Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the by Steven Connor

By Steven Connor

Filenote: PDF retail from ebsco. PDF is ebsco's reflow pdf, so now not the good PDF imprint. Paginated.

In this thoroughly revised and significantly expanded new edition, Steven Connor considers the new paintings of the main influential postmodern theorists, together with Lyotard and Jameson, and gives money owed either one of the paintings of newly rising theorists and new parts of postmodernist tradition that have built during the last decade, particularly in legislation, tune, dance, spatial idea, ethnography, ecology, and the recent applied sciences.

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Additional resources for Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary (2nd Edition)

Example text

And if it is, then, as we shall see, this shift of emphasis might just as well be seen as a symptom of that decline rather than as its cause.  None of these language­games has recourse any longer to external principles of justice or authority; in this situation, the goal is 'no longer truth but performativity' (PC, 46) — no longer what kind of research will lead to the discovery of verifiable facts, but what kind of research will work best, where 'working best' means producing more research along the same lines, and increasing the opportunities for more increases; that is to say, increasing the performance and operational output of the system of scientific knowledge.

Romantically sure that 'invention is always born of dissension', Lyotard is confident that 'postmodern knowledge is not simply a tool of the authorities; it refines our sensitivity to differences and reinforces our ability to tolerate the incommensurable' (PC, xxv).  This lack of engagement with the specific detail of Lyotard's claims about science, and the willingness of his readers to slide his analysis from one realm, the realm of scientific knowledge, to a host of other realms, is rather worrying.

So the analysis which mourns the ghostly ineffectuality of the academy ends up not only giving the intellectual a central place in the struggle to bring about micropolitical multiplicity, but also, by transforming the field of postmodern society into an aesthetic field, giving the illusion of analytic dominion over it.  At the same time, in Lyotard's formulation it allows for a glamorously self­promoting vision of oppositional avant­garde practice, in which the institutions themselves are the places of difference, plurality and instability.

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