After Modernity

of 26 /26
After Modernity Fall 2010

Embed Size (px)


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

Page 2: After Modernity


• 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

Page 3: After Modernity
Page 4: After Modernity

From Pre-Modernity to Modernity

Tradition, convention, prejudice, superstition

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

Page 5: After Modernity
Page 6: After Modernity

Scenes of horror, that we may never forget

Page 7: After Modernity
Page 8: After Modernity

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

Page 9: After Modernity

Limits of Reason

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


Page 10: After Modernity

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 after Bauman p.398

Page 11: After Modernity

Four Issues

• Identity• Politics• Differences• Reflexivity


Page 12: After Modernity

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


Page 13: After Modernity


• 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


Page 14: After Modernity

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


Page 15: After Modernity

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)


Page 16: After Modernity

…full of sound and fury…

…and signifying what?


after all that, can we still do theory?

Page 17: After Modernity

Embrace the Dualities

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

Page 18: After Modernity

Structure and Agency

Page 19: After Modernity

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.

Page 20: After Modernity

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.

Page 21: After Modernity

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

Page 22: After Modernity


Page 23: After Modernity

The structural in post-structural

• Everything depends on everything else• Presence of absence

Page 24: After Modernity

All the words

not used

All the words

not used


Page 25: After Modernity


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

Page 26: After Modernity