Modernity & Postmodernism (Theory) Evaluation Unit 4

Taken from class notes and a revision booklet created by my teacher.

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  • Created by: Ray22
  • Created on: 06-06-13 10:22

Modernity & Postmodernism


  • Postmodernism  has tried to interpret the new social and cultural changes such as the opening up of the Eastern Bloc.
  • It has attempted to analyse the growing impact of mass media on society.
  • It has challenged the absolutist positions of teh old metanarrative: Functionalism, Marxism etc.
  • It sees indivisduals as having cjoices to create pick and mix identities through consumerism.


  • Postmodernism is a confusing theoretical approach, as different thinkers emphasise different aspects.
  • In dchallenging the existing metanarrative, they find themselves in danger of becoming a new theoretical position in itself.
  • Emphasises the cultural at the expense of the social and economic.
  • It fails to recognise the constraints on the individual of the huge social inequalities that still exist based on economics, gender and ethnicity.
  • Overplays the role of the mass media and taking a relatively passive view of the individual as audience member.


This study would mainly be useful in the study of the impact of globalisation; the impact of rapid change on the environment such as pollution. They seek to look past the metanarratives created by 'big picture' theories, to identify the key stages we as individuals and as societies are at in terms of development. The belief that development or 'progress' is subjective from place to place is supported by their idea that mass media plays an important role in the molding of a person. The criticism of this theory is thast it is pessimistic of the enlightenment project, its logical flaws, it's ignoring of power and inequality etc. TLM and marxist theories of postmodernity are the more plausible sociological alternatives to the postmodernist view of today's society.


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