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The Condition of Postmodernity. An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change

  • ID: 2248413
  • Book
  • October 1991
  • 388 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
A great deal has been written on what has variously been described as the post–modern condition and on post–modern culture, architecture, art and society. In this new book, David Harvey seeks to determine what is meant by the term in its different contexts and to identify how accurate and useful it is as a description of contemporary experience.

But the book is much more than this: in the course of his investigation the author provides a social and semantic history – from the Enlightenment to the present – of modernism and its expression in political and social ideas and movements, as well as in art, literature and architecture. He considers in particular how the meaning and perception of time and space themselves vary over time and space, and shows that this variance affects individual values and social processes of the most fundamental kind.

This book will be widely welcomed, not only for its clear and critical account of the arguments surrounding the propositions of modernity and post–modernity, but as an incisive contribution to the history of ideas and their relation to social and political change.

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The argument.



Part I: The Passage from Modernity to Postmodernity in Contemporary Culture: .

1. Introduction.

2. Modernity and Modernism.

3. Postmodernism.

4. Postmodernism in the City: Architecture and Urban Design.

5. Modernization.

6. POSTmodernISM or postMODERNism?.

Part II: The Political–Economic Transformation of late Twentieth–Century Capitalism: .

7. Introduction.

8. Fordism.

9. From Fordism to Flexible Accumulation.

10. Theorizing the Transition.

11. Flexible Accumulation – Solid Transformation or Temporary Fix?.

Part III: The Experience of Space and Time: .

12. Introduction.

13. Individual Spaces and Times in Social Life.

14. Time and Space as Sources of Social Power.

15. The Time and Space of the Enlightenment Project.

16. Time–space Compression and the Rise of Modernism as a Cultural Force.

17. Time–Space Compression and the Postmodern Condition.

18. Time and Space in the Postmodern Cinema.

Part IV: The Condition of Postmodernity:.

19. Postmodernity as a Historical Condition.

20. Economics with Mirrors.

21. Postmodernism as the Mirror of Mirrors.

22. Fordist Modernism versus Flexible Postmodernism, or the Interpenetration of Opposed Tendencies in Capitalism as a Whole.

23. The Transformative and Speculative Logic of Capital.

24. The Work of Art in an Age of Electronic Reproduction and Image Banks.

25. Responses to Time–Space Compression.

26. The Crisis of Historical Materialism.

27. Cracks in the Mirrors, Fusions at the Edges.



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David Harvey
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