Post Modernism

The Postmodern World

  • in the last 20 years the world is dissolving and fragmenting
  • many sociological ideas are become redundant


  • the nature of work is changing
  • most people now work in the service sector
  • people today do not expect a job to be for life and accept flexble working hours


  • media and other cultural industries have grown
  • consumption is now a major feature of our lives
  • mixing and matching contradictory styles
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The Postmodern World


  • now likely to be influnenced by popular culture, consumerism and choice


  • symbols are recognised across the world
  • challenging local and national culture as a source of identity


  • no longer have faith in any great truths
  • become cynical about the power of science
  • socialism is discredited
  • truth is unattainable and irrelevant
  • no absolute monopoly on truth
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Late Modernity - Giddens

  • shop and work internationally
  • love and marry internationally
  • grow and educated internationally
  • relationship between space and time has reconfigured due to globalisation
  • disembedding - social interaction is removed from local context
  • reflexivity - acitvely thinking about how we would like to live our lives, we are encouraged to make conscious descions
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Technological Changes -

  • cross entire continents
  • time - space compression
  • risk is on a global scale

Economic Changes -

  • 'weightless' electric economy
  • money lies in imagined goods
  • risk society is added to
  • trans-national companies

Political Changes -

  • undermines the power of the nation state
  • less ability to regulate
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Defining Modern Society

The Nation State:

  • key political unit, a bound territory ruled by a powerful centralised state
  • important source of indentity for citizens


  • based on ownership and means or production
  • wealth distribution is unequal

Rationality, science and technology



Meta Narratives

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Key Thinkers


  • post modern society developed at the end of the 1950s
  • changes are related to technology, science and social developments
  • undermines meta narratives
  • people no longer believe that reason can conquer superstition, humans can be perfected and communism is a perfect society


  • buying and selling material goods has been replaced by buying and selling signs and images
  • eventually the sign develops so it has no resemblance to reality
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