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Postmodernism Theory - Essay Example

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Postmodernism theory refers to a non-traditional approach of defining existing concepts, which deviates from previously known super-structural theories. Most scholars consider modernism as providing the foundation of postmodernism theory…
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Postmodernism Theory

Download file to see previous pages... The theory advances that absolute truths do not exist because all apparent realities result from social construction by individuals. Meaning, people’s continually changing experiences influence their perception, and in turn, affects the way they define concepts. The subjective nature of individuals’ perspectives serves to explain the role played by language, motivations behind the formation of ideas and power relations. Examples of postmodernism theorists include; Michel Foucault (1926-1984), and Jean-Francois Lyotard among others (David, 1994). Postmodernism disagrees with the use of binary classifications found in many social concepts, for example, the classification of gender into male and female, and, classification on the basis of variations of individuals’ sexual orientation among other things. When compared to pre-existing philosophical ideologies, postmodernism tends to share similar conceptions with skepticism, pluralism, idealism and constructivism. This is because, just like the mentioned schools of thought, postmodernism revolves around deconstruction, which involves analyzing the foundation or basic elements of the element under scrutiny. Deconstruction helps identify the assumptions used to formulate various concepts, therefore, critic or applaud these assumptions. The establishment of postmodernism occurred in the 1950s and persisted throughout the 1960s dominating various disciplines including sociology, anthropology and various arts. Therefore, the essay below discusses postmodern approaches in sociology and further analyses the advantages and disadvantages of postmodernism theory (Jason, 2007).
Therefore, the major perspectives of postmodernism theory included the following. Firstly, postmodernists rejected the idea of the grand narrative, and replaced it with a set of discontinuous, dispersed narratives, which helped to show the dynamic nature of social concepts. Secondly, these theorists deviated from the previously adopted approach of structuralism advanced by Marx. Thus, they embraced Foucault’s theory, which emphasized a post-structuralism approach in which viewed power as a set of spread out discourses. These theorists also rejected the concept of rationalism, which used scientific, empirical ways to formulate known truths about the social world. Therefore, in its place, postmodernists replaced it with a model which accounted for the subjective nature of individual’s perceptions in interpreting social concepts. In addition, this new model was also open to falsification, whereby, deconstruction of previously known theories of social concepts occurred allowing for people to question apparent realities (Kenneth, 2009). Postmodernism theorists viewed people as an integral part of research, whereby; they viewed individuals as the cornerstone of all their research endeavors by using their standpoints. The Standpoint theory in Sociology is an example of a postmodernist theory. This theory advances the unique nature of individuals standpoints used to form perspectives based on their unique experiences as being an integral part of understanding social concepts. This approach serves to provide qualitative research data complementing the quantitative research data. Finally, these theorists reject the concept of progress advanced by Western ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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