Postmodernism

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Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the problematisation of objective truth and inherent suspicion towards global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. It involves the belief that many, if not all, apparent realities are only social constructs, as they are subject to change inherent to time and place. It emphasizes the role of language, power relations, and motivations; in particular it attacks the use of sharp classifications such as male versus female, straight versus gay, white versus black, and imperial versus colonial. Rather, it holds realities to be plural and relative, and dependant on who the interested parties are and what their interests consist in. It attempts to problematise modernist overconfidence, by drawing into sharp contrast the difference between how confident a speaker is of their position versus how confident they need to be to serve their supposed purposes. Postmodernism has influenced many cultural fields, including literary criticism, sociology, linguistics, architecture, visual arts, and music.

Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from modernist approaches that had previously been dominant. The term "postmodernism" comes from its critique of the "modernist" scientific mentality of objectivity and progress associated with the Enlightenment.

These movements, modernism and postmodernism, are understood as cultural projects or as a set of perspectives. "Postmodernism" is used in critical theory to refer to a point of departure for works of literature, drama, architecture, cinema, journalism, and design, as well as in marketing and business and in the interpretation of law, culture, and religion in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.[1] Indeed, postmodernism, particularly as an academic movement, can be understood as a reaction to modernism in the Humanities. Whereas modernism was primarily concerned with principles such as identity, unity, authority, and certainty, postmodernism is often associated with difference, plurality, textuality, and skepticism.

Literary critic Fredric Jameson describes postmodernism as the "dominant cultural logic of late capitalism." "Late capitalism" refers to the phase of capitalism after World War II, as described by economist Ernest Mandel; the term refers to the same period sometimes described by "globalization", "multinational capitalism", or "consumer capitalism". Jameson's work studies the postmodern in contexts of aesthetics, politics, philosophy, and economics.[2]

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