Images of Postmodern Society: Social Theory and Contemporary Cinema

Images of Postmodern Society: Social Theory and Contemporary Cinema

by Norman K. Denzin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0803985150

ISBN-13: 9780803985155

Pub. Date: 09/26/1991

Publisher: SAGE Publications

The idea of postmodernism poses a fundamental challenge to established modes of understanding society. Postmodern theory represents individuals in the contemporary world as voyeurs adrift in a sea of symbols, knowing and seeing themselves through mediated images from cinema and television.

In this book Norman Denzin uses a series of studies of contemporary

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Overview

The idea of postmodernism poses a fundamental challenge to established modes of understanding society. Postmodern theory represents individuals in the contemporary world as voyeurs adrift in a sea of symbols, knowing and seeing themselves through mediated images from cinema and television.

In this book Norman Denzin uses a series of studies of contemporary mainstream Hollywood movies to explore the tension between ideas of the postmodern, and traditional ways of analyzing society. The discussion moves between two forms of text: social theory, and cinematic representations of contemporary life. Denzin analyzes the ideas of society embedded in poststructuralism, postmodernism, feminism, cultural studies and Marxism through the ideas of key theorists (Mills, Baudrillard, Barthes, Habermas, Jameson, Bourdieu, Derrida and others). He relates these ideas to the problematic of the postmodern self as exposed in cinema - Blue Velvet, Wall Street, Crimes and Misdemeanors, When Harry Met Sally, sex lies and videotape, Do the Right Thing - centering on the decisive performance of race, gender and class.

Images of Postmodern Society moves beyond a simply theoretical analysis of postmodernism to show how it relates to a series of key texts in contemporary life. In doing so, it demonstrates the challenge of postmodernism to classical sociological ways of representing and writing about the dramaturgical, cinematic society. The insights of this approach will appeal to students and researchers not only in sociology and cultural studies but also in philosophy, film theory and across social sciences and humanities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803985155
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
09/26/1991
Series:
Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society Series, #11
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvi
Prefacevii
Part 1The Postmodern
1Defining the Postmodern Terrain1
2Postmodern Social Theory20
3Takes on the Postmodern: Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Jameson29
4Learning from Mills53
Part 2Learning From Cinema
5Wild about Lynch: Beyond Blue Velvet65
6Nouveau Capitalists on Wall Street82
7Crimes and Misdemeanors in Manhattan95
8The Postmodern Sexual Order: Sex, Lies, and Yuppie Love107
9Do the Right Thing: Race in the USA125
10Paris, Texas: Mills and Baudrillard in America137
11In Conclusion: The Eye of the Postmodern149
References158
Index175
About the Author180

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