Postmodernism and the Social Sciences: Conference : Papers

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The social sciences are still predominantly developments of the Enlightenment, extensions of the conceptions and methods of Newtonian science. Recently a number of social theorists have brought the presuppositions of Enlightenment thinking under critical scrutiny and have called into question the basis of much social scientific thinking. Despite the seriousness of this postmodernist challenge, its nature and dimensions remain unclear especially to those in the modernist mainstream. The essays in this book are designed to call attention to the challenge and in a manner accessible to those not so familiar with the more theoretical writings of postmodernism. The essays range over the social sciences and ask what the implications of postmodernism thinking are for the modernist disciplines of social anthropology, sociology, geography, social psychology, international relations and economics. An introductory essay provides a survey of the beginnings of postmodernism in literary theory and in the study of art and architecture and raises questions about the translation of the vocabulary of postmodernism into the social sciences.