A. Javier Trevino Defines Modernity

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    • 00:00

      [MUSIC PLAYING][Modernity]

    • 00:10

      A. JAVIER TREVINO: I think that recently,at least since the 1980s, more and more social scientistshave been talking about this era after the modern era.[A. Javier Trevino, Jane Oxford Keiter Professor of Sociology,Wheaton College] And it's been called, for lack of a betterterm, the postmodern.I think in order to understand the postmodern to the extentthat we can, we need to first talk about modernity

    • 00:30

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: and what the modern epoch is like.So I think most people would agreethat the modern era started sometime in the 18th century,certainly in the Western context.And modernity usually has to do with-- has characteristicsof rationality, calculability, predictability.

    • 00:51

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: So the idea here, is that we're efficient, we're productive,we think before we act, we're calculative,we're reasonable beings.And I think that's all part of what modernity involves.One of the main social types of organization in the modern erais the bureaucracy.And presumably, we organize ourselves bureaucratically

    • 01:14

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: because it's an efficient way of doing things.So we're looking at high productivity, high consumption,and we're looking at issues of rationality.Since about the mid 20th century, roughlyyour 1950's, we've entered a new epoch, a new era,which we call the postmodern.And in fact, C. Wright Mills was one of the first sociologists,

    • 01:35

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: if in fact not the first sociologist,to use that term, the postmodern,in his book "The Sociological Imagination".And so the postmodern is different from the modernin the sense that it's an exaggeration.It's an extreme of modernity.So what was rational under the modern era becomes irrational.It's the irrationality of rationality.

    • 01:57

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: There are more contradictions and moreparadoxes in postmodernity than before.What we thought were truths, or at least truths for the timebeing, have now collapsed.Boundaries that we took seriously in the modern contexthave now been blurred.The difference between the private and the public,between self and others, between formality and informality.

    • 02:21

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: So what is real, is the question of modernity.There are many realities, there are multiple realities.Are video games real?Are they fantasy?Are they both or neither?Is Disney World real or fantasy?And so I think these are the questions that weask in the modern context.But we expect that the answers are

    • 02:44

      A. JAVIER TREVINO [continued]: given in terms of contradictions and paradoxes.[MUSIC PLAYING]

A. Javier Trevino Defines Modernity

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Abstract

Professor A. Javier Trevino defines modernity as the ideals centering on rationality, calculability, and predictability. These ideals were prevalent between the 18th century and the 1950s, after which postmodernity became prominent.

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A. Javier Trevino Defines Modernity

Professor A. Javier Trevino defines modernity as the ideals centering on rationality, calculability, and predictability. These ideals were prevalent between the 18th century and the 1950s, after which postmodernity became prominent.

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