Postmodern Social Analysis and Criticism
Although postmodernism has had clear impact on literary criticism, the social and political implications of this philosophy have not been systematically investigated. Murphy's study is the first to bring a broad interdisciplinary perspective to the subject and to present postmodernism as a coherent social theory. Responding with compelling arguments to critics of postmodernism, Murphy develops a model that offers a viable alternative to traditional approaches to conceptualizing and studying social life.In an introductory chapter, Murphy looks at the differences between modernism and postmodernism and discusses the metanarratives that characterize the former. He goes on to clarify key assumptions and concepts, especially the postmodern opposition to the traditional Western separation of subject and object. In subsequent chapters, he describes the research methodology used by postmodernists, their views of social ontology and the relationship between order and structure, and the creation of socially responsible institutions. The postmodernists' reconceptualization of key aspects of cultural reality, including time, space, reason, and social relations, is examined in detail. Murphy concludes by exploring the political ramifications of the postmodernist model and its potential as a vehicle for building a genuinely democractic society. This study will be of particular interest to philosophers, economists, and sociologists concerned with contemporary developments in European social philosophy. It is relevant to courses or study in social theory and philosophy, communication theory, cultural criticism, and related fields.
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