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Critical Theory


Postmodernism takes nothing for granted, not even its own most basic principles and assumptions (Fuery and Mansfield, 1997). The most significant idea to emerge from this paradigm is the dismantling of any universal principle truths. Researchers within this world view are fundamentally committed to differences. They see the problems that modernism attempted to solve, but do not see the establishment of new traditional values as the answer.

Postmodernism is defined by skepticism, even negativity, and is often hostile to past ideas and policies that had been considered enlightened and optimistic in the past. "...By remaining implacably opposed to fixed and universal principles of meaning and value, postmodernism has encouraged the rise of whole variety of cultural and political practices that promote diversity and improvement..." (Fuery and Mansfield, 1997).

In the academic community of the United States, most researchers believe that postmodernism is confined to negativity and deconstructionist principles (Appignanesi and Garratt, 1996).


Overview of Critical Theory
Early Critical Theorists Realism Modernism Postmodernism Links  
Updated: 11/27/99
Laurie Williams