Modern and postmodern

Authored by: Peter Beilharz

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159


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What is the modern, and the postmodern? And, why does this matter? What was the controversy about? For it was a controversy; and like others it may have generated more heat than enlightenment. Postmodern versus modern was the key debate in social theory from the 1980s on. In retrospect, it might be seen as a symptom of significant transformations within modernity itself. Likely it represented the anxiety of our age in that moment, and the need to name it. In an even larger proliferation of ways, we now mostly call this anxiety “globalization,” though even the heat has gone out of that, too; what originally concerned us as globalization was loss, which now increasingly has been turned into the hope of “gain,” that even the wretched of the earth will cheer up if they drink up. What was the fuss about?

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