Teaching sociology today what is postmodernism and how do you teach it
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golden oldies. re-enactment. Star Trek conventions (simulacra?) museums. Tim Dant ... architecture, art, advertising,fashion, television, pop music...

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Teaching sociology today what is postmodernism and how do you teach it l.jpg

Teaching Sociology TodayWhat is Postmodernism and how do you teach it?

Tim Dant

Sociology, University of Lancaster

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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introduction

  • postmodernism: cultural movement

  • Jencks 1987

  • key ideas:

    • simulation (Baudrillard)

    • nostalgia (Jameson)

    • loss of grand narratives (Lyotard)

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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modernism

  • forward looking:

    • progressive, new, designed, human principle, iconoclastic (James Joyce)

    • architecture: rectangular, glass + steel

  • rational:

    • calculative, powerful, systematic

  • undecorative:

    • manmade materials, hard lines, functional

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Seagram Building,

New York

1958

Mies van der Rohe

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Herbert F. Johnson

Museum of Art at

Cornell University

1973

I.M.Pei

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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World Trade Centre

1970

Minoru Yamasaki

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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postmodernism

  • nostalgic references back

    • classical, modern, traditional

  • simulation of modernism

    • borrows modernist forms

  • playful – no grand narrative

    • mix of styles, references

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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AT&T headquarters

International Style

‘Chippendale’ pediment

1984

Philip Johnson

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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New York,

New York Hotel

Las Vegas

1997

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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modernity + postmodernity

  • modern-ism, postmodern-ism

    • cultural movements

  • modern-ity, postmodern-ity

    • periods of history

  • critique of modernity  postmodernity

    • inhumanity of rationality, system

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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postmodernity

  • a development of modernity

    • incoporation of critique

  • sociology:

    • globalisation

    • complexity

    • knowledge

    • surveillance

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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economy and culture

  • new economy

    • based on taste, ideas, aesthetics?

    • production of knowledge

    • new technologies, new bureacracies

    • flows of resources, information, products

    • liquid, mobile, complex

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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postmodernism: simulation

  • simulation - Baudrillard

    • imitation, copy, appearance of reality

    • substitution for the real

      • brick façade simulating brick building

      • ceramic tiles simulating limestone or wood

    • ‘precession of simulacra’

      • simulation precedes the real - Disneyland

  • fakery, feigning, pretending…

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster



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real or copy?

  • signifier of something?

  • Disneyworld, “Celebration”

  • New York, New York hotel

  • war: war games, video games, video images

  • cloning, genetic modification

    • who is the real human?

  • Twin Towers… in Beijing

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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World Park

Beijing, China

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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postmodernism: nostalgia

  • nostalgia: Jameson

  • repackaging the past,

    • pop culture replayed

    • Elvis - 1997 concert…

    • Elvis impersonators…

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Elvis in Las Vegas (late ‘60s)

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster



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reliving the past

  • cultural logic

    • economics of recycling culture

    • golden oldies

  • re-enactment

    • Star Trek conventions (simulacra?)

    • museums

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Marquess of Winchester’s regiment of the English Civil

War Society – Pike attack – Cliveden 2007

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Jorvik Centre York

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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York ‘Shambles’

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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loss of grand narratives

  • postmodernism as mix and match,

    • old and new, parody, pastiche

    • fashion: ‘supermarket of style’

  • plurality of knowledges (Lyotard)

  • grand narratives:

    • religion, political system as legitimation

    • …. but not science

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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little narratives

  • medicine:

    • bio-medicine + alternative healing

  • no foundation, no essential principles

    • crystals…

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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Healing crystals…

Silk bag of crystals healing stones contains:

Red Jasper for Bronchitis, Cancer, Diabetes and Wasting Disease

Green Aventurine for Fever, Stress, Eczema and as a General Tonic

Sodalite for Blood Pressure(high or low) Burns, Sinus and Impotence

Hematite for Anemia, Neck Tension, Depression and Muscles

Moonstone for PMS, Fertility, Menopause and Reproductive System ….

Etc!

Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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conclusions

  • simulation

  • nostalgia

  • end of grand narratives

  • ‘pomo’ as a cultural movement

    • architecture, art, advertising,fashion, television, pop music…

    • cultural practices: design, medicine, business

  • Tim Dant - Sociology - Lancaster


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