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Do We Live in a Postmodern Society? Lecture by Dr Christopher Kollmeyer.

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Presentation on theme: "Do We Live in a Postmodern Society? Lecture by Dr Christopher Kollmeyer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do We Live in a Postmodern Society? Lecture by Dr Christopher Kollmeyer

2 Outline for Lecture : Key Question : Do we live in a postmodern society? Postmodernism Defined : Things characterised by a rupture with, and movement beyond, modernism. Possible Realms where Postmodernism Manifests 1.Time, Space, and Social Relations 2.Arts, Pop Culture, and Aesthetics 3.Epistemology 4.Societal Structures Economy Politics Geo-political affairs

3 First, What is Modernity? Its a historical period that began in the 1700s in Western Europe. It resulted in massive social change in which long- standing, traditional societies were rapidly and thoroughly transformed. –Economy: agrarian industrial –Human settlements: small & rural large & urban –Polity: empires nation-states –Epistemology: traditional, dogmatic rational, scientific It spread unevenly across the worlds societies. –Imperial expansion (e.g. India, the Americas) –Imitation (e.g. Japan, Turkey)

4 Human Population Growth Human Population Growth: Example of Massive Social Change Occurring During Modernity

5 Summary of Selected Social Changes Occurring During Modernity Sphere of SocietyPre-modernityModernity Economy Feudalism Agrarian Capitalism Industrial Polity Empire Monarchy Nation-State Democracy Human settlements Rural Small-scale Urban Large-scale Population High birth rate High mortality Falling birth rate Low mortality Knowledge Dogmatic, traditional, stable Scientific, rational, changing

6 Time-Space Compression: Technology Shrinks Our World Source: David Harvey The Condition of Postmodernity. Pp. 241 Sailing ships (1500s – 1840s) Trains and stream ships (1840s – 1920s) Propeller airplanes (1920s-1940s) Jet airplanes (1940s –present)

7 Information Age and time-space compression Intel Corp invents micro-chip in 1972 Information tech becomes generalized throughout society Information now travels at light speed so-called Death of Geography

8 Time-Space Compression Occurs Unevenly Source: Peter Dicken Global Shift. Pp. 153.

9 Social Consequences of the Separation of Time and Space Dis-embedding of social relations : Removing social activity from its localized context. Co- presence not required. Globalized Social Interdependence: Distant events increasingly have local consequences Ontological Insecurity: Declining stability and continuity in ones personal identity and ones surrounding social environment. Source: Anthony Giddens The Consequences of Modernity.

10 PoMo in Fine Arts and Pop Culture: Dominance of Signs and Symbols Signified Signifier An actual man Symbol representing a man

11 PoMo: De-linking of Signifier and Signified Empty' or 'floating' signifiers: Signifiers with vague, highly variable, or little connections to their signified. Perfume: Signified Advert for Perfume: Signifier

12 Postmodern Signs Simulacrum: Simulacra are copies without originals. Or representations that bear little relation to any reality. Disneyland as Simulacrum par excellence

13 PoMo in the Fine Arts: PoMo in the Fine Arts: Andy Warhol and the Blurring of High and Low Culture, of Near and Far, of Past and Present

14 PoMo in the Fine Arts: The Many Identities of Cindy Sherman

15 Modern vs. Post-modern TV Adverts &q=genre%3Aad_promo Modern Post-modern HQP_SlOA

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