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Contemporary Social Theory - Essay Example

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Contemporary Social Theory Postmodernity is an economic or cultural situation or condition of the society whose existence is marked as the period after the modern era. There are various debates regarding the time-dimension of the beginning of this postmodern era…
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Download file to see previous pages But inspite of these debates regarding its existence, postmodernity has been the most discussed topic over the last two decades. In the late 1970s Jean-Francois Lyotard articulated the notion of postmodernism and analysed the influence of postmodernity on the society and on human conditions (Harvey, 1989, pp.39-44). This paper outlines the notion of postmodernity and represents a critical evaluation of Lyotard’s notion of the ‘condition of postmodernity’. Postmodernism: Postmodernity has been one of the most debated topics in modern times. People have wrestled on this topic producing contradictory views about it. Political forces behind this battleground can never be ignored. In the late 1970s Jean-Francois Lyotard defined postmodernity as “incredulity towards meta-narratives” (Harvey, 1989, pp.44-45). Lyotard has argued that in the postmodern world those who argue in favour of the postmodernity must avoid Marxist influences in favour of the concept. According to Lyotard, postmodernity can result from the termination of traditional societies’ social solidarity. Lyotard argued that postmodernism is a process that becomes effective via the growth of the way of thought which is dubbed rationalist by characteristic and is embodied in science in a pre-eminent manner (Cuff, Sharrock and Francis, 2006, pp.253-255). Postmodernity has been the most controversial terms of modern times. Various intellectual disciplines and associated political and theoretical constituencies have been discussing about the topic since a long time. Postmodernity has been discussed in different fields like sociology, geography, anthropology, philosophy etc. Critical theorists, neo-conservative social analysts, Marxists and other schools of thought have been arguing for and against the topic. Most of them have criticised the notion of postmodernity. Hence, various heterogeneous terms and concepts have emerged in regard to the definition of the topic. Some analysts have analysed postmodernity as identical “to mentioning the unmentionable, articulating the unacceptable, the indefensible, the inconceivable”. The idea of postmodernity has been cited as something different, not as something new. Some argues that the postmodernity is redundant for the purpose of understanding the nature of political, social, cultural and economic aspects of modern societies. They argued that it can never simply be reduced as the concept of evolving modernity (Smart, 1993, pp.11-13). New times and postmodernity: In modern world people are excited about the fact that they are living in the new times where there are new ideas, new political, economic and especially new cultural aspects which were not present at old times. They are excited about the fact that new virtues are extolled in these new times which are associated with ideas of progress or development of the existing and old cultural, economic, political and social aspects and concepts. The idea or notion of postmodernity is related to these feelings and realisations of modern world and this idea also includes new inventions and introductions of new concepts and theoretical knowledge in any field. Since it is really very difficult to identify which are the new ideas and aspects that have changed our lifestyles and that have marked notable differences in it compared to the past, it is much easier to identify these changes or developments as the emergence of completely new ideas ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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