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Abstract only
Peter Barry

What is postmodernism? What was modernism? As with structuralism and post-structuralism, there is a great deal of debate about how exactly modernism and postmodernism differ. The two concepts are of different vintage, ‘modernism’ being a long-standing category which is of crucial importance in the understanding of twentieth-century culture, whereas the term ‘postmodernism’, as is well known, has only become current since the 1980s. ‘Modernism’ is the name given to the movement which dominated the arts and culture of the first half of the twentieth century

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Susanne Becker

’) postmodernism itself. And it uses neo-gothicism to encounter the (1990s’) promise of knowledge and emotion that arises from this parody. 1 A. S. Byatt has long shaped the more English form of postmodernism that she herself has called ‘self-conscious realism’ ( 1991a , 4). Recent critics have retained social realism as predominant frame of reference for her work and emphasise the

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
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Bauman’s Levinasian turn
Ali Rattansi

Postmodern ethics: Bauman’s Levinasian turn Questions of ethics and morality were central to Bauman’s concerns over a long period of his life. This is hardly surprising. Any intellectual project which has at its heart the constant desire to envisage a future different from the existing – the ‘is’ – in order to create social conditions which embody the dignity of an altogether greater freedom has to have a persistent concern with what ‘ought’ to be the case. The ‘ought’ immediately plunges the thinker into reflecting upon the nature of morality and ethics. This

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
The dialectics of non-linear, multi-scenario social transformations
Aleksander Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov

It is impossible to study social transformations without the dialectical method: only this can show a system in its development. 1 Although postmodernism is no longer fashionable, dialectics has not returned to popularity. On the contrary, the idea persists that dialectics is dangerous because it can reveal real contradictions in social development and realistic ways of resolving them. Not only is the dialectical method necessary, but it needs to be developed further

in Twenty-first-century capital
Ali Rattansi

Sociology and postmodernity If Bauman’s stance in Legislators and Interpreters is not difficult to classify as ‘postmodernist’ in a fairly strong sense, his remarks on the specificity of the postmodern condition as characterised by uncertainty and ambivalence in Modernity and Ambivalence do little to dispel that impression. I will soon explore in greater depth how Bauman’s analysis of the postmodern condition develops in a variety of works throughout the 1990s. For the time being, though, it is necessary to explore a key theoretical dilemma that confronted

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Saul Newman

1 The politics of postmodernity P O S T M O D E R N I S M is something that we have heard a lot about for some time now. However its meaning remains ambiguous and open to different interpretations. Moreover, it is a term that appears in a number of different contexts: art, architecture, cultural studies, literature and social theory all bear reference to the ‘postmodern condition’. Indeed, some thinkers, like Zˇizˇek and Eagleton, see postmodernism as now the dominant discourse in many academic disciplines – although perhaps this institutionalisation indicates

in Unstable universalities
Ali Rattansi

Modernism and postmodernism ‘Modernism’ is a term usually reserved for a set of movements in the arts that began in the latter part of the nineteenth century in Europe, gained a particular momentum in the early years of the twentieth century and continued to flourish until at least the middle of the twentieth century, the periodisation being dependent on when one believes that a new set of aesthetic strategies and products, dubbed postmodernist, began. As we will see, for many commentators postmodernism in the arts was, by and large, a continuation of modernism

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Tim Woods

postmodernism’ upon the new directions in African writing. Why do some writers resist this term? Why do other writers accept the ideas of a postmodern consciousness? There have been some firm assertions about the fact that postmodernism can prove a disabling distraction to black writing from its vernacular traditions (for example, see Nkosi 1998 ). Arguments that postmodernism is a perpetuation of colonialism

in African pasts
Anastasia Marinopoulou

 8 1 3 Modernism and postmodernism O gentlemen, the time of life is short! … If life did ride upon a dial’s point, Still ending at the arrival of an hour. And if we live, we live to tread on kings. William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1 5.2.82–​7. So we should not expect Foucault to give us a philosophical theory that deploys … notions. Still, philosophy is more than theories. ‘Foucault and Epistemology’ by Richard Rorty in David Couzens Hoy (ed.), Foucault: A Critical Reader1 Introduction Foucault: the catcher in the modern rye When discussing modernity, one

in Critical theory and epistemology
A history
Hans Bertens

Introduction Postmodernism as a literary-critical concept has followed a complicated trajectory that, now that the once heated debates no longer generate much interest, cannot be said to have led to much general agreement as to what exactly it stands for. We have a Wittgensteinian family of narrative strategies and poetic techniques that are indeed generally seen as postmodern, but that is as far as critical agreement goes. It might therefore be tempting to dismiss this particular incarnation of the

in Post-everything