Defined

Postmodernism – A Description

By Unknown Author

Postmodernism is difficult to define, because to define it would violate the postmodernist's premise that no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths exist. In this article, the term “postmodernism” will remain vague, since those who claim to be postmodernists have varying beliefs and opinions on issues.

Are nationalism, politics, religion, and war the result of a primitive human mentality? Is truth an illusion? How can Christianity claim primacy or dictate morals? The list of concerns goes on and on especially for those affected by a postmodern philosophy and lifestyle. For some, the questions stem from lost confidence in a corrupt Western world. For others, freedom from traditional authority is the issue. Their concern centers around the West’s continued reliance on ancient and traditional religious morals, nationalism, capitalism, inept political systems, and unwise use and adverse impact of promoting “trade offs” between energy resources and environment, for economic gain.

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What are the characteristics of Postmodernism?

When listing the chracteristics of postmodernism, it is important to remember that postmodernists do not place their philosophy in a defined box or category. Their beliefs and practices are personal rather than being identifiable with a particular establishment or special interest group. The following principles appear elemental to postmodernists:

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Approaching the Main Questions

by Martin Irvine

Postmodernity vs.
the Postmodern vs.
Postmodernism

Postmodernism/Postmodernity is associated with an awareness of societal and cultural transitions after World War II and the rise of mass-mediated consumerist popular culture in the 1960s-1970s. In culture and the arts, interpreters of this era describe the kinds of cultural hybrids that emerge from mixing (or rendering inoperative) the categories of "high" and "low" cultures, and hybrids in cultural forms that have developed in regions where local identities seek definition against, or in dialog with, Western "hegemonic" cultures (the mixing of "official" cultures and those defined as "other" in modernist ideologies). Postmodern views of history and national identity typically cancel a commitment to modern "master narratives" or "metanarratives" like progress and goal-directed history, and disrupt myths of national and ethnic identities as "natural" foundations of "unity."

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Postmodernity and Postmodernism:

by Unknown

One of the problems in dealing with postmodernism is in distinguishing it from modernism. In many ways, postmodern artists and theorists continue the sorts of experimentation that we can also find in modernist works, including the use of self-consciousness, parody, irony, fragmentation, generic mixing, ambiguity, simultaneity, and the breakdown between high and low forms of expression. In this way, postmodern artistic forms can be seen as an extension of modernist experimentation; however, others prefer to represent the move into postmodernism as a more radical break, one that is a result of new ways of representing the world including television, film (especially after the introduction of color and sound), and the computer. Many date postmodernity from the sixties when we witnessed the rise of postmodern architecture; however, some critics prefer to see WWII as the radical break from modernity, since the horrors of nazism (and of other modernist revolutions like communism and Maoism) were made evident at this time. The very term "postmodern" was, in fact, coined in the forties by the historian, Arnold Toynbee.

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Postmodernism

by Unknown

Postmodernism is a literary movement of post-1950s, a time marked by the cold war and the excesses of consumption. It differs from Modernism by blurring the conventional boundary between "high" and "low" culture, by a completely loosened structure in both time and space, and by multiple openings rather than a closure. It rejects to conform to popular taste and combines heterogeneous elements, making it cater to a more sophisticated readership.

Characterized by an attempt to establish transhistorical or transcultural validity, it claims that search for reality is pointless, as the "real" is conditioned by time, place, race, class, gender, and sexuality. There is no knowledge or experience that is superior or inferior to another.

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