The 6 Differences Between Modernity And Postmodernity

Differences between modernity and postmodernity

Modernity and postmodernity are concepts that we use especially in the human and social sciences and that have helped us understand some characteristics of our societies as well as the transformations we have gone through.

They are frequently concepts that are used as opposites or as a way to explain the passage from one historical period to another, however, modernity and postmodernity refer to elements that coexist, which are very complex and cannot be understood separately. .

Taking this into consideration we will explain in very broad terms some relationships and differences between modernity and postmodernity

A change of era?

In very general terms, modernity is the era that begins between the 15th century and the 18th century in Western societies, based on social, scientific, economic and political transformations

For its part, postmodernism refers to the second half of the 20th century, and It is also known as “late modernity”, “postmodern era” or even “postmodernity-in-modernity”, precisely because the temporal limits between one and the other are not fixed or determined.

The term postmodernity is not synonymous with antimodernity, and the prefix “post” not only refers to something that comes “after”, but is a concept that has served to reveal theoretical and political movements that had begun in modernity. .

You may be interested:  The 7 Most Important Customs and Traditions of Castilla Y León

That’s why, one of the great theorists of postmodernism, Jean-François Lyotard, He defines it as a “rewriting of modernity.” In other words, postmodernity is not so much a new era, as the development and updating of the projects that modernity had begun.

6 differences between modernity and postmodernity

Modernity and postmodernity are stages that cannot be understood as independent or opposite, but as a set of social, political, economic, and scientific events.

That is, the differences that we will see below They do not mean that one has completely moved from one paradigm to another but constant transformations have occurred in different areas of social life.

1. The scientific paradigm and the question of the subject

During modernity, man was constituted as a subject That is, everything is understood with reference to it, including nature and human activity in general. Therefore, the basic question for modern philosophical and scientific knowledge is what is being?

On the other hand, postmodernity is characterized by “the death of the subject”, because knowledge is no longer centered on the human being, and truth is no longer considered a universal reality, but a constant revelation. Thus, the basic question for philosophy and science is no longer what being is, but how can I know it?

Science in postmodernity is done in a transdisciplinary way, rejecting deterministic materialism, and is integrated into society through the development of technology. Likewise, we try to get out of opposites such as mind, body, man-woman.

2. Getting sick is not so bad

During modernity, the body is understood as an isolated object, separated from the mind and made up mainly of atoms and molecules, with which diseases are understood as the malfunction of these molecules, and their cure depends exclusively on the doctor and drugs. .

You may be interested:  Did Neanderthals Create Art?

In postmodernity, the body is no longer understood as an isolated object, but in connection with the mind and the context, with which health is not only the absence of illness but a balance that depends largely on each individual. The disease is then a language of the body and has certain purposes, that is, a more positive meaning is attributed to it.

3. From rigidity to educational flexibility

In the field of formal education, the most representative paradigm shift is that the educational task is no longer focused on the activities of the educator but rather the student is given a more active role and collaborative work is reinforced.

Education stops promoting rigid norms and commits to the goal of forming integral people who are united to both nature and the community. It goes from being completely rational to being rational and intuitive, as well as from rigidity to flexibility and from hierarchy to participation.

This same thing has repercussions on parenting styles; parents stop being authoritarian and become more flexible, open to negotiation and sometimes very permissive.

4. The failure of authoritarian systems

The political terrain is characterized by promoting a step away from the authoritarian and institutional system towards a consensual system and non-governmental networks Thus, the political power that was previously centralized begins to be decentralized, and to develop ideals of social cooperation.

For example, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) emerge and new political values ​​are sought. Likewise, politics is strongly marked by globalization, a paradigm that promotes global thinking with local actions and that attempts to reduce borders between nations. However, globalization also becomes an update of the inequalities promoted by modern colonialism.

You may be interested:  The 7 Most Important Types of Poetry (with Examples)

5. The global economy

In relation to the above, the economy goes from being local to being global. However, although in postmodernity large economic spaces are sought, societies reinforce regionalism and tend to return to small forms of economic and political organization.

There is a change from the dominance of capital that promotes consumerist lifestyles to promoting a quality of responsible consumption. In addition, work is no longer linked only to obligation and begins to be linked to personal development.

The masculinization of the labor sector is revealed and collective responsibilities that build team relationships and not simply work relationships are promoted. The development of technology is one of the protagonists of the ideals of progress. It is about giving the economy a humanistic transformation that allows other types of coexistence.

6. The community and diverse families

Socially there is an exaltation of ecological values ​​that were previously purely material If in modernity the ties were more contractual, in postmodernity the creation of community ties is reinforced.

The same thing happens in the field of customs and traditions, which were previously rigid and now become very flexible. It is about integrating thought with feeling, an issue that had been separated during modernity.

On the other hand, family values ​​are promoted that go from encouraging large families to insisting on birth control. There is greater flexibility in couples, which no longer focus on forming a relationship with one person for life. Likewise, the traditional family is transformed, it is no longer focused on relationships between two, nor only between heterosexual people.

Bibliographic references