The Enlightenment, Modernity and Postmodernity Using Theory II, Week 3 Nigel Horner, adapted from Malcolm Golightley. - презентация
Презентация была опубликована
2 года назад
Презентация на тему: " The Enlightenment, Modernity and Postmodernity Using Theory II, Week 3 Nigel Horner, adapted from Malcolm Golightley." — Транскрипт:
The Enlightenment, Modernity and Postmodernity Using Theory II, Week 3 Nigel Horner, adapted from Malcolm Golightley
We will: Critically examine the claims for knowledge in both Modernity and Postmodernity and begin to set the scene for the module task Seek at acquire knowledge and understanding of the emergence and development of rationality as a key intellectual strategy of modern society
Social work is inherently political, often implementing government policy and regulating those who can and those that cannot access scarce resources. It is also a moral activity- not just about how to help clients but about what is the right thing to do. Social work has a dual mandate……from individuals and from society at large, either through state agencies or through non governmental organisations. (Lorenz,1994 p 4)
The present day context is that there are powerful managerialist tendencies to adopt what works (evidence based practice) to the extent of limiting concepts such as reflection or critical action. This is what we call a technical rational approach Lorenz argues that Jurgen Habermass theory of communicative action has the potential to provide a practice approach that is much stronger than the technical approach –they are closer to the European Social Pedagogy approach
We need to start with ideas of Rationality and the Enlightenment 18 th Century Political revolutions Scientific revolution Technical revolution Economic revolution The power of reason abolishes superstition and traditional ways of thinking.
Was ist Erklärung? (What is Enlightenment?) Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self- incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding! (Dare to know!) This is an argument for individuals making up their own minds, being independent, autonomous.
Assumption: the reasonable individual makes rational choices for her/himself in the world; The individual is politically and economically free to make their own choices; However…. Max Weber challenged the Enlightenment faith in reason and rationality, claiming that the rationality that defines modernity is means / ends rationality and therefore would not lead to a positive modern world (an example could be enforced sterilisation / eugenics / population control, or even statutory euthanasia)
The modern world is …stripped of all ethical meaning; it is devalued and objectified as the material and setting for purposive-rational pursuit of interests. The gain in control is paid for with a loss of meaning (Habermas J 1981 pxvii) Q If the rise of reason and rationality post Enlightenment has meant the establishment of civil liberties, has it also meant that the very individualistic nature of this results in self- interest in the economic sphere being pursued?
Rationality and self-determination are key elements of social work (Sheppard p 100) Max Weber suggested 4 types: practical, theoretical, formal and substantive rationality. Max Weber Formal rationality is a form of rationality that characterizes organizations, especially bureaucratic ones with universally applied rules, laws and regulations. Substantive rationality applies more to individuals who consider a range of possible values or actions before acting. Weber termed this substantive rationality and considered it problematic in modern society in that rationalization of social life makes it difficult for people to pursue particular values
Why was Rationality so attractive? Science and technology appeared to deliver The Good Life (i.e. Progress) - We may have problems - but rational science and technology can resolve them. Rational political systems are democratic and progressive. Rational economic systems deliver economic progress – through capitalism. Reason - in the form of rational practice - is the way of thinking that supports all of these.
Science and Technology Diseases conquered; Food production increased; Good quality housing; Energy available for all; Transport; Quantification of data; The Information
Steamships Trains Flight Mechanisation of travel Increased speed Moving large numbers of people around Shrinking world
Extension of franchise New political states New political parties
Dominance of science, technology Mass production, mass administration linked to calculating economic system Development of the professions Professional technique involved in solving social problems; Regular, repeatable practice; Uniform application of expertise; Equitable services; An audit trail of quality assurance.
Social problems and issues can be dealt with technically; housing, planning, population control; efficiency became the criterion for resolving problems. Developments in public health are classic examples of rationality producing benefits for whole populations if they all engage in collective rationality
Is there too much order in our lives? or Is there too little order in our lives? (The Top Gear dilemma)
How enlightened are we, when there is: Inequality, social exclusion and disaffection; International inequality; Pollution and global warming; Some evidence of a reaction to modern society Cultural diversity – and division? Material wealth and intellectual poverty Commodification of experience
Mechanisation of war? Motor car? BSE and food supply? Energy choices / global warming? Genetics? Surveillance of the population?
The promise of the Enlightenment is now a conflict between each of its elements :- Scientific and technical Economic Political Social problems addressed by the market or technical rationality, rather than by social democracy and government intervention.
Rational decision- making may have helped develop science and technology, commerce, industry….. But does it help with the old question from Socrates How ought we to live? In other words is it helpful with ethical questions about our lives as human beings? This is a key question for the unit and the essay.
Economic Production - industrial and capitalist society, with social class as the main form of social division... Urbanisation - the growth of cities.. A Bureaucratic State - with a powerful central government and administration... Knowledge - is derived from scientific and rational thinking - NOT religious faith, magic or superstition... A Belief in PROGRESS - based on science and technology....
Contemporary capitalism has changed in character. Fordism was production led and was as a system of mass production involving the standardisation of products. Ideas of scientific management abounded and production lines become the means of mass production (mass production = mass markets) Post Fordism is consumer led and is epitomised through the use of online computer systems and just-in-time stocking of materials. Design is now a major selling point.
Growth of the Service Sector - with a decline in manufacturing, an increase in part-time flexible and home working, and a rise in unemployment.. The Spread of GLOBALISATION - both Business and Culture cross national boundaries - 'McDonaldisation' & 'Disneyisation'... Fragmentation - increasing diversity of culture in a "Pick & Mix" society … loss of faith in Science - people no longer believe in 'THE MYTH of TRUTH' The End of METANARRATIVES - no 'big story' (Marxism, Functionalism) can explain everything … An ABANDONMENT of the OPTIMISM of the ENLIGHTENMENT - there is no objective progress, simply a 'playful celebration of chaos'. [Post Modernism]......is the belief that direction, evolution and progression have ended in social history, and society is based instead upon the decline of absolute truths, and the rise of relativity......
Since World War Two and the 1950's there has been the growth of RELATIVISM within Sociology and other fields. Relativism argues that there is no such thing as Objective Truth. In other words 'reality' has no meaning apart from what is believed to be real. We take science and scientific knowledge for granted. For example Gallileo ( ) discovered that the Earth is spinning around the Sun and now this is accepted as a Scientific truth. However before Gallileo the 'truth' was that the Earth was fixed at the centre of the Universe and the Sun span around it. Everybody believed this therefore it was true. So, if you believe something, then it is REAL. Therefore scientific knowledge is not powerful because it is true; it is true because it is powerful. The question should not be "What is true?" it should be "How did this version of what is true come to dominate in these social and historical circumstances?" Therefore truth and knowledge are culturally specific.
MICHEL FOUCAULT (a French 'Post Structuralist' ). Foucault studies history from a position of 'discourse theory' (discourse is a way of thinking/talking – i.e: language). He looks at the way certain discourses came into being.
A good example of RELATIVISTIC thinking is the work of MICHEL FOUCAULT (a French 'Post Structuralist' ). Foucault studies history from a position of 'discourse theory' (discourse is a way of thinking/talking - language). He looks at the way certain discourses came into being. He looks at the history of medicine and mental illness and the discourse surrounding them. Madness' for example has not always been a 'medical' condition. Foucault argues that the cure for leprosy in Medieval Europe left the buildings used to confine lepers empty. These circumstances provided a place to put 'mad' people - out of this grew asylums and therefore psychiatrists and over time 'madness' became described as 'mental illness'. The 'mad' before this were not ill, they were possessed by spirits or simply seen as the 'village idiot'.
A cult figure of postmodern theory with a highly idiosyncratic approach. His writing on the nature of the modern world and what her termed hyperreality make interesting reading! For example he believed that in the postmodern world people flee from the desert of the real to live in a ecstasy of communication in other worlds to live in a world influenced by the media and technology. He was most noted for arguing that the Gulf War was not a real war suggesting that it was a media spectacle and an example of hyper- reality.
Habermas was a member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory. He is perhaps the last major thinker to embrace the basic project of the enlightenment, a project for which he is often attacked.Frankfurt School
Habermass work can provide, through his theory of communicative action, a potential paradigm for social work practice. This is a philosophy which seeks to retain the modernist notions of morality and justice while allowing individuals to define their own realities. This is about how to incorporate service users into a dialogue while at the same time legitimating the traditional commitment to universalist ideals of human rights and social justice
Ideas about modernism are bound up with a view that industrialism is directed associated with progress; The scientific basis for modernism has produced huge gains but not everything has been liberalising or provided benefit for all; Postmodernism with ideas of discourse and relativism provide attractive alternatives to scientific theory but are the key positions of postmodernism incompatible with social work?