chapter  1
14 Pages

A Postmodern Umbrella: Language and Knowledge as Relational and Generative, and Inherently Transforming


A Postmodern Umbrella Postmodern is a term that refers both to the late-20th-century movements in art and architecture, and in contemporary French philosophy. Broadly speaking, I use postmodern to refer to a family of concepts that have developed among scholars within some social science and natural science disciplines that call for an ideological critique-a questioning perspective-of the relevance and consequences of foundational knowledge, metanarratives, and privileged discourses, including their certainty and power for our everyday lives. Specifi cally, postmodernism challenges these fundamental and legitimizing Truths with a capital “T” and the foundations on which they are generally based. Mainly, it challenges the truth and centrality of individual knowledge, an objective knowable world, and language as the carrier of truth (Gergen, 2001). Th e truths and the assumptions that fl ow from them are inherent in our everyday lives, and we oft en take them with passive acceptance or unwittingly for granted.