Time to reconsider postmodernism.
I want to completely drop post-modernism from my sociological theory teaching. Here’s my argument.
First, a definition. I’ll call someone post-modern if (a) they claim to be post-modern, (b) place themselves within a post-structuralist tradition, or (c) are arguing with post-modernists. This would include Lyotard, Giddens (in his is radical modernity text), Jameson, Derrida and all deconstructionists such as De Man, Foucault, Flax, Baudrillard, the various feminists and sexuality theorists who argue with Foucault. I don’t include people who are just “fancy Europeans,” such as Bourdieu, who never called himself post-modernist and stems from an earlier modernist sociological tradition.
Here are my reasons for cutting post-modernism theory (PMT):
- Professional: American sociology is not really focused on PMT. The major journals simply do not publish much on PMT, at least since the mid-1990s or so. The major books in our field tend not to be the massive “theory” volumes of the…
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