The Condition Of Postmodernity Essay

3483 words - 14 pages

Book Review: The Condition of Postmodernity, David Harvey is well-known in social theory circles for books like Social Justice and the City (1973), The Limits to Capital (1982), The Urbanization of Capital (1985), and Consciousness and The Urban Experience (1985) -- all seminal attempts to chart the relatively new and unexplored interface between political economy and urban geography. The Condition of Postmodernity is a significant new work by Harvey that situates postmodern theory within a broad social context. Harvey's main argument is that, beginning around 1972, there has been a "sea-change" in political, economic, and cultural practices, involving the emergence of a new postmodern sensibility in numerous fields and disciplines. Harvey relates postmodern developments to shifts in the organization of capitalism and new forms of time-space experience. Working from Marxist premises, his argument is similar to Fredric Jameon's claim that postmodernism is "the cultural logic of late-capitalism," with the difference that Harvey provides considerably more empirical support for this view.To understand postmodernism and postmodernity, one first has to understand modernism and modernity, and Harvey provides good accounts of the major sources of modern ideas and the key structural features of modernity. Harvey's basic approach to postmodernism is sound. Rather than rejecting postmodern developments as superficial and merely transitory, he believes they represent a new paradigm of thought and cultural practice that requires serious attention. At the same time, he avoids exaggerating the novelty of postmodern developments and sees both continuities and discontinuies with modern practices. Postmodernism represents not a complete rupture from modernism, but a new "cultural dominant" where elements that could be found in modernism appear in postmodernism with added emphasis and intensity. As he puts it, where a modernist like Baudelaire tried to combine in a modern aesthetic both the eternal and the transitory, the whole and the fragmentary, postmodernism rejects all attempts to represent the immutable or ordered patterns and totalities, in order to revel in flux, fragments, difference, and chaos.Harvey is neither overly uncritical nor celebratory toward postmodernism. He criticizes postmodernism for being too nihilistic and for embracing aesthetics over ethics. Postmodernism avoids the realities of political economy and global capitalism and precludes the possibility of a positive politics informed by normative principles. Moreover, Harvey finds that postmodernists provide a caricatured account of modern cultural and theoretical practices. Harvey objects to the assimilation of a wide variety of modern architectural forms to the debacle of housing projects such as Pruitt-Igoe, and he claims modernists found ways to contain explosive and anarchic forms of capitalist development. Also, he believes that the "meta-narratives that the post-modernists decry (Marx,...

Find Another Essay On The condition of postmodernity

HIV and the Condition of AIDS

1559 words - 6 pages Introduction HIV has been a major global issue for over 100 years. It is estimated that 1.6 million people died as a result of this virus in 2012 (“Fact sheet”, 2012). Due to statistics such as the one I just cited, I decided to write this review essay on HIV and the condition of AIDS. As an up and coming scientist, I feel it is imperative that we strive to grow in our understanding of diseases, such as AIDS, so that we can do our part in

Hobbes' View of the Natural Condition of Mankind

889 words - 4 pages Hobbes' View of the Natural Condition of Mankind Hobbes’ view of the natural Condition of mankind is a survival of the fittest, which involves many different qualities of ‘power’ a man can use to his advantage. Hobbes categorizes 2 basic types of power. Natural Powers and Instrumental powers. The former being produced by faculties of the mind, and body and the ladder are obtained through either the use of Natural

Plato's Allegory Of The Cave Compared To The Human Condition

1006 words - 4 pages , of reality, is transformed. They come to see a deeper, more genuine, authentic reality: a reality marked by reason. The individual then makes the painful readjustment back into the darkness of the cave to free the prisoners. However, because he now seems mad -describing a new strange reality - they reject him to the point of threatening to kill him. Plato抯 Allegory of the Cave is a direct representation of the human condition, the

Egotistic Desire: The Crux of the Human Condition

1522 words - 7 pages of the human condition for personal profit as Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme prior to the real estate crisis of 2008. During the years leading up to and encompassing the stock market bubble, Madoff was in control of one of the largest hedge fund investing companies in the world. He singlehandedly embezzled seventeen point five billion dollars and destroyed the livelihood of hundreds of his hedge fund investors. Not paying heed to the repercussions

The Human Condition: Literature Pinpoints the Purpose of Living

1985 words - 8 pages “‘What is the purpose of all this?’ he asked politely. ‘Everything must have a purpose?’ asked God. ‘Certainly,’ said man. ‘Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,’ said God” (“Quotes About Purpose"). Whether it is the brushing of one’s teeth, or commuting to work for five days a week, it is the condition of human beings to place purpose upon parts of their lives. Without purpose, life is but a meaningless existence. There must be

The Use of Ultrasonic Testing in Condition Monitoring

1011 words - 5 pages The use of ultrasonic testing in condition monitoring is a relatively new method in the field of condition monitoring. It monitors the high frequencies sound that is generated by plant machines and systems. Ultrasonic sound is not audible by the human ear, and occurs at a frequency above 20 kHz. The different ultrasonic equipment records ultrasonic sound between 20 kHz and 100 kHz. There exist two types of ultrasonic monitoring, airborne and

Encephalitis: Causes, Progression and Treatment of the Condition

1794 words - 7 pages Introduction Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain due to a viral infection (infectious) or when the immune system mistakenly begins to attack brain tissue (autoimmune encephalitis) (Clinic, 2011). Encephalitis is sometimes considered an “acute” condition as the term means it happens abruptly, develops rapidly and requires urgent care (Clinic, 2011). This infection is not very common as statistics show that encephalitis occurs in

The Language of the Black Condition and All Conditions: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask”

1112 words - 4 pages Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear The Mask” cleverly talks of the black condition in a language so universal that it could apply to any race of people that tries to hide their emotions from the world in order to survive. Dunbar argues for the reality of the black man’s plight in America, the black man's struggle for equality in the world, and the struggle for peace within. These are circumstances of the poet’s life that influenced his

Existentialist Perception Of The Human Condition: With Special Reference To Sartre

2431 words - 10 pages Existentialist Perception Of The Human Condition: With Special Reference To Sartre ABSTRACT: Existentialism lays stress on the existence of humans; Sartre believed that human existence is the result of chance or accident. There is no meaning or purpose of our lives other than what our freedom creates, therefore, we must rely on our own resources. Sartre thought that existence manifests itself in the choice of actions, anxiety and freedom of

Compare the condition of white indentured servant with that of the slave in the seventeen- century Caribbean

1871 words - 7 pages that of indentured servants. The condition of the white indentured servant in comparison with that of the black slave in the seventeenth-century Caribbean is an interesting situation that can be seen in terms of what the Planters had to gain from each group of labourers and how expendable they were considered to be. The issue of freedom and its implications is a central one in this contrast as it is the fundamental dividing factor between white

What is the nature of the human condition of Prufrock, depicted in the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by Eliot, T.S. 1917, and how has the composer succeeded in presenting that condition?

907 words - 4 pages J.Alfred Prufrock is not expressed by the subject himself, but by the author, T.S. Eliot. He did so in a way which Prufrock could not have done himself, thus placing Prufrock into an objective view, presenting the actual condition of Prufrock without bias. By not commenting on Prufrock directly himself, Eliot gives the reader an opportunity to draw his or her own conclusions from the monologue, adding meaning to the poem and rewarding the reader. The

Similar Essays

The Effects Of Postmodernity On Masculinity

1919 words - 8 pages Over time, the United States has experienced dramatic social and cultural changes. As the culture of the United States has transformed, so have the members of the American society. Film, as with all other forms of cultural expression, oftentimes reflects and provides commentary on the society in which it is produced. David Fincher’s 1999 film Fight Club examines the effects of postmodernity on masculinity. To examine and explicate these effects

The Psychosocial Impact Of A Skin Condition

930 words - 4 pages is also that of the lowered self-esteem of the individual. To garner apposite knowledge, the task at hand required the interviewing of a person with a skin condition with the aim to internalise and reflect upon the biopsychosocial as well as cultural impacts of the illness. I was lucky enough to have the privilege of interviewing Jane Doe, a 20 year old white female with a history of psoriasis since age five. I was introduced to Jane through a

James Baldwin’s Critique Of The Social Condition

1335 words - 5 pages James Baldwin’s Critique of the Social Condition James Baldwin was an African American writer who, through his own personal experiences and life, addressed issues such as race, sexuality, and the American identity. “Notes of a Native Son” is one of many essays that Baldwin wrote during his lifetime. Within this essay, Baldwin talks about when his father died and the events that revolved around it. His father’s death occurs in

Change, The Essence Of Human C Ondition

782 words - 4 pages Change, the Essence of Human Condition Throughout the existence of man, a desire for change has been ever present. The proof for emotional transition is reflected through creative mediums such as prose. To answer such a question, “Is change possible”, the analysis of an exampled work would serve helpful. To fully understand if change is indeed plausible, the examination of how a common person would attempt such a task is necessary. When