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Assess the view that we are now living in a new post-modern era

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Introduction

´╗┐Assess the view that we are now living in a new post-modern era The postmodernist theory of society states that we have reached a state in society by which we have surpassed the modern era. Modernism is the idea that society has become industrialised and that we live in a materialistic society. The modern era, according to modernist theorists, is one based around science and the development of intellectual thinking; this stands in stark contrast to pre-modern society in which understanding and the rules of society were based around religion. A postmodern era implies one that is in a state of uncertainty and chaos by way of social structures in society. Postmodernists would argue that the modern social structures within society are very rapidly breaking down. They would argue, and there is much evidence within society today for this, that structures such as the family are breaking down and collapsing. Families now, in comparison to society 20 or 30 years ago, have become weak and almost unimportant. In previous years, it would be considered out of the ordinary for people to grow up without getting married and having children; however, in current ?postmodern? society it is almost the norm. ...read more.

Middle

This supporting evidence within society also implies that a view on a new postmodern era may well be an accurate and successful one. This idea of social class and background is also one that is tackled by postmodern theorists; they would argue that social class, much like the structure of the family, is breaking down and becoming blurred. There are no longer distinct differences, according to a postmodernist, between the classes within society and they believe it would be foolish in current society to label its members as ?working class? or ?middle class?; we are simply as successful in life as we wish to be. However, this argument may be disputed in society, there is evidence to suggest that the distinction between classes within society is still very much clear-cut and significant. The significance of these separations is apparent within many social institutions, such as the educational system and more predominantly within the politics of the UK. Many commentators suggest that, although the politics of our society is changing, there is still a significant culture within society which is put in place by the elite to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. ...read more.

Conclusion

Identity, according to Baudrillard, is now significantly influenced, if not absolutely created, by the media and we have lost the sense of unique personhood and independence within society. Bauman argues that life in a post-modern society resembles a shopping centre; where people can stroll around, consuming whatever they like and constructing whatever identities they choose. This idea of ?Pick ?n? Mix identities? indicates a move towards a new postmodern era, implying that a view in line with such theories would be accurate. To conclude, I would argue that the view that we are now living in a new postmodern era is one that holds considerable amount of substance and is very much believable, but is also one that contains its flaws. However, no sociological theory is perfect; the postmodern belief is one that is supported heavily by evidence within society and one that is believable to modern (or postmodern) man. The factors that indicate an end to the modern era are very much there for us as individuals to identify and it simply takes a directed look at society to make them appear to us. ...read more.

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