chapter  3
15 Pages

What is so terrible about postmodernity?

The topic of the postmodern has been a fertile area of debate among critical thinkers for the past twenty years or so. Much of that debate has centred upon the precise definition of ‘postmodern’. As a general rule, most thinkers use the term ‘postmodernity’ to refer to the historical and social epoch in which we now live, and ‘postmodernism’ to designate the cultural response to that epoch. The term ‘postmodernist’ is usually used purely as the adjectival form of ‘postmodernism’, while ‘postmodern’ is sometimes employed just to describe aspects of ‘postmodernity’ and sometimes to describe aspects of ‘postmodernism’ too. If the interchangeability of these terms can often lead to confusion, in all cases what is clear is that by employing the term ‘postmodern’ (in whatever form) the writer concerned is indicating that he or she thinks there has been a substantial mutation or change in either the socio-economic basis of our lives and/or in the cultural response to that new basis.