Luhmann questions the very concept of postmodernism, arguing that the term was appropriated from architecture and applied as a generalized description of a society that lacks a meta-narrative. In other words, we are said to be living in post-modernity because society no longer has a meta-narrative. So the theory rests on a lack. Presumably, modern and premodern societies had coherent narratives (along with shared values) that created a sense of consensus or at least a basis for discipline. But in a globalized, decentralized society, there is no authority to inculcate or enforce a single, hegemonic narrative. Nor are there any actual leaders, heroes, or role models. Thus, the argument goes, we are living in a postmodern age. Cultures now meet and clash, and no culture can think of itself as the only culture or consider its way of life the only way of life. Cultural narratives are always contingent–they could have been different than they are (and they don’t have to exist at all).
One of the best-known early theories by Niklas Luhmann is his theory of trust. In his book, Vertrauen (1968), Luhmann presented his basic theses about trust. The function of trust is to reconstruct or to reduce the growing complexity of society.
I’ve been thinking about the controversy between Apple and the US Department of Justice. The first thing to recognize is that when a state, which
I hope someone other than me will get the popular cultural reference. Anyway, to elaborate on some earlier blog posts, if we start with the premise that society is
What is the connection between cultural values (norms, expectational structures) and collective memory? Memory does not operate as a storage container. Rather, memory is an
Donald Trump is essentially a cult leader, not so different from Jim Jones. No matter what he does, his devotees will follow him. The more he is criticized by “outsiders” and shown to be a megalomaniac, the stronger the the devotion of his followers grows.