The Second Edition of this book provides a comprehensive overview of the ways in which social theory has attempted to theorize the importance of the media in contemporary society. Understanding Media Cultures is now fully revised and takes account of the recent theoretical developments associated with New Media and Information Society, as well as the audience and the public sphere.
Chapter 5: Baudrillard's Blizzards: Postmodernity, Mass Communications and Symbolic Exchange
Baudrillard's Blizzards: Postmodernity, Mass Communications and Symbolic Exchange
Postmodernism as a Heterogeneous Field
The concerns that are usually addressed under the banner of postmodernism are plural and can not be conceptualised in a unified discourse. Indeed, one would expect a philosophical creed that warned against the authoritarian impulse that lies behind the desire to unify and classify to be suspicious of attempts to name the intellectual field. And yet, although internally varied, postmodernism has achieved a certain cohesiveness in relation to a number of critical questions. A terrain of struggle has been mapped out over a number of crucial subjects. These include (1) the contestation of philosophical concerns such as objectivity and the referential function of language; (2) the ...