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If postmodernity refers to the social, economic, political, and cultural conditions operating in society, then postmodernism concerns the ideas and philosophies that are used to theorize the conditions of postmodernity. The basic premise is that knowledge claims must be located contextually and reflect the conditions of the contemporary world in all its diversity. Accordingly, postmodernists doubt modernist discourses of truth, reason, certainty, universality, and progress, and reject grand historical narratives of liberation and revolution. Postmodernism aims for more just and democratic societies by providing the tools to analyze and reconstruct modernist systems of organization and thought by investigating difference, hierarchies, power relationships, and contradictions in everyday life. This entry explains some of the concepts related to postmodernism and discusses how theories have been used to ...

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