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    Without looking at a dictionary or online anywhere, this is a societal question of what your personal interpretation of this over ambiguous word is.

    I see it used way too much as a terribly open ended catch-all phrase.

    What does the word postmodern mean to you? What comes to mind? How would you describe it?
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    I read the title as 'postmodem' and therefore will have to go with 'anything over 56k.'
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    I think of it as a genre of the arts.

    Sometimes it can be interesting and thought provoking, but there's also a lot of utter *******s.
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    For me its an intellectual movement that critiques modernist notions of history, progress and truth.

    In relation to this I remember a quote from the simpsons which I thought was funny.

    "Post-modernism is being weird for the sake of being weird"
    -Homer Simpson
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    "no certain truths", rejecting meta-narratives, hyperreality...
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    The supposed era after modernism. Modernism was concerned with scientific progress, mastery of the natural world, man's scientific dominion over nature, progress in arts and culture, art and culture incorporating scientific ideas and rejecting traditional forms, grand explanatory narratives such as Freud and Marx or Smith etc. Post modernism was the rejection/transcendence of this.

    Best book on the subject (and very critical of post modernist ideas) IMO is David Harvey's "The Condition of Postmodernity".
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    As Kibalchich said.

    -
    I am particularly interested in what it means in architecture.

    My understanding is that modernist architecture, as practiced in the 20s and 30s by the likes of Le Cobusier and the Bauhaus, went in to retreat more or less around when the Great Depression and World World 2 kicked in.

    The 50s , perhaps the most misunderstood of architectural periods, still saw modernism but it was often a less pure white 'Germanic' kind of form. It was less deliberately exotic, more homelier, often in brick (at least in England) rather than painted plaster.

    The 60s saw Brutalism. Now this was 'technically' modernism but a mostly British version of it. really it could be seen, in some eyes, as the early, unplanned, seed of postmodernism I would argue which is most associated with the 80s - playful.
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    I think of Foucault or Baudrilliard.
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    Postmodernism is a load of ****.

    Modernism is where it's at with knowledge, truth and logic at the forefront.
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    Postmodernism in philosophy is thinking that has lost it's progressive and inspired approach. A lot of postmodernism focuses more on doom, gloom, and existentialism rather than wanting to understand the wonders of the university, or take humanity forward.
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    (Original post by Ultimate1)
    Postmodernism is a load of ****.

    Modernism is where it's at with knowledge, truth and logic at the forefront.
    For purely artistic reasons, I don't like logic at the forefront. Of course I don't hold this when it comes to medicine or anything physics-based like mechanics and biology and most engineering, but those aren't my interests and that's not what I'm talking about.

    Let me ask you, would you really let go of this:




    ... in favour of this:


    Art is all about enjoyment and experience.


    At least postmodernism has taken a decided step away from the horrors of efficiency being at the forefront. In my opinion.
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    A genre of literature and art, sometimes a reaction to modernism but often just rubbish with a fancy name. I think its artistic validity has worn pretty thin now.

    Check this out: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/ Refresh the page for more essays.

    EDIT: Despite what some here have said, the prefix 'post' doesn't necessarily mean afterwards. In literature, for example, there is a period of overlap. It often just means 'in reaction to'.
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    (Original post by emerset)
    For purely artistic reasons, I don't like logic at the forefront. Of course I don't hold this when it comes to medicine or anything physics-based like mechanics and biology and most engineering, but those aren't my interests and that's not what I'm talking about.

    Let me ask you, would you really let go of this:




    ... in favour of this:


    Art is all about enjoyment and experience.


    At least postmodernism has taken a decided step away from the horrors of efficiency being at the forefront. In my opinion.
    I think there's an elegance in the idea of "form follows function". Not that things should be designed on a purely functional basis with no room for aesthetics, but that decoration and elegance should be moulded around the purpose of the structure/object in question.

    There's beauty in efficiency, in being superbly adapted or optimally built for a purpose. So in the case of staircases/escalators, my reaction is determined by more than just which is prettier. The escalator, which carries feelings of scientific advancement, specialization, not holding on to the past (liberisation in a way), makes me find it the more attractive structure.
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    Postmodernism is in general the era that follows Modernism. It frequently serves as an ambiguous overarching term for skeptical interpretations of culture, literature, art, philosophy, economics, architecture, fiction, and literary criticism. It is also confused with deconstruction and post-structuralism because its usage as a term gained significant popularity at the same time as twentieth-century post-structural thought.
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    The progression from modernism (in any field), usually with emphasis on the subject (i.e., the observer) rather than the object (i.e., the text), leading to pieces of very ambiguous significance. At least, that's what I think it is.
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    (Original post by JuliusDS92)
    [...] So in the case of staircases/escalators, my reaction is determined by more than just which is prettier. The escalator, which carries feelings of scientific advancement, specialization, not holding on to the past (liberisation in a way), makes me find it the more attractive structure.
    Well if you prefer the escalator I have no hopes for you. I am not anti-intellectual I just make a clear distinction between aesthetics/beauty and function/efficiency.

    How far does your fascination for the practical go?

    Would you really prefer a quartz watch (which will gain or lose about half a second per day)



    over a mechanical watch? (which will gain or lose about 5 seconds per day on average)


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    I would describe it as the new age in society, the move away from modernity.
    Postmodernity is about media and individualism, new technologies!
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    An interesting question which deserves an answer. In my point of view a postmodern society begins from 21st century on, in which the european continent become to an union of countries, technologies and electronics are flourish. These changes changed the people and made the living conditions more modern than before.
 
 
 
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