Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Definition of Postmodernism

Straying away from the viewpoint of modernism is postmodernism.  Specifically, its a condition characterized by a questioning of the notion of progress and history, the replacement of narrative within pastiche, and multiple, perhaps even conflicting, identities resulting from disjointed affiliations.  For example, a red light might have different meaning for all types of cultures.  The term itself derives from the idea that he grand narratives of history are over.

Postmodernism emphasizes the role of power, relations, and language; in particular it attacks classifications such as straight vs gay, male vs female, and white vs black.  Rather, it holds realities to be plural and relative, and dependent on who the interested parties are and what their interests are.  Click the link below or scroll down to read about the first theory and derivative.


A very popular postmodernist tendency within aesthetics is deconstruction.  It works completely within the studied test to undermine and expose the frame of reference, ideological underpinnings, and assumptions of the text.  The process involves demonstrating the multiple possible readings of a text, undermining binary oppositions, and their resulting internal conflicts.  Deconstruction is demonstrated through the writings of Gayatri Spivak.  Click on the link below or scroll down to read about the second theory and derivative. 

Structuralism and post-structuralism

During the 1950s in France there was a broad philosophical movement called Structuralism.  It was partly in response to French Existialism.  Currently, many original structuralists are less strict and are now considered, “Post-structuralists.”  Post-structuralism is very strongly associated with the broader and movement of Postmodernism.  Click the link below or scroll down to read about the third theory and derivative.


The death of postmodernism has been increasingly widely debated most recently.  A small group of critics has introduced a number of theories that try to describe culture and/or society in the alleged aftermath of postmodernism.  In 2007 Andrew Hoborek notes that declarations of postmodernism’s end has become a critical commonplace.  Click the link below to return to the original post of postmodernism.