Aspects of anthropological methods covered are: The module examines the relationship between theory and method within anthropology.
Few terms in the contemporary critical lexicon have been as vociferously debated and as persistently unstable in meaning and use as postmodernism and its various avatars, such as postmodernity. In spite of this instability, postmodernity may be defined as a broad category designating the culture that historically extends from the late s to the early twenty-first century, and that is economically determined by postindustrial capitalism.
Postmodernism would refer, more narrowly, to the characteristic intellectual and aesthetic currents and practices of that era, reflected, for example, in certain philosophical ideas or works of literature and art.
The terms postmodernity and postmodernism also suggest a break, respectively, with modernity, determined economically by capitalism and culturally by humanism and the Enlightenmentand with Modernism, the literary and aesthetic movements of modernity in the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
While the distinction between modernity and postmodernity can be made without much difficulty, the distinction between modernism and postmodernism is more complicated. Some early critics argued that postmodernism was not really "post" at all, but simply "late" modernism.
It quickly became apparent, however, that, despite its continuities with modernism, postmodernism does represent a definitive break from its predecessor, as well as a broader overall phenomenon, which includes in particular postmodernist theory.
Arguably the single most crucial conceptual determinate of the postmodern era and of postmodernism, defining this break, is an uncontainable and irreducibly de-centered multiplicity of coexisting cognitive and cultural paradigms, without any one of them being uniquely dominant or central.
This postmodern de-centering, however, is defined not by the absence of all centrality, but by multicentering as the emergence of many centers and claims upon one or another centrality, including by previously marginalized fields and groups. Multiculturalism and related trends may be best seen as reflections of this situation, whose cultural and political implications, however, have a much greater scope.
Conceptual Postmodernism and Postmodernist Theory The roots of conceptual postmodernism may be found in the ideas of some of the major figures of modernity and modernism, ideas that set in motion profound challenges to and changes in our thinking about the world and in the status of knowledge itself.
Friedrich Nietzsche, in particular, initiated a radical critique of the Enlightenment ideals of absolute truth, universal morality, and transhistorical values, which he replaced with a radically multicentered or, in his terms, perspectival understanding of human knowledge, morality, and culture.
It is primarily through Nietzsche and related figures, such as Sigmund Freud and Martin Heideggerthat the genealogy of postmodernist thinking is connected to Poststructuralism, one of the most important conceptual revolutions of postmodernism. Several parallel scientific revolutions took place throughout twentieth-century science, especially in physics relativity and quantum theory and biology, and in literature and art, and these revolutions also contributed to postmodernist conceptuality and epistemology.
Lyotard's key example is the Enlightenment grand narrative of the progress of civilization through reason and science. He, however, extends this critique to other grand narratives of modernity, including Hegelianism, Marxismand Freudianism. The collapse of the grand narratives has left us with no hope of a single conceptual system or discourse through which we might attempt to understand the totality of the world.
Instead we have a plurality of frequently incommensurable worlds and often mutually incompatible systems of language and thought through which to comprehend them. Cultural and Political Postmodernism The cultural formations and aesthetic movements of postmodernism are intricately bound up with both the ideas of conceptual postmodern ism and the economic, technological, and political transformations of postmodern ity.
A dramatic example of this entanglement is the relationship between "the disappearance of the real," which is an epistemological conception, and media culture.
Jean Baudrillard observed that by the late twentieth century, media technologies in their roles as technologies of reproduction and representation, had become so advanced that images or copies have become "simulacra," reproductions sufficiently powerful that they first obscure, then displace, and ultimately replace and function as "the real.
Postmodern technologies are also transforming other fundamental concepts and categories through which people understand the world and themselves. As postmodern bioengineering and genomic technologies erode the distinction between human and machine, humans and their conceptions of themselves are being reshaped and reimagined to an unprecedented degree.
Technologies of transportation and communication are creating the "spatialization of experience" and the concomitant disappearance of the temporal, which are linked to a postmodern subjectivity that is fragmented and contingent, an intersection of fluctuating "positions.
For Lyotard, postmodernity potentially offers a new and better ground for the practice of democracy and justice. Postmodernity, with its heterogeneous interests and worldviews, allows previously oppressed or marginalized groups to make claims upon justice, and upon a position of centrality, even in the absence of majority consensus concerning such claims.
The status of knowledge is altered as societies enter what is known as the postindustrial age and cultures enter what is known as the postmodern age. A Report on Knowledge. By contrast, Jameson defines postmodernism as "the cultural logic of late capitalism," for him an inherently unjust formation.
The material structures of postmodern technologies, local and international politics, and global capitalism, he argues, ultimately determine our experience of postmodernity and the nature of postmodernist culture and art, and thus put justice in conflict with postmodernity.
Most current views of postmodernity and postmodernism may be positioned between these two visions, between the justice of the heterogeneous and the "cultural logic" and unbridled power of global capitalism. If, however, one combines the views of Lyotard and Jameson, cultural postmodern ism embodies two competing and conflicting drives arising from capitalism and democracy defining postmodern ity.
Globalization, in its positive and negative aspects, comes with postmodernity, and together they give rise to conceptual, cultural, and political postmodernism across the geopolitical landscape of both hemispheres.
Postmodernism in Literature and Art In considering postmodernist aesthetic practices in parallel with the postmodern lack of political consensus, Lyotard invokes "the lack of consensus of taste.Reviews, essays, books and the arts: the leading international weekly for literary culture.
Do you really care that Postmodernism destroyed the ideals of Modernism? Come on, — Failed Architecture " If you are reading this, you probably already have a certain interest in architecture, but chances are that you never warmed up to those kinds of buildings from the late 70s, 80s and early 90s, generally classified as ‘Postmodern’.
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Nothing sorts memories from ordinary moments. They claim remembrance when they show their scars. Chris Marker. La Jetée. review by Simon Sellars. The films of Chris Marker are often termed ‘essayist’, participating in a phenomenological play with deep roots in French intellectualism.