Smith12_PoMoFeminist - Smith Chapter 12 Postmodernism and...

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Smith Chapter 12 Postmodernism and Feminist Rhetoric Postmodernism is a backlash against the unitary, conformist, and hierarchical nature of "modernist" rationalism that posited a systematic division of knowledge into discrete categories and a hierarchy of universal values. In architecture: Philip Johnson went from unabashed advocate of "modernist" style to a "postmodernist" style, along with Michael Graves. It combined echoes from the great eras of architecture-- eclecticism . Academic community: transformed the term postmodern to signify a kind of pastiche approach that did not recognize standard boundaries and categories. "Postmodern theory rejects modern assumptions of social coherence and notions of causality in favor of multiplicity, plurality, fragmentation, and indeterminacy." Modernism: outgrowth of Enlightenment thinking (Locke, Bacon, Descartes, Hegel, and Kant). Optimism of modernism was battered by 2 world wars, authoritarianism and failure of Marxism, and the discoveries of Freud. Hierarchical categorization of knowledge and values based on a universal imperative and determined by reason Claimed that rules of the universe are fixed and can be known using science and logic Postmodernists found allies with quantum physics and development of "fuzzy physics" and "fuzzy logic." Quantum theory acknowledges that a particle can be in two places at one time, it can travel faster than the speed of light, it can "communicate" with a fragment of itself. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time attempts to reform Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. Postmodernism (PoMo) and Culture: We live in the midst of a fragmented culture New forms of knowledge and information as a result of computer and other media technology, significant changes in the socio-economic system, increased cultural fragmentation, respect for diversity, changes in the experience of time and space, a trend toward subjective inquiries, and breaking up of established ways of life and once stable social orders. "Normal family unit" with an employed father, nonworking mother and children a rarity Ability to receive news almost instantly from 4 corners of the globe Entertainment: Note ideas and trends glamorized with Friends and Seinfeld . Christine Di Stefano (feminist scholar) embraces PoMo: the postmodern renders the conventional into the arbitrary; it promotes a politics and theory of disbelief toward the language of rationality, interests, and autonomy as presumed characteristics of a humanistic self previously thought to provide the legitimizing foundation for modern social life. MICHEL FOUCAULT (1926-1984)
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Used PoMo to criticize the master narratives of Marx and capitalism Condemned the dialectical "blackmail" of Enlightenment thinking in an effort to expose the powers behind domination Believed that power was an inherent part of all social relations Denigrated rationalism and argued that there "was no external position of certainty, no
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course COMS 3311 taught by Professor Ghring during the Fall '10 term at Texas Tech.

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Smith12_PoMoFeminist - Smith Chapter 12 Postmodernism and...

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