COMPARING MODERISM TO POST MODERNISM The following is a compilation by a previous coordinator of SSK12, Phil Arena – it is material on the Modernist

view and Postmodernist view which might be useful. A. Comparison 1. A modernist view is fixed as opposed to the postmodernist view that it is changing/able and fluid depending on external environment and time. There are many other differences between modernism and postmodernism – the main one being that modernism is based on paradigms while postmodernism has a pluralistic (plural = many) approach to knowledge, encompassing all. In Medieval times, God was the one overarching being that provided the answers to whatever we sought. When Modernism became more 'fashionable' at about the time of the Enlightenment or Scientific Revolution.....God was 'replaced' by the ideas of science and technology. Humans, in times of crises, were just as likely or more likely to turn to Science for their answers rather than to God. In Modernism, a person has an essential self and as Rogers (1967) describes, this self can be discovered through therapy. Postmodernists on the other hand, believe that the self is 'constructed' by social and cultural influences. One can have many selves, paralleling their varied lives (see the article by Turkle (1995) and decide what the main point of this reading is - and supporting points, which all point to a postmodern view). ------------------------------Comparison 2. A. Modernist view

We have a ‘true self’. I can use a rational (scientific) approach to analyse and work out who I ‘really’ am, including what my emotions tell me about myself [see Rogers]. In this way it is possible to progress to become more consistent, to discover the ‘real me’ underlying all my different roles. Society and culture have an impact on me and helps shape who I am, but in the end I am an autonomous individual. There are also ‘grand universal theories’, such as Freudian psychology, which are capable of explaining how human beings develop their individual identities. For example… I am a mother with a baby and a concerned environmentalist, I need to work out what I really believe in – will I use disposable nappies, or should I absolutely not do this? B. Postmodernist view

always changing M. For example.notion of a unified self. M. especially through the language and discourses available to me. Rogers –therapy) PoMod. Who I see myself as being is ‘relational’ – it depends on how I compare myself to others. However. Instead of roles.self is by its nature. since these enable me to think and talk about some things and are silent about others. I can choose to take a stand and act in a certain way. Modern Self – essential self that you can discover (eg. I am fragmented. on the groups I do and do not identify with in any given place or time [see the Health Report].psychology helps construct or create the subject – gives you the language to define yourself. M.Any idea that we have a ‘true self’ is an illusion. I am a mother with a baby and a concerned environmentalist. fragmented (a repertoire of selves or subjectivities) M-progress towards an ideal. Society and culture ‘construct’ my sense of an identity. A whole person PM. Charting the differences between modernism and postmodernism (in relation to the concept of self). ---------------Comparison 3. depending on my situation [see Turkle]. I do not need to work out what I really believe in but can accept that I am inconsistent. even while knowing that there is no ‘grand truth’ about me or the world. towards what you want PM. the way I operate is more like having a variety of windows open on my computer and clicking back and forth between them all.use of autobiography to tell your story M.no progress. and the fragments are sometimes consistent and sometimes not.Self is continually in flux. radical doubt.must conform to the norm of the good student (see Grant and disciplined students) PM-different possibilities for being students .Rogers) PoModern Self – self is constructed by culture Mod – psychology helps in discovery of the true self (eg.help you discover yourself PM – help you construct yourself.Striving for self development PM.use of story in journals and autobiography to discover your self PM. uncertainty M.

inconsistent. mind and body interlinked but separate PM. ----------------I hope this is useful. if you take a stand.linear. this is a constructed choice which does not have the status of truth.grand universal truths or narratives (theories or belief systems which can explain everything for everyone.often relies on binaries and dualities (eg.mind and body can’t be separated M.even apparent biological basics such as gender are not fixed.emotions.no grand narratives.their meaning varies according to time and place. male-female) PM. Regards Phil (E-tutor) . non-linear. continuous PM. so some knowledge systems are better than others) PM. decentered (see Turkle) M. M.M.

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