AQA A2 Sociology- Theory- Postmodernism

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  • Theory-Postmodernism
    • Globalisation
      • 4 changes that brought globalisation
        • Tech: Allowed travel, exchange info in an instant and Time-space compression (contact is instantaneous-face-time
        • Economic: electronic eco- we produce information (music films etc.) 24 hour access to money around the world. Trans national companies- operate on a global scale
        • Political:  Ohmae- we live in a border-less world where trans national companies have more power than governments.
        • Cultural/identity: Globalisation has undermined the traditional sources of identity (family/class.) A decline in manufacturing reduces the source of identity or W/C people.
    • Postmodernism
      • Knowledge
        • There is no objective criteria to prove theories right or wrong
          • Believe Enlightenment project is dead- if we can't guarantee our knowledge is correct them there can't be any improvements
          • Any meta-narrative that claims to have the truth is wrong- it's just their version of the truth.
        • They embrace relativism- there is no right answer. We shouldn't impose on opinion onto everyone.
        • Lyotard: Language games (ways of seeing the world) Competing ideas are better than on version of the truth = marginalised groups gain a voice.
        • Buarillard: There is no distinction between reality and its simulacra (signs) Today we live in hyper-reality where signs seem more real than reality (TV soaps)
      • Culture, identity and politics
        • Media provides endless streams of images, values and versions of the truth = fragmentation and no fixed set of values shared by society
        • Increased versions of the truth makes people disillusioned and don't believe in one meta narrative or belief system due to their failings in explaining the world.
        • In the postmodern world we are consumers and can pic 'n' mix all aspects of our lives.
      • Evaluation
        • Gives insight into the role of the media in shaping people's identity and culture.
        • It explains why there is an increase in diversity of beleifs
        • It ignores the issue of power- R/C control ideology through the media.
        • Relativism means that morally indefensible views are acceptable (extremism)
        • People can tell the difference between reality and TV 'reality.'
    • Late Modernity Theory
      • Argue that today isn't postmodern but a continuation of modernity.
      • Giddens
        • Disembedding: there is no longer face-to- face interaction as disembedding has broken geographical barriers and made interaction less personal.
        • Traditions and customs have become more individualistic- sons no longer do their father's occupation.
        • Reflexivity: traditions and customs are no longer our guide on hour behaviour- we are constantly re-evaluating our ideas which makes society unstable.
      • Beck- risk society
        • Risks we face today are man made- rejects Baurillard's idea that humans are powerless to make change
        • Growing individualisation- we think of ourselves rather than allowing tradition to goven our behaviour.
      • Evaluation
        • An alternative to postmodernism- a rational analysis of society is possible despite change.
        • Hirst- rejects Beck's idea that enviromental groups can bring chnage as they are to fragmented and disorganised
        • Giddens' idea of reflexivity is plausible explanation of why society is unstable and ever changing.
          • Not everyone can be reflective- poorer people in polluted areas can't change it.

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