In the age where media inhabits numerous conduits for the production of culture it is difficult to imagine culture without its mediated form, from television and comic books to fashion and postcards, culture is derived through a range of diverse vehicles. We experience our cultural life through media in various ways. Modern society is founded on universal law, enlightenment of reason and science is the solution to social problems, utopia is possible (except the poor will always be poor); Western-centric humanism will save the world; mass consumption means mass employment and modern society contained in the grand narrative of history.
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Progressive social transformation of the post-modern turn will take us on new adventures; resituating science, technology, society & capitalism into a multi-perspective and multi-disciplinary framework. One attempt to account for the emergence of post-modern condition is the shift during the 20th century of the economic needs of capitalism from production to consumption. Reality is what we see fit by these various forms of seductive illusion. The prefix ‘post’ clearly implies a break, a relation to a period that has happened before. In the case of post-modernism the previous period is undoubtedly ‘modernism’. Thus, postmodernism refers to a breakdown of the distinction between culture and society – emergence of a social order in which the importance and power of the mass media and popular culture means that they govern and shape all forms of social relationships. For Lyotard, a key post-modernism theorist, the post-modern condition is neither a periodizing concept nor does it refer to the institutional parameters of modernity and post-modernity. Rather it is: “â€¦the condition of knowledge in the most highly developed societies. I have decided to use the word post-modern to describe that conditionâ€¦ (it) designates the state of our culture following the transformations which, since the end if nineteenth century, have altered the rules for science, literature, and the arts” (Lyotard, 1991, pg xxiii) Lyotard refers to postmodernism as a loss of faith in meta-narratives, the big stories that have justified the rational, scientific, artistic and political world of the modern world. Rejection of all overarching and totalising thought; Marxism, liberalism, etc. that tell universal stories which organize and justify the everyday practices of a plurality of different stories (narratives); Science, which has developed importance since the Enlightenment, has assumed the status of a meta-narrative, organizing and validating other narratives on the road to liberation. Lyotard says “since Enlightenment status as a meta-narrative has waned.” Science is no longer seen to be making progress on behalf of mankind. It’s a breakdown in distinction between art and popular culture: there are no longer any agreed and definite criteria which serve to differentiate art from popular culture. For example, take Warhol – Velvet Underground art becomes increasingly integrated into the economy both because it is used to encourage people to consume through the expanded role it plays in advertising,
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