Postmodernism - American Popular Culture - Essay Example

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The aim of the essay is to explore postmodernism and the American culture. These changes marked the transition from the monopoly capitalism to multinational capitalism. Frederic Jameson considers postmodernism as the culture of the multinational late capitalism. …
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Postmodernism - American Popular Culture
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1. What are the basic tenets of postmodernism, per Jameson? Frederic Jameson (1984, as cited in Dickens & Fontana, 1994) reiterated that postmodernism represents the expression of multinational aspects of contemporary lifestyle and an advanced phase of capitalism (p. 111). Jameson (as cited in Chernus, n.d.) argued that individuals desire to possess control over their lives. This is mainly facilitated by understanding the various aspects of the world and its totality. Jameson as cited in Chernus, n.d.) asserts that it is important for individuals to recognize that their lives are shaped by the mode of production present in the current society. Thus, they must study different modes of production, decide which products they want, and implement their decision. Jameson (as cited in Chernus, n.d.) reiterated that giving each individual an equal real power serves as the only way to improve the world.
Chernus, I. (n.d.). Fredric Jameson’s interpretation of Postmodernism. Retrieved from
Dickens, D. R., & Fontana, A. (1994). Postmodernism and social inquiry. USA: Guilford
2. How can this understanding of postmodenism help to explain the role of popular culture today, as opposed to 20, 50, and 80 years ago? (consider the theoretical frameworks used on popular culture during those times)
The mode of production during the past 60 years is based on monopoly capitalism. Developed countries utilized their military force to control other lands and provide markets and raw materials to big companies. The late 60’s and 50’s are marked by significant changes on the mode of production (as cited in Chernus, n.d.). First, there was an astounding expansion of multinational companies. Second, the western style of colonialism has proven ineffective in the new multinational economy. Lastly, innovation in technology paved the way for the age of mass media, information processing, and computers. These changes marked the transition from the monopoly capitalism to multinational capitalism. Jameson (as cited in Chernus, n.d) considers postmodernism as the culture of the multinational late capitalism.
Chernus, I. (n.d.). Frederic Jameson’s interpretation of postmodernism. Retrieved from
3. How is media significant in a postmodern analysis of culture?
Media pave the way for a world blanketed with texts, images, and signs (Mahiri, 2004, p. 130). The fascination of individuals to the media is considered essential in understanding postmodernism. The media transmit information through the electronically reproduced sensory images. Individuals became obsessed with purchasing and using them. Chernus (n.d.) explains that owning these commodities exhibit the social standing of individuals. The instantaneous transmission of electronic data and immersion of sign do not possess value beyond the prestige of acquiring and manipulating numerous “meaningless” signs (Chernus, n.d.).
Chernus, I. (n.d.). Frederic Jameson’s interpretation of postmodernism. Retrieved from
Mahiri, J. (2004). What they don’t learn in school: literacy in the lives of urban youth.
USA: Peter Lang. Read More
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