Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Do We Live in a Postmodern Society?

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Do We Live in a Postmodern Society?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Do We Live in a Postmodern Society?
What makes this PoMo? Serious people (Elite culture) made to seem frivolous (Pop culture) Playful Taking from other historical periods 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 Time, Space, and Social Relations Arts, Pop Culture, and Aesthetics Epistemology Societal Structures Economy Politics Geo-political affairs

3 First, What is Modernity?
It’s 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 world’s societies. Imperial expansion (e.g. India, the Americas) Imitation (e.g. Japan, Turkey) Japan 1853: Matthew Perry of US Navy sails in Japanese Harbor Superior military force  favorable trade treaty end to Japanese isolation Japan responded by modernizing its society

4 Human Population Growth: Example of Massive Social Change Occurring During Modernity
Modernizing Countries  high population increases Demographic Transition AG societies: high births (but also high deaths)  stable Modernizing: High births (but now low deaths)  rapid growth Modernized:: low births ( and low deaths)  stable

5 Summary of Selected Social Changes Occurring During Modernity
Sphere of Society Pre-modernity Modernity 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
Sailing ships (1500s – 1840s) Humans Experience Geographic Distance thru Time Or space as a barrier to human activity is measure in time to travel across it. This varies with technology Example: Aberdeen to London Horse (several weeks) Sailing ship (several days) Train (day or two) Airplane (one hour) Trains and stream ships (1840s – 1920s) Propeller airplanes (1920s-1940s) Jet airplanes (1940s –present) Source: David Harvey The Condition of Postmodernity. Pp. 241

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
Old and new technologies co-exist. London to New York (5,000 miles) == London to northern Scotland (500 miles). Package London to New York (5 days) E-document (instant!) 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 one’s personal identity and one’s surrounding social environment. Dis-embedding Pre-modern: Social interaction required co-presence Modern times: Certain amount didn’t require co-presence Now Co-presence not required. Ontological Insecurity Nature of our existence and our social world. Take-it-for granted assumptions about the nature of our existence. Burka and mow hawk. SoCal, Aberdeen, and midriffs Social practice de-rooted for original locations Source: Anthony Giddens The Consequences of Modernity.

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

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

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: Andy Warhol and the Blurring of High and Low Culture, of Near and Far, of Past and Present Across history, place, and types of cultures Chairman Mao (first leader of communist china) Beethoven (classical music composer from Germany late 1700s early 1800s) Goethe (German Poet from the same period)

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

15 Modern vs. Post-modern TV Adverts

Download ppt "Do We Live in a Postmodern Society?"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google