How does Postmodernist differ to Modernity? Compare through using the ideas of identity and culture. Evaluate the Idea that postmodern ideas have superseded the structural theories of Functionalism and Marxism. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it. (Huxley. 1958) The term “early modern” was devised by academics of European history to label the four entries from approximately 1400 to 1800, the period from the Renaissance to the French Revolution. The original meaning Is possessed by authority (e. G. The Catholic Church). The individual is dominated by tradition.
The dating of the period implies a time of transition, a development from the “pre-modern” medieval age to modernity, predominantly experienced by Europeans. The early modern, early 20th-century intellectuals defined modernity as a progressive age totally different from what followed It, characterized by Individualism, secularism, democratic sentiment, and the advent of technological change at exceptional speed. Roswell. 004) Modernity is a dismissal of mysticism in favor of materialism, of superstition in favor of science, of rulers by ecclesiastically supported divine right in favor of a government based on contractual legal principles, of human inspiration and originality in favor of method and repeatability, of moral agency in favor of reflex and conditioning as the determinants of behavior. (Connelly. 2008) The break-up of the old order was a result of the development of modern science; The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the Invention of the method of Invention’
Professor Whitehead’. (Habited. 1964. Peg. 88) This revolutionary period was marked by unsettled, fear and controversy. “Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning, truth and beauty can’t. ” (Huxley. 1958) ‘The earth was made of a lower kind of stuff than heaven. It was corruptible; it could be changed; it had been spoilt by sin. Nevertheless, it had been made by God to be the place where man should dwell; hence, It all made sense; there was a plan behind It… Man felt at home in a relatively small universe… ‘ (Habited. 1964. Peg. 2) The charlatans analysis of reaction owed a great deal to Aristotle and his ideas of plan and purpose. But man’s disregard to authority led to diminish of tradition, Aristotle hand lay like a dead weight on all attempts to think freshly about the structure of nature. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) claimed that all science needs to do in order to advance, would be to collect and classify facts, and arrive at general principles, by this method, science would Infallibly progress, shattering traditions and the whole structure of nature would be laid bare. (Habited. 1964. Peg. 2-23) According to Nietzsche (1844-1900) the absence of god meant the absence of any ultimate truth. He assumed we can have no knowledge of reality, everything is ultimately meaningless, our reality is a creation conditioned by our needs, and we try to make sense of the world in an attempt to find stability and order. ‘If god Is dead (Killed by Nietzsche) and truth does not exist, man becomes responsible for all that Is’. (Habited. 1964. Peg. 84) It could be argued regarding truth, language and society, which opened the door for all later postmodern and late modern critiques about the foundations of knowledge. (Salable et al. 09) According to Kumar (2008), postmodernists trace this skepticism about truth and the resulting relativism it creates from Nietzsche to Max Weber and Sigmund Freud, and finally to Jacques Deride, Michel Faculty and other contemporary postmodernists. (Salable et al. 2009) Around the late 18th century an intellectual period known as the Enlightenment’ & the great transformation’ (Poland, 1973) challenged many of the established orders of society from an analytical and scientific perspective. (Bolton et al. 2004. Peg. 24) Sociology was created by the 19th century conservative reaction to the enlightenment & industrial revolution.
Modernity implies “the progressive economic and administrative rationalization and differentiation of the social world” (Syrup 1993). Industrialization was the advance of a new, dynamic form of economic activity; capitalism became the driving force behind the growth of industrial manufacturing. Capitalism involved new attitudes and institutions: entrepreneurs engaged in the sustained, systematic pursuit of profit; the market acted as the key mechanism of productive life; and goods, services and labor became commodities whose use was determined by rational calculation. Bolton et al. 2004. Peg. 5) Capitalism led to the emergence social science, cultural theory, politics, philosophy and postmodernists number one rival – Marxism; ‘This model was born of the struggles accompanying the process of capitalism’s encroachment upon traditional civil societies’ (Leotard. 1979). In the sass Marxism (in a variety of academic forms) was the main methodological perspective adopted by those searching for a coherent critique of modern society. Today, in the English speaking world, Marxism has been virtually expelled from universities.
A whole generation of academics has “transformed” to postmodernism. Among students there is little knowledge of Marxism, still less study of it, other than in the form of distorted abstracts provided by its rivals. (Terrorist International 24, 1997) The development of capitalism and industrial production had major concerns for the mass of ordinary people, under the new conditions of industrial capitalism; a regular wage became crucial to the survival of the mass of the population.
The wage De- personalized relations between employer and employee, turning the worker into abstract labor to be used as efficiently as possible in the pursuit of profit. While pre- odder societies had also been characterized by significant social differences and inequalities, the economic conditions of industrial capitalism generated new kinds of social division. The separation of home and work helped to sharpen gender differences inside and outside the home. Large-scale mass production pioneered by motor manufacturer Henry Ford, who used a moving assembly line to manufacture low-cost products for a mass market.
The alienation and exploitation of industrial labor were not accepted passively, however: workers reacted both with trade unionism and other forms of political activity. This resistance in turn contributed to changing conditions of work. (Bolton et al. 2004. Peg. 28) Capitalism generated a consumer revolution as well as an industrial one. The early twentieth century saw the birth of occupations such as design, marketing and advertising, all devoted to selling an increasing range and diversity of consumer goods. The emergence of and behavior (Owen and Owen, 1982).
At the beginning of the twentieth century, producers consciously set out to create markets for their products, socializing consumers into new values and giving them the knowledge and competence to distinguish between goods. By its end, producers and retailers had developed advanced techniques such as market research for observing consumer behavior and utilized the new science of psychology to sell goods more effectively (Bowl, 1993). The emergence of a consumer society was seen as a disturbing development by some critics, they felt it involved the manipulation and exploitation of the mass of ordinary people. Ritual theory drew on Marxist theories of alienation and ideology to argue that the rise of the culture industries and preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods posed a threat to individuality and independent, critical thought, reducing what Marcus (1964) called ‘One Dimensional Man’: ‘People recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-if set, split level home, kitchen equipment’. (Bolton et al. 2004. Peg. 28-30) ‘The principles underlying [commercial] propaganda are extremely simple.
Find some common desire, some widespread unconscious fear or anxiety; think out some way to relate this wish or fear to the product you have to sell; then build a bridge of verbal or pictorial symbols over which your customer can pass from fact to compensatory dream, and from the dream to the illusion that your product, when purchased, will sake the dream come true. We no longer buy oranges, we buy vitality. (Huxley. 1958. Peg. 51) The intellectual revolution of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment was a crucial element of the Great Transformation, science and technology, promised control of nature and society.
Social and political problems indicate a shift in outlook that is known as rationality, this involved the systematic pursuit of goals, finding the optimum means to a specified end. (Bolton et al. 2004. Peg. 31) Banyan argues that postmodernist dismisses any claims to universal truths; postmodernist is a state of mind, a universal dismantling of power supported structures. Modernity put ethical problems aside, replaced them with laws. However, if postmodernist takes away the belief that there can be a rational basis for perfecting society, it leaves people with no moral objection for people to govern their lives.
For Banyan (1992) morality is privatized, it’s a matter of personal choice. People still want to make their lives meaningful. In modernity individuals have ‘life projects’, ambitions they want to achieve, in postmodernist, people want to be visible to others. There is an uncertainty of self-worth; reassurance is obtained through a life style chosen, products they unsure and moral beliefs. (Harmless. 2008. Peg. 454) Modern societies are usually characterized by rapid change, making it difficult for individuals to retain a single unified sense of who they are.
When Jean-François Leotard defined the postmodern condition as a state of incredulity toward intransitives, he set the stage for a series of on-going debates about the various narrative systems by which human society orders and gives meaning, unity, and “universality” to its experience’ (Hutchison. 1994) The postmodern approach to politics has been studied by Jean Baudelaire (1983) and Jean-Francis Leotard (1984). Bodybuilder’s position is that signs no longer reflect or represent reality, and disguise the fact they no longer exist.
Politics has become about the manipulation and exchange of signs to produce the appearance of a no choice has become an illusion, and elections are an illusion. Wars have lost their reality, they have become simulacra, it’s seems impossible to determine position of power’, although these claims are hard to Justify. Leotard (1984) associates postmodernism with the decline of intransitives, individual’s no longer in grand theories of the world and society. In politics people have lost their beliefs in ideologies such as Marxism and functionalism.
Marxist thinker Frederic Jameson analysis is that postmodernism heralds the death of one particular version of the subject: the autonomous bourgeois monad or ego or individual Which existed in the period of ‘classical capitalism and the nuclear family has been dissolved ‘in the world of organizational bureaucracy Meson, 1991). A perfect society is no longer attainable. Leotard sees knowledge as the ultimate source of power in post-modern society, it is evaluated in terms of its usefulness, not if it is true or not, if it is useful then it will be accepted.
Power is seen as less important as knowledge that is more useful. Critics of Leotard work argue that western societies are dominated by free- market capitalism, which is no less of a interactive than the ideology of communism, centralized state power is an important issue in current politics. (Harmless. 2008. Peg. 593-594) According to Giddiness (1990) one of the important shifts from modernity to post-modernity is the transformation of Capitalism into Post- scarcity system, markets would exist, but without the inequality of modernity.
People would accept lower living standards because of development fatigue. Harmless. 2008. Peg. 898) It could be argued that in Post-modernity capitalism has also lost its way. Capitalism by its nature is constantly expanding and therefore needs to constantly revolutionize itself in order to create new markets, leaving nothing solid or permanent in its wake, both destroying and conjuring into existence everything from cities to human populations along the way ‘All that is solid melts into air’ (Marx & Engel’s. 848) The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionaries the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them he whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionaries of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. Marx & Engel’s. 1848) Postmodern sociologists are critical of all “modern” sociological perspectives including Functionalism and Marxism, which they describe as “intransitives” whose scientific validity has been rosily overstated by their supporters. Postmodernists argue also that, in conditions of postmodernist, traditional processes of solicitation have become much weaker, thus allowing individual’s far greater freedom in the construction of their own identities.