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Modern Times: Modernity and Postmodernity - Literature review Example

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The "Modern Times: Modernity and Postmodernity" paper states thta there has been an active debate around the dangers of the postmodern condition. The writings of various years analyzed in this paper all show the same tendencies: high reflexivity and the anxiety of the resulting reflection.  …
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Modern Times: Modernity and Postmodernity
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Download file to see previous pages Anyway, the visions of (post)modernity in social and cultural studies are rather pessimistic with regard to the problem of freedom: the comments about the level of freedom in the postmodern times range from the remarks that it exists, but is not necessarily beneficial (Sennett, 2008, 85) to the catastrophic pictures of the postmodern slavery: for instance, in the view of Hardt and Negri (2000), the supranational Empire transcends all time/space limits and “seeks directly the rule over human nature” (xv). The analysts portray a contemporary individual as a neurotic who either chooses slavery to avoid uncertainty or acknowledges his or her imprisoned condition precisely because the freedom of understanding has increased. They argue, persuasively indeed, that the institutional nature of human contingency has changed, but the “iron prison” (Weber, 2003, 181) has by no means disappeared. In this paper, these claims are critically summarized with regards to (a) the social dimension of liberty, (b) the condition of the individual, (c) the differences between modernity and postmodernity, and (d) possible alternatives to the contemporary oppressive politics.

Postmodernity is commonly distinguished from postmodernism as a condition of society and culture rather than a set of cultural phenomena (Connor, 1997, 11). That is, postmodernity is related to the new social institutions and practices, while postmodernism is a term connected basically with culture. However, the social and cultural analyses have become so intertwined in postmodern theory that even Connor does not separate them: rather, he concentrates on the cultural phenomena that are aimed to reflect the social ones (1997, 8). The three philosophers of postmodernity, Lyotard, Jameson, and Baudrillard constantly make parallels between the principles of functioning of society in a new economic system and those of culture: Baudrillard, for example, believes that ‘the code’ of media does not presuppose any feedback from its consumers, thereby acting as means of oppression (Connor, 1997, 53). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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