This article traces the intellectual roots of postmodernism in sociology and its evolution over the past three decades. It briefly examines the main areas of research developed as a response to the emergence of new media and communication technologies since the late 1990s. It defines postmodernism as an intellectual project developed since the 1970s mainly within philosophy and the humanities, which has been adopted, adapted, and enriched within sociology as a response to the theoretical and empirical challenges raised by the cultural features of contemporary developed societies, including here the advent of communication technologies such as the Internet. The article distinguishes between two aspects of postmodernism in sociology: the critique of theoretical assumptions considered as modernist, on the one hand, and the empirical investigation of cultural phenomena taken to be characteristic for postmodern societies, on the other hand. Empirical postmodern research has evolved from an initial dominating focus on consumption and consumerism to the investigation of 'digital cultures,' understood as communication formats such as electronic socialization platforms, instant messaging, or online gaming.
|Title of host publication||International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|Editors||James D. WRIGHT|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Mar 2015|
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- Digital culture
- Social interactions