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Living in a Postmodern Society

Uploaded by slothskills on May 11, 2006

Are we living in a post-modern society? Why/why not?

The world in which we live is becoming increasingly powerful in that societies are represented through diverse and multifaceted structures that interrelate and bind groups together in order to produce a consistent and rapid growth of changes and continuities. Postmodernity is a recent concept initially introduced in the ‘arts and architecture, spread to the study of popular culture and were developed most fully in philosophy, but they are becoming increasingly influential in the social sciences, particularly sociology’ (Taylor 1999, p.16). The historical processes of the Great Transformation and modernity have played a significant role in the development of a post modern society. Sociological theorists such as Jean-Francois Lyotard and Daniel Bell reinforce the notion of post modernity and its existence in our world today; however Ulrich Beck does not support this concept.
The Great Transformation, involving the processes of ‘industrialisation and the expansion of market capitalism’, was ‘first observed in the Europe of the 18th and 19th centuries’ (Holmes, Hughes & Julian 2003, p. 22). The most important change was the ‘great European industrial revolution’ which began in the ‘1780s right through to the 1950s’ (Holmes, Hughes & Julian 2003, p. 24). The great European industrial revolution was ‘…a period of massive innovation in production of everything from manchester to heavy engineering. This revolution also saw the steady movements of populations into cities, looking for wage work in factories’ (Holmes, Hughes & Julian 2003, p. 24).
As a result of industrialisation, the establishment of modernity enabled sociologists to enhance greater understanding of where the world was working towards. Modernity is a significant concept used in sociology to:
‘…describe the complex range of phenomena associated with the historical process, commencing in the 17th century, which saw Western societies change from a agricultural to an industrial foundation, from a feudal to a capitalist framework, with most of their populations migrating from rural, village settings to towns and cities, as well as moving beyond Western Europe in the process of colonising much of the rest if the world’ (Krieken, Habibis, Smith, Hutchins, Haralambos & Holborn 2000, p. 7)
However, as societies continue to change rapidly and consistently, some sociologists are beginning to acknowledge postmodernity and its role in contemporary societies. The terms postmodernity and postmodernism share similar meanings. Holmes, Hughes and Julian (2003) state that:
‘Postmodernism denotes aesthetic movements in arts, architecture, music, theatre, film and...

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Uploaded by:   slothskills

Date:   05/11/2006

Category:   Sociology

Length:   7 pages (1,596 words)

Views:   12558

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