Postmodern Sociological Ideas Essay

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Postmodern Sociological Ideas

This paper is an attempt to do something that is probably not a good idea. I am going to try and take the ideas of some of the most prominent postmodern Sociological thinkers and mesh them together in some sort of coherent format. The purpose of this paper is to provide a starting place for people interested in postmodern Sociological thought. There really is no one all-encompassing postmodern theory, or a group of like-minded postmodern theorists. In fact this notion is antithetical to much of what postmodern literature maintains. At the same time, there has to be similar themes that run through postmodern theories, or it wouldn’t have the label it does. So, lets take a
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He began his career as a Marxist. In particular, the Political Economy of the sign ,and Consumer Society are excellent extensions/critiques of Marx’s ideas. But even in Baudrillard’s later works, the specter of Marx lingers. In Fatal Strategies Baudrillard talks about a revolution. This revolution, while distinct from Marx, still relies heavily on Marxian ideas. What is loosely referred to as "postmodern theory" has been around, in various forms for a while. There are theorists whose body of work would largely be classified as modernists, who actually have a postmodern bent to some of their ideas. People like Talcott Parsons, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Nietzsche. All have traces of postmodern ideas in their work. In fact many would consider people like Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, precursors to postmodern theory. So, we get to the big question, what makes a theory postmodern? This is a tough question and one that really shouldn’t be answered in the limited space available in this paper.. But, I am going to attempt to do it anyway. The quickest answer is that postmodern theories/theorists are those that are labeled by modernists. Most of the people that we associate closely with postmodern theory, in Sociology, would reject the label for themselves, including Michel Foucault, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Baudrillard. Modernists are the ones who assign the labels. However, there must be a reason for the assignation. What do

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