Postmodern Sociology and New Ways of Living

QUESTION: Postmodern Sociology – New Ways of Living


The Postmodern approach to restructuring society calls for “challenging power on a day-to-day level.” Lyotard suggests we “gnaw away at the great institutionalized narrative increasing the number of skirmishes that take place on the sidelines. That’s what women who have had abortions, prisoners, conscripts, prostitutes, students, and peasants have been doing.”1

Postmodern Sociology – Restructuring Society
Other “new ways of living” that might restructure society toward a Postmodern view could include any of the following “skirmishes on the sidelines:” pick a quarrel with your conservative neighbor; refuse to buy a certain brand of condensed milk; surf the net at work; deface billboards; sell pirated copies of CDs; buy fake designer labels; celebrate fragmentation, diversity and deviancy;2 teach a “safe-sex” course in church or school; turn vices into virtues; make the abnormal normal; legalize sodomy; decriminalize marijuana; legalize same-sex marriage; praise the concept of a “living” Constitution;3 subscribe to MTV; attend art exhibits by Andy Warhol, a Madonna concert, a performance of the V-Monologues; view X-rated movies; protest Christian prayer in government schools; support the A.C.L.U; defend NAMBLA;4 label Christians and conservatives as right-wing religious fanatics or Fascists; support the Green Party; protest “under God’ in the Pledge; remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. money; support all tax increases; publicly burn your fur coat; drink French wine; help an illegal alien across the border; keep Intelligent Design out of the schools; join the anti-globalization protests; and so on. “None of these activities might strike you as particularly radical—they are perhaps not going to bring about a revolution—but from Lyotard’s point of view they can be valued as disruptive skirmishes in the social system.”5


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Glenn Ward, Postmodernism (Chicago, IL: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2003), 176.

2 See Anne Henderschott, The Politics of Deviance (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2002).

3 U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says otherwise as reported in the Associated Press, February 14, 2006, “The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.”

4 NAMBLA stands for the North American Man/Boy Love Association, whose motto was once, “Eight is too late,” meaning that boys under the age of eight should be allowed to engage in consensual sex with an older man.

5 Ward, 176–177.

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