Barry Smart offers a coherent and readable discussion of the central aspects of social, cultural, economic, technological and political processes which are transforming everyday life. Specific issues examined include the effect of information technology on social life, transformations in the capitalist mode of production, conceptions of possible alternative `post-industrial' social futures, and the impact of modern media and communications on forms of human sensibility. Smart explores the theoretical responses to these developments from social thinkers like Talcott Parsons, Daniel Bell, Alvin Toffler, Andre Gorz, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Benjamin, Jean Baudrillard, Jurgen Habermas, Marshall Berman, Jean Lyotard, Frederic Jameson and David Harvey. The unifying theme of the discussion is modernity and its consequences, the growing uncertainty about the `project of modernity' and the possibility that we are witnessing the development of postmodern conditions. The author provides an account of what we mean by "modernity" and "postmodernity" and concludes with a chapter on the connections between postmodernism and Marxism. This book should be of interest to students of sociology and cultural studies.
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