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Postmodernism Essay

812 words - 4 pages

Society has now entered a new postmodern age and we need new theories to understand it, assess this view (33 marks)

Most meta-narrative theories such as Functionalism and Marxism can be described as 'modernist' theories in that they explain the workings of 'modern society'. Modern society first emerged in Western Europe from about the late 18th century following the industrial revolution and the mass industrialisation of the western world. Modern can be distinguished from previous traditional societies in a number of ways. Firstly, the nation-state is the key political unit in modern society, we tend to think of the modern world as made up of a series of separate societies, ...view middle of the document...

These massive scientific and technological advances all being funded my the organised capitalism of the nation-state within modern society. Modern society also places less importance on tradition, custom and ascribed status. Instead, we experience greater personal freedom and can increasingly choose our own course in life and define our own identity. However structural inequalities such as class remain important in shaping peoples identity and restricting their choice.
Many sociologists argue that we are now increasingly affected by globalisation – the increasing interconnectedness of people across national boundaries. We live in one interdependent 'global village' and our lives are shaped by a global framework. There are several changes in modern society that have brought about this change. Due to massive technological advances, an atmosphere of 'time-space compression' has occurred; continents can be crossed in a matter of hours, information can be exchanged across the globe by the click of a mouse and what would have been local news in the past has become global. But technology has also brought risks to society on a global scale. The push for greener, more efficient energy has lead to some nations taking on nuclear power programmes but this places the world at risk of a nuclear meltdown such as the one that occurred in Chernobyl. Ulrich Beck argues that we are now living in a risk society, where increasingly the threats to our wellbeing come from human made technology rather that natural disasters. Economic factors play a huge part in globalisation. Due to technological changes, the global economy is increasingly a...

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