After Modernity

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After Modernity Fall 2010

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After Modernity. Fall 2010. Outline. Marx, Weber, Durkheim’s subject matter Grand Theory Science, structuralism, Principia, Taylorism , Fordism Contra-Grand Theory Conflict Self-contradiction Incompleteness and impossibility theorems Post-modern Theories. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of After Modernity

Page 1: After Modernity

After Modernity

Fall 2010

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Outline

• Marx, Weber, Durkheim’s subject matter• Grand Theory– Science, structuralism, Principia, Taylorism, Fordism

• Contra-Grand Theory– Conflict– Self-contradiction– Incompleteness and impossibility theorems

• Post-modern Theories

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From Pre-Modernity to Modernity

Tradition, convention, prejudice, superstition

Rational, calculation, universalism, innovation, science, planning, problem solving, systems, control, society

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Scenes of horror, that we may never forget

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From Pre-Modernity to Modernity

Tradition, convention, prejudice, superstition

Rational, calculation, universalism, innovation, science, planning, problem solving, systems, control, society

No foundationinternal contradictions

same as it ever was

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Limits of Reason

• Social constructionism• Garbage can theory• Bounded rationality• Anxiety of influence (Bloom)• Bricolage

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricolage)

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Dichotomy ViewModern Postmodern

Necessity (natural and social laws) Contingency or chance

Universality (across time and space) Locality and the particular (can only know own experience)

Certainty and predictability Uncertainty and provisionality

Truth and reality Critique of tradition-bound analysis

Transparency or understandability Undecidability

Order of nature and structures Ambivalence of human design

After http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/a400.htm after Bauman p.398

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Four Issues

• Identity• Politics• Differences• Reflexivity

After http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/a400.htm

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Identity• From: social world can be modeled as “individuals in groups” with

both individuals and groups having stable “identity” – I/me, the Germans, women, the poor

• To: identity as not unambiguously defined, shifting over time, generally unstable. Local circumstances and experiences important in shaping these identities.

– Thus: class, ethnic groups, or status groups may not “exist”

– Theories based on them may not be useful

– Shared situation (class, race) may be construct imposed by theorists

After http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/a400.htm

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Politics

• From: left-right spectrum, politics as collective action problem – who gets what when and how?

• To: Perhaps collective action, social movements, and directed social change are impossible.

– Radical relativism

– Everything is power

– Politics, since it assumes concept of “right,” is pointless

After http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/a400.htm

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Differences• FROM: lumping and splitting• TO: rejection of “metanarratives”

– Reject grand theory, don’t try to explain all of society

– Focus on variety of experiences of individuals and groups

– Emphasize differences over common experiences.

– World is fragmented, disordered, unstable and not understandable on a large scale

– Interpret texts, but never impose your interpretation on others

After http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/a400.htm

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Reflexivity• FROM: reflection (and reflection on reflection) can yield

knowledge/truth about the world• TO: reflection only reveals the conditions of itself

– Social science, philosophy, etc. created possibility of knowledge of social world.

– Models can represent the natural and social world.

– More and more it is difficult to distinguish images of reality from the reality itself (TV, sampling, marketing)

After http://uregina.ca/~gingrich/a400.htm

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…full of sound and fury…

…and signifying what?

or

after all that, can we still do theory?

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Embrace the Dualities

• Structure and Agency• Making history but not from whole cloth• Langue and Parole

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Structure and Agency

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Marx : “The Eighteenth Brummaire”

Man makes his own history, but he does not make it out of the whole cloth; he does not make it out of conditions chosen by himself, but out of such as he finds close at hand.

The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.

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Langue & Parole

• La langue is the whole system of language (spelling, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etc.) that precedes and makes speech possible. Signs are the basic units of langue.

• Parole is the actual use of language, the practical utterances of everyday people.

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Destinations• Giddens/Bourdieu

– Structuration – duality – fields – embedded agency• Collins

– Confict theory• POMO practicalis

– dialectics and tensions, sociology of knowledge, networks, global flows of knowledge and capitals

• POMO extremis– re-particularization, impossibility of theorizing

• Computational Social Science– Emergence, self-organizing systems

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OUTTAKES

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The structural in post-structural

• Everything depends on everything else• Presence of absence

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All the words

not used

All the words

not used

word

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Marx

• Capitalism is different• Us vs. them dynamic• “seeds of its own destruction”• dehumanizing

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Weber