The Modern and the Postmodern

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The Modern and the Postmodern

  1. 1. The Modern and the Postmodern:<br />Contrasts<br />
  2. 2. Modernism/Modernity<br />Faith in "Grand Theory" (totalizing explanations in history, science and culture) to represent all knowledge and explain everything.<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Rejection of totalizing theories; pursuit of localizing and contingent theories.<br />Grand Narratives?<br />
  3. 3. Modernism/Modernity<br />Faith in, and myths of, social and cultural unity, hierarchies of social-class and ethnic/national values, seemingly clear bases for unity.<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Social and cultural pluralism, disunity, unclear bases for social/national/ ethnic unity.<br />
  4. 4. Identity<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Sense of unified, centered self; "individualism," unified identity.<br />Sense of fragmentation and decentered self; multiple, conflicting identities.<br />
  5. 5. Family<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Idea of "the family" as central unit of social order: model of the middle-class, nuclear family. Heterosexual norms.<br />Alternative family units, alternatives to middle-class marriage model, multiple identities for couplings and childraising. <br />
  6. 6. The Image<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Crisis in representation and status of the image after photography and mass media.<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Culture adapting to simulation and real-time media substituting for the real.<br />
  7. 7. Faith in the “real”<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Hyper-reality, image saturation, simulacra seem more powerful than the "real"; images and texts with no prior "original".  "As seen on TV" and "as seen on MTV" are more powerful than unmediated experience.<br />Faith in the "real" beyond media, language, symbols, and representations; authenticity of "originals."<br />
  8. 8. High and Low Culture<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Dichotomy of high and low culture (official vs. popular culture).Imposed consensus that high or official culture is normative and authoritative, the ground of value and discrimination.<br />Disruption of the dominance of high culture by popular culture.Mixing of popular and high cultures, new valuation of pop culture, hybrid cultural forms cancel "high"/"low" categories.<br />
  9. 9. Intertextuality<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Art as unique object and finished work authenticated by artist and validated by agreed upon standards.<br />Art as process, performance, production, intertextuality.  Art as recycling of culture authenticated by audience and validated in subcultures sharing identity with the artist.  <br />
  10. 10. Modernism/Modernity<br />Knowledge<br />Knowledge mastery, attempts to embrace a totality. Quest for interdisciplinary harmony. The encyclopedia<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Navigation through information overload, information management; fragmented, partial knowledge; just-in-time knowledge.  The Web.<br />
  11. 11. Broadcasting<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Broadcast media, centralized one-to-many communications. Paradigms: broadcast networks and TV.<br />Digital, interactive, client-server, distributed, user-motivated, individualized, many-to-many media. Paradigms: Napster and the Web.<br />
  12. 12. Art<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Sense of clear generic boundaries and wholeness (art, music, and literature).<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Hybridity, promiscuous genres, intertextuality, pastiche.<br />
  13. 13. What are humans?<br />Modernism/Modernity<br />Postmodern/Postmodernity <br />Clear dichotomy (difference) between organic and inorganic, human and machine.<br />Cyborgian mixing of organic and inorganic, human and machine and electronic.<br />

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