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Postmodernism - Essay Example

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This work called "Postmodernism" describes the meaning of the term post-modern based on Charles Jencks's question-article What Then is Post-Modernism and Jean-Francois Lyotard’s Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism. The author outlines various postmodernist ideologies…
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Download file to see previous pages What is the meaning of postmodernism? This question has been an issue that different authors have tried to answer for a long period. Jencks (1996, p 20) begins his analysis by stating, “How ironic to ask this question after so many years as if there were a definite answer. And the quandary has only deepened in the meantime since a generation has grown up, untrained in the old doctrines.” Jencks's statement shows that understanding the meaning of postmodernism has been a difficult issue in the past but even more so today because the current generation does not even have a clue to what it means. Jencks (1996, p 14) also asks how one can explain modernism and postmodernism terms to a person who has no knowledge of recent global history. Asking such questions shows that Jencks suggests that understanding postmodernism has to with issues of history.
In distinguishing modernism and postmodernism, looking at different disciplines is necessary. Jencks (1996, p 14) states that for a contemporary historian, a strong American state having a policeman role is modern but the conglomerate EU acting through soft power is postmodern. For an economist, a corporation such as General Motors is modern while Amazon is postmodern (Jencks, 1996, p 14). In all these examples, Jencks shows that the differences in modernism and postmodernism are not necessarily an issue of time differences but how people and organizations do certain things. Post-modernism, therefore, is something intangible that can only be explained through consideration of the changes that occur and the adaptability to such changes. It has to do with attitudes and certain cultural tendencies and constellation of values.
Postmodernism operates in a retrospective manner in the sense that it cannot be quantified but is governed by the rules in the process of discovering. Lyotard, (2010, p 42) states that postmodernism is not modernism at its end but a constant state in a nascent state. Pure postmodernism experiments, be it in art or sociology attempt to present things that cannot be presented in a tangible sense. Postmodernism is an attempt to present something that cannot be presented tangibly in a way that is yet to be established. It does not observe any pre-established rules but these rules are those that postmodernism seeks to establish. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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