By Nick Heffernan
Postmodernism and postmodernity became key phrases by which modern cultural swap is theorized. during this unique and stimulating learn, Nick Heffernan demonstrates that the postmodern isn't just a cultural topic: it bears at the adjustments wrought by way of and inside modern capitalism itself. to invite the postmodern query, based on Heffernan, is inevitably to inquire into the character of Western capitalist societies as they've got constructed within the moment 1/2 the 20th century, and within the technique to interact in a sequence of complicated meditations on capital, classification, and expertise.
In a stimulating studying of the connection among cultural sorts of social, financial, and political swap in postwar the USA, Heffernan makes use of quite a number cultural texts--film, literature, reportage--to light up the methods and modes during which quandary and social, monetary, and cultural adjustments are registered. utilizing the hyperlinks among narrative cultural varieties and the method of historic figuring out, he brings jointly debates that experience thus far been carried out mostly in the separate domain names of political economic climate, social concept, and cultural feedback to supply a compelling research of latest cultural switch. by way of moving postmodernism within the context of adjusting modes of capitalism, Heffernan places the query of sophistication and sophistication business enterprise again on the heart of the severe schedule.
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Additional info for Capital, Class and Technology in Contemporary American Culture: Projecting Post-Fordism
182). Along similar lines, David Harvey has contextualised the primacy of IT in terms of the transition out of the moribund structures of Fordist production and social organisation towards a new regime of ‘flexible accumulation’. Harvey sees computerisation both embodying and facilitating more widely the switch from the geographically concentrated mass production of standardised commodities characteristic of Fordism to the dispersed, short-run production, niche marketing and just-in-time delivery of customised commodities that is increasingly the norm in advanced capitalist societies (Harvey, 1989: p.
This gives some idea of the success of the Fordist boom period. From 1973 to 1985, on the other hand, the average rate of growth in the American economy halved, the annual increase in the rate of profit dropped to 3 per cent, and real wages fell by about 15 per cent to an average of $300 per week (Harvey, 1989: figs. 2). Inflation persistently broke the 10 per cent barrier and permanent structural unemployment along with direct wage reductions were widely offered and pursued as the only practical remedies (Mandel, 1980: 28 CAPITAL, CLASS AND TECHNOLOGY IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CULTURE pp.
40). But they also interrogate this status, and open up the space for a critical evaluation of the effects of IT not only on economic and social life, but on the private enclaves of character and subjectivity too. Informating the Crisis By 1980 the ‘hesitant, uneven and inflationary recovery’ of the late 1970s had foundered and the American durable commodities sector was experiencing contraction of a ‘special severity’ presaging the deepest recession to hit the Western industrialised economies since the war (Mandel, 1980: pp.