"A book well worth reading as its expose of postmoderism has a clarity others would do well to imitate." --Tim Gay in NATFHE Journal Blue Velvet, sex, lies and videotape, Do the Right Thing, and Wall Street are just some of the provocative films that Denzin explores for their portrayal of the postmodern self. He examines the basic thesis that members of the contemporary world are voyeurs who, adrift in a sea of symbols, recognize and anchor themselves through cinema and (...) television. He skillfully weaves this idea back and forth between two kinds of texts: social theory, including poststructuralism, postmodernism, feminism, and marxism; and cinematic representations of life in modern America. The result is a solid assertion that postmodernism has shaped a dramaturgical society where the image has tragically replaced reality. Denzin offers a powerful reading of postmodern American society and the cinematic selves, however distorted, that inhabit this fantasy world. At the same time, he outlines the main contours of postmodern sociology and a postmodern sociological imagination that is responsive to the current historical moment. Images of Postmodern Society will play a key role in understanding the powerful relationship between postmodernism and the cinema for upper level graduates, gradate students, and contemporary scholars of cultural studies, communications, political science, anthropology, sociology, education, history, literary and cinema studies. "The book could be usefully incorporated into undergraduate sociology courses, particularly those that consider media and society, where it might serve as a basis for further discussion and examination of some important issues." --Journal of Communication "Images of Postmodern Society is a good book on two different levels. First, Denzin advances his own theory of postmodernism and, more specifically, of what he calls the "postmodern self," that is interesting and provocative. Second, this is one of the few books on postmodernity that is truly practical, in the sense that the book would be quite a good text to use in courses on the subject, whether they be in philosophy, sociology, film and media studies, cultural studies, and perhaps even anthropology. . . . I would certainly like to use the book for this purpose myself, and I would recommend the book for that purpose to colleagues in the departments mentioned." --Bill Martin, Philosophy Department, DePaul University "Denzin uncovers a profoundly important tension in postmodern culture . . . His work, then, demonstrates that the 'abundance of meaning' found in these films lies in the collision of modernist and postmodernist depictions of cultural practice." --Contemporary Sociology "Norman Denzin, one of the most interesting theorists and ethnographers in American sociology, has turned his critical eye to postmodern theory and contemporary American culture and society. Revitalizing Mills' sociological imagination, Denzin addresses the relations between Hollywood films of the 1980s, their constructions of self, and the structures of lived experience. He offers a postmodern sociology which addresses the increasingly conservative basis of postmodern ideologies of race, class, and gender. It offers an original postmodern critique of the postmodern. Images of Postmodern Society should be and will be widely read and discussed." --Larry Grossberg, University of Illinois. (shrink)
New and Emerging Science and Technology (NEST) based innovations, e.g. in the field of Life Sciences or Nanotechnology, frequently raise societal and political concerns. To address these concerns NEST researchers are expected to deploy socially responsible R&D practices. This requires researchers to integrate social and ethical aspects (SEAs) in their daily work. Many methods can facilitate such integration. Still, why and how researchers should and could use SEAs remains largely unclear. In this paper we aim to relate motivations (...) for NEST researchers to include SEAs in their work, and the requirements to establish such integration from their perspectives, to existing approaches that can be used to establish integration of SEAs in the daily work of these NEST researchers. Based on our analyses, we argue that for the successful integration of SEAs in R&D practice, collaborative approaches between researchers and scholars from the social sciences and humanities seem the most successful. The only way to explore whether that is in fact the case, is by embarking on collaborative research endeavours. (shrink)
There is a growing conflict between modern and postmodern social theorists. The latter reject modern approaches as economistic, essentialist and often leading to authoritarian policies. Modernists criticize postmodern approaches for their rejection of holistic conceptual frameworks which facilitate an overall picture of how social wholes (organizations, communities, nation-states, etc.) are constituted, reproduced and transformed. They believe the rejection of holistic methodologies leads to social myopia - a refusal to explore critically the type of broad problems that classical (...) sociology deals with. This book attempts to bridge the divide between these two conflicting perspectives and proposes a novel holistic framework which is neither reductionist/economistic nor essentialist. Modern and Postmodern Social Theorizing will appeal to scholars and students of social theory and of social sciences in general. (shrink)
Drawing on postmodernist analyses, Leaky Bodies and Boundaries presents a feminist investigation into the marginalization of women within western discourse that denies both female moral agency and bodylines. With reference to contemporary and historical issues in biomedicine, the book argues that the boundaries of both the subject and the body are no longer secure. The aim is both to valorize women and to suggest that "leakiness" may be the very ground for a postmodern feminist ethic. The contribution made by Margrit (...) Shildrick is to go beyond modernist feminisms to radically displace the mechanisms by which women are devalued. The anxiety that postmodernism cannot yield an ethics, nor advance feminist concerns is addressed. (shrink)
This ground-breaking volume brings together the essays of top theorists including Arjo Klamer, Deirdre McCloskey, Julie Nelson, Shuan Hargreaves-Heap and Philip Mirowski on a diverse range of topics such as gender, post-colonial theory, rationality, and modernism.
This important Manifesto argues that we still need a concept of society in order to make sense of the forces which structure our lives. Written by leading social theorist William Outhwaite Asks if the notion of society is relevant in the twenty-first century Goes to the heart of contemporary social and political debate Examines critiques of the concept of society from neoliberals, postmodernists, and globalization theorists.
Jean-Francois Lyotard is often considered to be the father of postmodernism. Here leading experts in the field of cultural and philosophical studies, including Barry Smart, John O' Neill and Victor J. Seidler, tackle many of the questions still being asked about this controversial figure.
This paper argues that one can empirically test, via positivist methods, the post-modern attack on positivist epistemologies: Postmodern perspectives hold Knowledge and Truth to be intersubjective, consensus-driven social constructions. But traditional scientific approaches to knowledge, exemplified here by the cognitive social psychology of persuasion, seem oblivious to this and continue to detach the study of attitudes, beliefs, and emotions from that of knowledge, facts, and reason. Abandoning these artificial distinctions in both epistemology and method would enable this (...) class='Hi'>social psychology, reconstituted as a Sociology of Persuasion, to contribute greatly to illuminating the processes of Truth and Knowledge construction in social interaction. Moreover, this would facilitate academic engagement in civic discourse. (shrink)
This unique volume presents a debate between four of the top feminist theorists in the US today, discussing the key questions facing contemporary feminist theory, responding to each other, and distinguishing their views from others.
Why do most of us consider ourselves free but also believe there is little we can change in the way the world is run - individually, severally, or even collectively? Why has the growth of individual freedom coincided with the growth of collective impotence? Bauman argues that this condition hangs on the agora - the space where private and public meet to seek the creation of 'public good', a 'just society', or 'shared values'. The problem is that little remains of (...) such old style spaces. We cannot, he argues, overcome our collective impotence without resorting to politics and using the vehicle of political agency. Three orientation points for a reconstruction of politics are suggested: the republican model of the state and of citizenship, basic income as a universal entitlement, and re-enabling the institutions of autonomous society by catching up with the controlling extraterritorial powers in an age of globalization. (shrink)
Are we in a post-feminist era? Has the term, feminist, grown out of its resisted stance? What from today's standpoint is an appropriate concept of feminist philosophy? And is it not the case that all people thinking democratically must share its central concern? In Feminist Philosophy , internationally acclaimed philosopher Herta Nagl-Docekal discusses and critiques the theories of today. Her study ranges across philosophical anthropology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, the critique of reason, political theory, and philosophy of law. Feminist Philosophy (...) confronts the entire field with the problem of the hierarchical relations of the sexes. Throughout her work, Nagl-Docekal affirms the importance of feminist thought as she presses for new approaches to common problems. (shrink)
Nanotechnology is an important platform technology which will add new features like improved biocompatibility, smaller size, and more sophisticated electronics to neuro-implants improving their therapeutic potential. Especially in view of possible advantages for patients, research and development of nanotechnologically improved neuro implants is a moral obligation. However, the development of brain implants by itself touches many ethical, social and legal issues, which also apply in a specific way to devices enabled or improved by nanotechnology. For researchers developing nanotechnology such (...) issues are rather distant from their daily work in the lab, but as soon as they use their materials or devices in medical applications such as therapy of brain diseases they have to be aware of and deal with them. This paper is intended to raise sensitivity for the ethical, legal and socialaspects (ELSA) involved in applying nanotechnology in brain implants or other devices by highlighting the short term problems of testing and clinical trials within the existing regulatory frameworks (A), the short and medium-term questions of risks in the application of the devices (B) and the long-term perspectives related to problems of enhancement (C). To identify and address such issues properly nanotechnologists should involve ethical, legal and social experts and regulatory bodies in their research as early as possible. This will help to remove pressure from regulatory bodies, to settle public concern and to prevent non-acceptable developments for the benefit of the patients. (shrink)
To design effective and socially sensitive systems, engineers must be able to integrate a technology-based approach to engineering problems with concerns for social impact and the context of use. The conventional approach to engineering education is largely technology-based, and even when additional courses with a social orientation are added, engineering graduates are often not well prepared to design user- and context-sensitive systems. Using data from interviews with three engineering students who had significant exposure to a socially-oriented perspective on (...) production systems design, this paper argues that engineering students may have difficulty integrating in their own practice the technology-based and the socially-oriented perspectives on production. To enhance engineering students' ability to create systems that integrate both perspectives, and to relieve the intense cognitive and emotional pain that can be experienced by students exposed to both perspectives but unable to reconcile them, this paper reinforces the importance of teaching students the meta skill, design. A design perspective can help students integrate varied, sometimes conflicting, perspectives, and reach beyond customer-defined constraints to consider workplace and social impact. (shrink)
Understanding Experience: Psychotherapy and Postmodernism is a collection of innovative interdisciplinary essays that explore the way we experience and interact with each other and the world around us. The authors address the postmodern debate in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis through clinical and theoretical discussion and offer a view of the person that is unique and relevant today. The clinical work of Binswanger, Boss, Fromm, Fromm-Reichmann, Laing, and Lacan is considered alongside the theories of Buber, Heidegger, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre and others. (...) Combining clinical data from psychotherapy and psychoanalysis with insights from European philosophy, this book seeks to fill a major gap in the debate over postmodernism and bridges the paradigmatic divide between the behavioural sciences and the human sciences. It will be of great interest to clinicians and students of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis who wish to come to terms with postmodernism, as well as those interested in theinteraction of psychoanalysis, philosophy and social theory. experience. (shrink)
There is a confusion over and inchoate understanding of how the past is made understandable through postmodernist historical orientation. The purpose of the article is to outline the characteristic features of the postmodernist movement in social sciences, to explain its confrontation with history, to document its critique of the conventional practice of history, and to discuss its implications for history education. The postmodernist challenge to the foundations of the discipline of history is elucidated with an emphasis on its epistemological (...) underpinnings. Implications of postmodernism for the teaching and learning of history are discussed. (shrink)
This article begins with clarification of the notion of progress. The author believes that it is possible to consider progress objectively, if by progress we understand a positive change in the effectiveness of something. He mentions two types of progress: progress of improvement and progress of augmentation. He then distinguishes evaluative from reflective philosophy. Evaluative philosophy gives answers to the second and third of Kant's famous three questions; reflective philosophy answers the first, dealing with the limits of human knowledge. Progress (...) in evaluative philosophy takes the form of augmentation. But in reflective philosophy it could take the form of improvement. The author believes, however, that it is not an easy task to improve contemporary social philosophy. Three main obstacles are: the “anthropological turn” in philosophy, the challenge of postmodernism, and the turning of social philosophy into a kind of useful knowledge. (shrink)
In the epistemological context of theory transferand scientific exchanges, the aim of this paper is to indicate the presence of Weberian categories and ideas on dependency theory formulated by Fernando Cardosoand Enzo Faletto. Here we see how the construction of this paradigm was based on some issues, concepts, approaches and orientations of the Weberian research program formulated by José Medina Echavarría to explain Latin American development. We will also consider the contexts of enunciation and reception theories, allowing us to talk (...) about the "sociological school" that was formed in the Social Planning Division of ILPES in mid-sixties, crucial for understanding the history of sociology in Latin America. En el contexto de la discusión epistemológica sobre el examen de las transferencias y los intercambios científicos de las teorías, el objetivo de este artículo es señalar la presencia de categorías e ideas weberianas en lateoría de la dependencia formulada por Fernando Cardoso y Enzo Faletto. Aquí veremos cómo la construcción de este paradigma se sustentó en algunos temas, conceptos, enfoques y orientaciones del programa de investigación weberiano formulado por José Medina Echavarría para explicar el desarrollo latinoamericano. También tendremos en cuenta los contextos de enunciación y de recepción de las teorías, lo que nos permitirá hablar de la "escuela sociológica" que se formó en la División de Planificación Social del ILPES a mitad de los años 60, decisiva para comprender la historia de la sociología en América Latina. (shrink)
This is an exploratory study to examine the social and cultural determinants of the teaching of HIV/AIDS sex education among secondary school teachers in Eastern Nigeria. The research analyses how teachers perceive passing their knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention measures to their students in the context of their cultural and social norms, which restrict open discussion of sex. This is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 60 teachers drawn from secondary school teachers in Eastern Nigeria, supplemented with (...) five focus group discussions, and content analysis of teachers’ lesson preparatory notes. The findings show a high level knowledge of HIV/AIDS preventive measures among teachers. However, teachers are not passing on this knowledge because of cultural and social inhibitions. In addition, teachers have not been receiving adequate training and motivation on information, education and communication for HIV/AIDS sex education. The situation calls for serious policy intervention. (shrink)
A brief account is given of Pyrrhonian scepticism, as portrayed by Sextus Empiricus. This scepticism differs significantly from the views commonly attributed to 'the sceptic' which take scepticism to be a view or philosophical position to the effect that there can be no knowledge. The Pyrrhonist makes no philosophical assertions, because he does not find the arguments in favor of any position to be decisively stronger than the arguments against. Objections to scepticism, for instance that the sceptic cannot consistently show (...) trust and confidence, that he must ignore the obvious achievements of science, and that he cannot distinguish between appearance and reality, are found to be indecisive in the case of Pyrrhonism. After submitting Pyrrhonism to criteria of positive mental health, the author concludes by suggesting there are cases where a sceptical bent of mind should be encouraged. (shrink)
Public goods, as well as commercial commodities, are affected by exclusive arrangements secured by intellectual property (IP) rights. These rights serve as an incentive to invest human and material capital in research and development. Particularly in the life sciences, IP rights regulate objects such as food and medicines that are key to securing human rights, especially the right to adequate food and the right to health. Consequently, IP serves private (economic) and public interests. Part of this charge claims that the (...) current IP regime is privatizing the very building blocks of research and development – that used to be part of the commons. The public domain, in contrast to the private domain, may be the locus of much more diverse forms of creativity that at the same time ensures a wider plurality of productive traditions. An IP regime must support a sense of public morality because it is dependent upon civil support. This inevitably prompts questions of what are “good” exclusive rights and what are “bad” exclusive rights, and how shall such IP rights be developed. We argue that the democratization of the current IP regimes is an important first step to respond to these issues. (shrink)