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January 2022

Postmodernism, postindustrialism, and the future

Journal/Book: Sociol Quart. 1996; 37: 55 Old Post RD-#2, PO Box 1678, Greenwich, CT 06836-1678. Jai Press Inc. 307-325.

Abstract: In order to describe the main features of future American society, the main changes already occurring are discussed, a theory is formulated that explains these changes, and this theory is applied to the future. Three well-known theories are used as a starting point: Habermas's theory of systems, his theory of lifeworlds, and general conflict theory. To account for a variety of systems, a theory of the ''organizing'' process is proposed. To explain the transformation of lifeworlds, a simplified theory of the ''communicative'' process is outlined. To gain insight into cultural change, the theory of ''oppositional'' process is presented. The main conclusions are that we are witnessing a shift from ''system'' to ''lifeworld'' and that both postindustrial structures and postmodern culture contribute to and are symptoms of this shift. Moreover, future American societies, shaped by this shift, will have many properties of the preindustrial gemeinschafts.

Note: Article OJ Bartos, Univ Colorado, Dept Sociol, Boulder, CO 80309 USA


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