Postmodernism and Social Inquiry by David R. Dickens, Andrea Fontana

By David R. Dickens, Andrea Fontana

This advent to postmodernism bargains a finished exam of postmodern idea and its program to the research of society. It surveys the paintings of theorists and explores the capability and boundaries of postmodern research throughout key components of improvement, together with deconstruction, semiotics, the recent ethnography and feminist concept. This advisor might be compatible as an undergraduate textual content for social and cultural conception classes and may entice scholars of social learn tools.

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Although he acknowledges that “global theories” such as Marxism and psychoanalysis have provided “useful tools for local research” (1980a, p. 81), he believes they are reductionist (and therefore coercive in their practical implications) and need to be superseded by local forms of knowledge and microanalyses: “We must reject [totalizing] theory and all forms of general discourse” (Foucault 1977, p. 231). Consequently, Foucault attempts to detotalize history and society as unified wholes governed by a center, essence, or telos, and 30 POSTMODERN THEORIES OF SOCIETY to decenter the subject as a constituted rather than a constituting consciousness.

This leads him to modify his position that subjectivity is nothing but a construct of domination and to make positive gestures toward a conception of new, postmodern selves who might become autonomous in their escape from disciplinary systems and ethical self-reinvention within practices seeking an “aesthetics of existence” (Foucault 1982b). 6 TOWARD A POSTMODERN SOCIOLOGY Unlike Baudrillard, Foucault offers not a sociology of postmodernity, but a postmodern sociology, that is, an analysis of modern society that employs postmodern concepts and perspectives.

1989. Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Lash, Scott. 1990. Sociology of Postmodernism. London: Routledge. Lefebvre, Henri. 1971. Everyday Life in the Modern World. Translated by Sacha Rabinovitch. New York: Harper & Row. Lofland, Lynn. 1993. ” Contemporary Sociology 22:1– 3. Lyotard, Jean-Franc~ois. 1984. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Translated by Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

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