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AS Sociology - Identity lesson 8

Postmodernist theory

Amanda Lane

on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of AS Sociology - Identity lesson 8

Identity and
Postmodernist Theory

The Media
Modernist Theory
Postmodernist Theory
is here
Theories such as Marxism, Functionalism, Feminism are examples of MODERNIST THEORY. They all identify an underlying 'structure' to society which can be identified and explained.
Marxism =
Functionalism =
Feminism =
Postmodernists argue that these underlying structures have now diminished due to the changing nature of society. In terms of identity, it is constantly changing. Our identities are constructed and reconstructed through consumerism and symbols. Our identity is fluid and fragmented; we can play around with it as we have so much choice available to us.
The changing nature of technology has allowed our lives to be saturated with media influence.
Modernist theories have stated that the media has either reflected reality (Functionalism) or distorted reality (Marxism). Postmodernist theory argues that the development of the media has created new realities.
The changing nature of the internet has encouraged new identities to be formed. Social network sites have allowed people to interpret new ideas about themselves.
What is it about social network sites that challenge modernist theories?
In postmodern society, the media has saturated our consciousness, providing us with new 'hyper-realities'. Virtual worlds where we have assumed an identity for ourselves that only exists online, and not in the real world.
Conflicts between the real and the hyper-real.....
According to postmodernist theory, identity is no longer entirely bound by social structures such as class, gender, age, religion, ethnicity or disability. Identity is not fixed and is constantly changing.
We assume an identity but don't really know why.
Bradley (1997)
3 Levels of Identity
We assume an identity because it has a meaning or purpose.
An identity that we feel passionately about and have very strong views towards.
Post modernist theory on identity
Full transcript