We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Postmodernism - Essay Example

Comments (0)
‘Postmodernism threatens the very possibility of an emancipatory social science’. …
Download full paper
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample

Download file to see previous pages... But like it or not, one part of social science has indeed been linked inexorably with the attempt to ‘change’ the human social conditions rather than merely to report on what they are. This analysis will argue that the emancipatory social science as seen within Marx et al. is actually aided rather than hindered by certain kinds of postmodernism. The fact is that social sciences can learn from postmodernists and visa-versa. In the best postmodern fashion it is not a case of either/or but rather both/and.
Before tackling how some postmodern paradigms actually compliment emancipatory social science it is logical to consider what the features of this social science are. Perhaps one of the first, and most certainly one of the most influential, attempts at emancipatory social science can be seen within the work of Karl Marx. Marx, in his most famous work Das Kapital (1867), attempted to critique Capitalist societies in a manner that he claimed was both scientific and revolutionary. Whether he actually succeeded in doing this is perhaps besides the point, the fact remains that he sought to analyse society in a scientific manner and formulated a number of terms that are still in use today.
Thus the “mode of production”, “base and superstructure” , “class consciousness”, “ideology” and “historical materialism” (among many more) have all become the basis for a whole universe of scholarship, political movements, practical attempts at creating a Marxist economy and mixture of all three. Marx identified certain trends, groups and relationships within society in a “scientific” manner, and then attempted to place them within his revolutionary, or for our purposes, emancipatory context. For example, at the core of Marxist thinking is the idea of exploitation. Exploitation involves one entire class or segment of society taking advantage of another. Within Capitalism, the profit gained by the Capitalist is the difference between the value of the product and the actual wage that the worker receives. Thus Capitalism functions on the basis of paying workers less than the full value of their labour, thus providing profit.
Within such emancipatory social science, there is an attempt at objectively identifying certain trends, processes and patterns within society, followed by a couching of what has been identified within a context of how the scholar thinks society should be changed. 'Objectivity' takes place with the study of what is, 'subjectivity' within the analysis of what should be.
How does postmodernism fit within this view of social science One of postmodernism, as might be personified by a scholar such as Jacques Derrida, would view any attempt to emancipate people through social science somewhat nave at best. For Derrida, and the followers of deconstruction, the idea of a hierarchy of value within the world:- exploitation of workers is bad, worker control is good (within a Marxist context) - is invalid. The attempt by many emancipatory social scientists to identify an essentialist centre that is exploiting workers, biased against women, racist, homophobic (take your pick) is beside the point. Derrida best explained his position on how modern societies actually work early in his career:

the entire history of the concept of structure, before the rupture of which we are speaking, must be thought of as a series of substitutions of centre for centre, as a linked chain of determinations of the centre. Successively, and in a regulated fashion, the centre receives different forms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Postmodernism Sherman Alexie has extensively explored postmodernism in his narrative ‘Do not gentle’. It is relatively hard to define the word postmodernism when used independently. The definition can differ from culture to culture, society to society, or even race to race.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Postmodernism Theory
However, these scholars also agree on the fact that postmodernism theorists deviate from modernism in their radical, critical approach. Unlike previously existing theories which took a traditional approach in explaining concepts, Postmodernism takes into consideration the dynamic nature of social concepts.
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
Features of Postmodernism
To characterize postmodernism, we must look briefly at what existed before it: modernism. "Modern" was once used liberally as an adjective to describe many things -from the latest kitchen gadget to a style of art.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Feminism and Postmodernism
It is focused on locality, instability and ambiguity of all global aspects, the self and the concept of good. With the contribution of feminism, postmodernism ideas have been unfolded against the theories purporting to justification of sexist practices.
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Postmodernism Families
Some scientists use the term postmodernism in terms of family relations, whereas in other spheres this term is neglected and paid less attention. Therefore the chapter summarizes the descriptions of the postmodern family and postmodern family therapy. Furthermore, the author provides postmodern family role to better understand their current way of life.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Feminism, Environmentalism, and Postmodernism
The researcher of this essay will compare feminism, environmentalism, and postmodernism. Feminism has its roots in the blatant unequal treatment of males and females and the desire for women to be treated equally as men. Environmentalism originated from man’s desire to focus on his natural environment.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Steve Smith and postmodernism
The paper explores postmodernism and Steve Smith. To be able to answer how Steve Smith defend postmodernism, it would be necessary to state the critiques of Østerud against postmodernism. To these criticisms, Steven defended postmodernism by debunking Østerud argument against postmodernism point by point.
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
What Postmodernism Is
This essay focuses on postmodernism. Postmodernists are hypocritical according to “The Big Story” because they reject the possibility that objective reality can exist and yet, they do not appear to practice what they advocate to people. We know that objective truth exists, but postmodernist are only suspicious of such realities.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Postmodernism Cinema
This paper examines the term ‘postmodernism’ as depicted in Andrew Tudor’s work “From Paranoia to Postmodernism: The Horror Movie in the Late Modern Society.” Postmodernity has become common while trying to characterize cinema in the 21st century. What the term suggests regarding contemporary film is far from agreed.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Idea of Postmodernism
The researcher of this essay aims to explore postmodernism. In the conventional sense and realm, postmodernism has been viewed as an advancement or improvement of the modern principles and articulations. This is to imply that the contemporary pool of knowledge and information is put to test of reason as rigour.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Let us find you another Essay on topic Postmodernism for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us