J. Toynbee: "Our own Post-Modern Age has been inaugurated by the general war of 1914-1918." [10]

In 1949 it was used to describe a dissatisfaction with modern architecture, leading to the postmodern architecture movement.[11] Postmodernism in architecture is marked by the re-emergence of surface ornament, reference to surrounding buildings in urban architecture, historical reference in decorative forms, and non-orthogonal angles. It may be a response to the modernist architectural movement known as the International Style.

The term was applied to a whole host of movements, many in art, music, and literature, that reacted against modernism, and are typically marked by revival of traditional elements and techniques.[12] Walter Truett Anderson identifies postmodernism as one of four world views. These four worldviews are the postmodern-ironist, which sees truth as socially constructed, the scientific-rational in which truth is found through methodical, disciplined inquiry, the social-traditional in which truth is found in the heritage of American and Western civilisation and the neo-romantic in which truth is found either through attaining harmony with nature and/or spiritual exploration of the inner self.[13]

Influence and distinction from postmodernity[]

Postmodernist ideas in philosophy and the analysis of culture and society expanded the importance of critical theory and has been the point of departure for works of literature, architecture, and design, as well as being visible in marketing/business and the interpretation of history, law and culture, starting in the late 20th century. These developments — re-evaluation of the entire Western value system (love, marriage, popular culture, shift from industrial to service economy) that took place since 1950's and 1960s, with a peak in the Social Revolution of 1968 — are described with the term postmodernity,[14] as opposed to postmodernism, a term referring to an opinion or movement. Whereas something being "postmodernist" would make it part of the movement, its being "postmodern" would place it in the period of time since the 1950s, making it a part of contemporary history.

The usage and extent of the concept of ‘postmodernism’[]

Whether ‘postmodernism’ is seen as a critical concept or merely a buzzword, one cannot deny its range. Dick Hebdige, in his ‘Hiding in the Light’ illustrates this:

When it becomes possible for a people to describe as ‘postmodern’ the décor of a room, the design of a building, the diegesis of a film, the construction of a record, or a ‘scratch’ video, a television commercial, or an arts documentary, or the ‘intertextual’ relations between them, the layout of a page in a fashion magazine or critical journal, an anti-teleological tendency within epistemology, the attack on the ‘metaphysics of presence’, a general attenuation of feeling, the collective chagrin and morbid projections of a post-War generation of baby boomers confronting disillusioned middle-age, the ‘predicament’ of reflexivity, a group of rhetorical tropes, a proliferation of surfaces, a new phase in commodity fetishism, a fascination for images, codes and styles, a process of cultural, political or existential fragmentation and/or crisis, the ‘de-centring’ of the subject, an ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’, the replacement of unitary power axes by a plurality of power/discourse formations, the ‘implosion of meaning’, the collapse of cultural hierarchies, the dread engendered by the threat of nuclear self-destruction, the decline of the university, the functioning and effects of the new miniaturised technologies, broad societal and economic shifts into a ‘media’, ‘consumer’ or ‘multinational’ phase, a sense (depending on who you read) of ‘placelessness’ or the abandonment of placelessness (‘critical regionalism’) or (even) a generalised substitution of spatial for temporal coordinates - when it becomes possible to describe all these things as ‘postmodern’ (or more simply using a current abbreviation as ‘post’ or ‘very post’) then it’s clear we are in the presence of a buzzword.[15]

Philosophical movements and contributors[]

Influencer Year Influence
Martin Heidegger c.1927 rejected the philosophical grounding of the concepts of "subjectivity" and "objectivity"
Thomas Samuel Kuhn c.1962 posited the rapid change of the basis of scientific knowledge to a provisional consensus of scientists, coined the term "paradigm shift"
Jacques Derrida c.1967 re-examined the fundamentals of writing and its consequences on philosophy in general; sought to undermine the language of western metaphysics (deconstruction)
Michel Foucault c.1975 examined discursive power in Discipline and Punish, with Bentham's panopticon as his model, and also known for saying "language is oppression" (Meaning that language was developed to allow only those who spoke the language not to be oppressed. All other people that don't speak the language would then be oppressed.)
Jean-François Lyotard c.1979 opposed universality, meta-narratives, and generality
Richard Rorty c.1979 argues philosophy mistakenly imitates scientific methods; advocates dissolving traditional philosophical problems; anti-foundationalism and anti-essentialism
Jean Baudrillard c.1981 Simulacra and Simulation - reality disappears underneath the interchangeability of signs

Deconstruction[]

Main article: Deconstruction

Deconstruction is a term which is used to denote the application of postmodern ideas of criticism, or theory, to a "text" or "artifact", based on architectural deconstructivism. A deconstruction is meant to undermine the frame of reference and assumptions that underpin the text or the artifact.

The term "deconstruction" comes from Martin Heidegger, who calls for the destruction or deconstruction (the German "Destruktion" connotes both English words) of the history of ontology. The point, for Heidegger, was to describe Being prior to its being covered over by Plato and subsequent philosophy. Thus, Heidegger himself engaged in "deconstruction" through a critique of post-Socratic thought (which had forgotten the question of Being) and the study of the pre-Socratics (where Being was still an open question).

In later usage, a "deconstruction" is an important textual "occurrence" described and analyzed by many postmodern authors and philosophers. They argue that aspects in the text itself would undermine its own authority or assumptions and that internal contradictions would erase boundaries or categories which the work relied on or asserted. Poststructuralists beginning with Jacques Derrida, who coined the term, argued that the existence of deconstructions implied that there was no intrinsic essence to a text, merely the contrast of difference. This is analogous to the idea that the difference in perception between black and white is the context. A deconstruction is created when the "deeper" substance of text opposes the text's more "superficial" form. This idea is not isolated to poststructuralists but is related to the idea of hermeneutics in literature; intellectuals as early as Plato asserted it and so did modern thinkers such as Leo Strauss. Derrida's argument is that deconstruction proves that texts have multiple meanings and the "violence" between the different meanings of text may be elucidated by close textual analysis.

Popularly, close textual analyses describing deconstruction within a text are often themselves called deconstructions. Derrida argued, however, that deconstruction is not a method or a tool but an occurrence within the text itself. Writings about deconstruction are therefore referred to in academic circles as deconstructive readings.

Deconstruction is far more important to postmodernism than its seemingly narrow focus on text might imply. According to Derrida, one consequence of deconstruction is that the text may be defined so broadly as to encompass not just written words but the entire spectrum of symbols and phenomena within Western thought. To Derrida, a result of deconstruction is that no Western philosopher has been able to escape successfully from this large web of text and reach that which is "signified", which they imagined to exist "just beyond" the text.

The more common use of the term is the more general process of pointing to contradictions between the intent and surface of a work and the assumptions about it. A work then "deconstructs" assumptions when it places them in context. For example, someone who can pass as the opposite sex may be said to "deconstruct" gender identity, because there is a conflict between the superficial appearance and the "reality" of the person's gender.

Social construction, structuralism, poststructuralism[]

Further information: Manifestations of Postmodernism

Often opposed to deconstruction are social constructionists, labeled as such within the analytic tradition, but not usually in the case of the continental tradition. The term was first used in sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann's book The Social Construction of Reality.

Usually in the continental tradition, the terms structuralism or poststructuralism are used. Maurice Merleau-Ponty is seen as the biggest contributor to structuralism, which is epitomized in the philosophy of Claude Levi-Strauss. Michel Foucault was also a structuralist but then turned to what would be termed poststructuralism, although he himself declined to call his work either poststructuralist or postmodern. Structuralism historically gave way to poststructuralism; often the role of postmodernism within the analytic tradition is played down, although works by major figures of the analytic tradition in the 20th century, including those of Thomas Kuhn and Willard Van Orman Quine, show a similarity with works in the continental tradition for their lack of belief in absolute truth as well as in the pliability of language.

In the continental tradition, most works argue that power dissimulates and that society constructs reality, while its individuals remain powerless or almost powerless. Often, both continental and analytic sources argue for a renewed subjectivity, borrowing heavily from Immanuel Kant, while they largely reject his a priori/a posteriori distinction. They both minimize discussions of practical ethics, instead borrowing heavily from post-Holocaust accounts of the need for an ethics of responsibility, which is very rarely practically defined.

One of the large differences between analytic postmodern sources and continental postmodern sources is that the analytic tradition by and large guards at least some of the tenets of liberalism, while many continental sources flirt with, or completely immerse themselves in, Marxism.

Recently, it is noticeable that some of the ideas found in poststructuralism and postmodernism, as the lack of belief in absolute truth or the idea of a reality constructed, is promoted in a new paradigm within constructivist epistemology.

Criticism[]

Main article: Criticism of postmodernism

Formal, academic critiques of postmodernism can be found in works such as Beyond the Hoax and Fashionable Nonsense.

The term postmodernism, when used pejoratively, describes tendencies perceived as relativist, counter-enlightenment or antimodern, particularly in relation to critiques of rationalism, universalism or science. It is also sometimes used to describe tendencies in a society that are held to be antithetical to traditional systems of morality.

The Death of Postmodernism?[]

Main article: Post-postmodernism

Recently the notion of the "death of postmodernism" has been increasingly widely debated: in 2007 Andrew Hoborek noted in his introduction to a special issue of the journal Twentieth Century Literature titled "After Postmodernism" that "declarations of postmodernism's demise have become a critical commonplace". A small group of critics has put forth a range of theories that aim to describe culture and/or society in the alleged aftermath of postmodernism, most notably Raoul Eshelman (performatism), Gilles Lipovetsky (hypermodernity), Nicolas Bourriaud (Altermodern), and Alan Kirby (digimodernism, formerly called pseudo-modernism). None of these new theories and labels has so far gained widespread acceptance.

Quotations[]

In 1994, the then-President of the Czech Republic and renowned playwright Václav Havel gave a hopeful description of the postmodern world as one based on science, and yet paradoxically “where everything is possible and almost nothing is certain.”[16]

Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler offer the following definition of postmodernism: “A worldview characterized by the belief that truth doesn’t exist in any objective sense but is created rather than discovered.” Truth is “created by the specific culture and exists only in that culture. Therefore, any system or statement that tries to communicate truth is a power play, an effort to dominate other cultures.”[17]

The Italian medievalist and semiotician Umberto Eco characterised "the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows he cannot say to her, I love you madly, because he knows that she knows (and that she knows that he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland."[18]

See also[]

Theory[]


Culture and politics[]

Law[]

  • Critical legal studies

Philosophy[]

Psychology[]

References[]

  1. http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/postmodernism?view=uk
  2. Merriam-Webster's definition of postmodernism
  3. Ruth Reichl, Cook's November 1989; American Heritage Dictionary's definition of the postmodern
  4. Postmodernism. Georgetown university
  5. The Sleep of Reason
  6. Britannica, 2004
  7. Wagner, British, Irish and American Literature, Trier 2002, p. 210-2
  8. The Postmodern Turn, Essays in Postmodern Theory and Culture, Ohio University Press, 1987. p12ff
  9. Pannwitz: Die Krisis der europäischen Kultur, Nürnberg 1917
  10. OED long edition
  11. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2004
  12. Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 2004
  13. Walter Truett Anderson (1996). The Fontana Postmodernism Reader.
  14. Influences on postmodern thought, Paul Lützeler (St. Louis)
  15. ’Postmodernism and “the other side”’, in Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A reader, edited by John Storey, London, : Pearson Education .2006
  16. Vaclav Havel, "The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World," speech in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, July 4, 1994.
  17. Josh McDowell & Bob Hostetler, The New Tolerance (Carol Stream IL: Tyndale House, 1998), p. 208.
  18. Umberto Eco, "Postscript to The Name of the Rose, (New York NY: Harcourt, 1984), pgs. 530-1.

Further reading[]

  • Powell, Jim (1998). "Postmodernism For Beginners" (ISBN 978-1-934389-09-6)
  • Alexie, Sherman (2000). "The Toughest Indian in the World" (ISBN 0-8021-3800-4)
  • Anderson, Walter Truett. The Truth about the Truth (New Consciousness Reader). New York: Tarcher. (1995) (ISBN 0-87477-801-8)
  • Ashley, Richard and Walker, R. B. J. (1990) “Speaking the Language of Exile.” International Studies Quarterly v 34, no 3 259-68.
  • Bauman, Zygmunt (2000) Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Beck, Ulrich (1986) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.
  • Benhabib, Seyla (1995) 'Feminism and Postmodernism' in (ed. Nicholson) Feminism Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. New York: Routledge.
  • Berman, Marshall (1982) All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity (ISBN 0-14-010962-5).
  • Bertens, Hans (1995) The Idea of the Postmodern: A History. London: Routledge.(ISBN 0-145-06012-5).
  • Bielskis, Andrius (2005) Towards a Postmodern Understanding of the Political: From Genealogy to Hermeneutics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).
  • Brass, Tom, Peasants, Populism and Postmodernism (London: Cass, 2000).
  • Butler, Judith (1995) 'Contingent Foundations' in (ed. Nicholson) Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. New Yotk: Routledge.
  • Callinicos, Alex, Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique (Cambridge: Polity, 1999).
  • Castells, Manuel (1996) The Network Society.
  • Coupland, Douglas (1991). "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture" (ISBN 0-312-05436-X)
  • Downing, Crystal L. How Postmodernism Serves (My) Faith, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006) ISBN 0-8308-2758-7
  • Drabble, M. The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 6 ed., article "Postmodernism".
  • Farrell, John. "Paranoia and Postmodernism," the epilogue to Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau (Cornell UP, 2006), 309-327.
  • Featherstone, M. (1991) Consumer culture and postmodernism, London; Newbury Park, Calif., Sage Publications.
  • Goulimari, Pelagia (ed.) (2007) Postmodernism. What Moment? Manchester: Manchester University Press (ISBN 978-0-7190-7308-3)
  • Giddens, Anthony (1991) Modernity and Self Identity, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Grebowicz, Margaret (ed.), Gender After Lyotard. NY: Suny Press, 2007. (ISBN 978-0-7914-6956-9)
  • Greer, Robert C. Mapping Postmodernism. IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003. (ISBN 0-8308-2733-1)
  • Groothuis, Douglas. Truth Decay. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000.
  • Harvey, David (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (ISBN 0-631-16294-1)
  • Hicks, Stephen R. C. (2004) Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (ISBN 1-59247-646-5)
  • Honderich, T., The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, article "Postmodernism".
  • Jameson, Fredric (1991) Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (ISBN 0-8223-1090-2)
  • Kirby, Alan (2009) Digimodernism. New York: Continuum.
  • Lash, S. (1990) The sociology of postmodernism, London, Routledge.
  • Lyotard, Jean-François (1984) The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (ISBN 0-8166-1173-4)
  • --- (1988). The Postmodern Explained: Correspondence 1982-1985. Ed. Julian Pefanis and Morgan Thomas. (ISBN 0-8166-2211-6)
  • --- (1993), "Scriptures: Diffracted Traces." In: Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21(1), 2004.
  • --- (1995), "Anamnesis: Of the Visible." In: Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21(1), 2004.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, 2nd edn.).
  • Magliola, Robert, Derrida on the Mend (Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1984; 1986; pbk. 2000, ISBN I-55753-205-2).
  • ---, On Deconstructing Life-Worlds: Buddhism, Christianity, Culture (Atlanta: Scholars Press of American Academy of Religion, 1997; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000; ISBN 0-7885-0295-6, cloth, ISBN 0-7885-0296-4, pbk).
  • Manuel, Peter. "Music as Symbol, Music as Simulacrum: Pre-Modern, Modern, and Postmodern Aesthetics in Subcultural Musics," Popular Music 1/2, 1995, pp. 227–239.
  • Murphy, Nancey, Anglo-American Postmodernity: Philosophical Perspectives on Science, Religion, and Ethics (Westview Press, 1997).
  • Natoli, Joseph (1997) A Primer to Postmodernity (ISBN 1-57718-061-5)
  • Norris, Christopher (1990) What's Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy (ISBN 0-8018-4137-2)
  • Pangle, Thomas L., The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991 ISBN 0-8018-4635-8
  • Park, Jin Y., ed., Buddhisms and Deconstructions (Lanham: Rowland & Littlefield, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7425-3418-6; ISBN 0-7425-3418-9.
  • Sokal, Alan and Jean Bricmont (1998) Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (ISBN 0-312-20407-8)
  • Taylor, Alan (2005) We, the media. Pedagogic Intrusions into US Film and Television News Broadcasting Rhetorics', Peter Lang, pp. 418 (ISBN 3-631-51852-8)
  • Vattimo, Gianni (1989). The Transparent Society (ISBN 0-8018-4528-9)
  • Veith Jr., Gene Edward (1994) Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture (ISBN 0-89107-768-5)
  • Windshuttle, Keith (1996) The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering our Past. New York: The Free Press.
  • Woods, Tim, Beginning Postmodernism, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999,(Reprinted 2002)(ISBN 0-7190-5210-6 Hardback,ISBN 0-7190-5211-4 Paperback) .

External links[]


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