2DefinitionsDefinitions •A period that ended in 1940s •Unlike romanticism or classicism does not refer to the qualities of the works of art in a given period •Underlines their break with the past •Connected with the loss of legitimacy of public authority•The arts took onto themselves more of the job of defining the human horizon•The consequence of the transformation of society brought about by industrialism and technology in the course of the nineteenth century•The pressures of modernity were most intensely felt in the great urban centers of Europe such as Vienna, Paris, Berlin where the extravagant or
3A climatic change in human A climatic change in human consciousness and historic consciousness and historic practicespractices“Modernism was in most countries an extraordinary compound of the futuristic and the nihilistic, the revolutionary and the conservative, the naturalistic and the symbolistic, the romantic and the classical. It was a celebration of a technological age and a condemnation of it; an excited acceptance of the belief that the old regimes of culture were over, and a deep despairing in the face of that fear; a mixture of convictions that the new forms were escapes from historicism and the pressures of the time with convictions that they were precisely the living expressions of these things.”Bradbury and MacFarlane
4Sociology of PostmodernismSociology of PostmodernismScott LashScott Lash•“Not only contemporary arts but contemporary social practices generally, can be understood in terms of modernism …. modernism registers a fundamental break with the assumptions of modernity.”
5Sociology of PostmodernismSociology of PostmodernismScott LashScott Lash•“Aesthetic modernism and its social correlates must be understood as a fundamental transformationof this project that includes not only both a deepening andan undermining of Enlightenment rationality, but also the transmutation and renewed development of instrumentalrationality.."
6Sociology of PostmodernismSociology of PostmodernismScott LashScott Lash•“Modernism is a three-dimensional configuration ...involving a disruption of Enlightenment rationality, a new departure in instrumental reason, in which former principles of unity and transcendence are replaced by principles of plurality and immanence, and a deepening of
7European and American Modernisms•The legacy of 19th-century American writers•How the individual human beings can define themselves through their own inner resources and create their own vision of existence without help from family, fellow citizens, or tradition•A moral dilemma of how to escape this danger •A danger posed by the fact that the relationships with one's fellows were defined in monetary terms, rather than in familial, communal or national •The early American modernists were far less concerned with an acute awareness of the profound changes in society than their European counterparts