A Formalization of Postmodern Theory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kenneth D Allan, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Postmodern theory is examined from the perspective of explanatory scientific theory. Although this kind of effort would be rejected by postmodernists as imposing a failed epistemology, this article nonetheless translates the arguments of prominent postmodern theorists into a series of propositions. By developing these propositions, it is possible to see how they might generate testable hypotheses that can guide the empirical assessment of the substantive arguments of sociological postmodernists. The propositions are organized under four basic headings: (1) the increasing importance of culture; (2) the destabilization and dereification of culture; (3) the increasing importance of the individual; and (4) the viability of the subject. While there is inevitably a certain amount of selectivity involved in this exercise, our hope is that the core arguments of postmodern theory are arrayed in a manner that can facilitate their empirical assessment by researchers.

Additional Information

Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 43 (3): 363-385
Language: English
Date: 2000
Postmodern theory, Importance of culture, Destabilization of culture, Individual importance, Viability of subject

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