• Metanarratives or grand narratives – stories
that define human existence and experience
• An attempt to simplify and explain concepts
as stories (feminism, capitalism) historical
• Lyotard the postmodern condition which has
stopped believing in the grand narrative
• A general and wide ranging term applied to
literature, the arts, architecture, fiction and now
• Modernism was a movement around 1920’s. Key
features included the rejection of traditional
beliefs such as an all-powerful God and looked
inwards at man and his self-consciousness.
• Surrealism is the most famous form of
What do you notice about these pictures?
• Post-modernism is thought to have emerged
as early as 1950 in art but became a more
recognised movement in 1980’s
So what is it.....?
• Whereas Modernism rejected earlier beliefs
and styles in favour of new radical ones, one
of the features of post-modernism is the
layering and combining of old ideas with new
ones from multiple sources to create
something different again.
• Whereas Modernists were interested in man
as a self-conscious being, post-modernists are
interested in man (and everything) as a
construction – that all concepts, signs,
identities, realities, meanings etc. have been
created. Postmodernism deconstructs these
realities and meanings and puts them back
together – differently.
• If all reality has been constructed then some
theorists believe that what is actually left is
hypermodernity and that this is the new
‘virtual’ world we live in in our technology and
media saturated world.
Key features of Postmodernism
• Elements of traditional and recognisable stories,
signs, motifs etc.
• Multiple narratives showing not just the mind of
‘one’ person but of many
• Disjointed narratives, unreliable narrators.
• Reinvention (e.g of genre through hybrid forms)
• Intertextuality and bricolage
• Pastiche, parody
• Multiple realities and understanding that ‘reality’
does not exist anyway
• Look at the examples of the:
• Film trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?
• TV clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5GLDwfb-o
Identify the Postmodern features and write
couple of notes explaining how they are
Postmodern. Try also to explain why the text
producers include these features.
• To what extent do postmodern media texts
challenge the conventional relationship
between audience and text. Make reference
to at least two texts from two different media