Characteristics And Impact Of Modernity And Postmodernity

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Characteristics and impact of modernity and postmodernity

So that we can talk about the impact that modernity and postmodernity have generated, in addition to globalization we have to reflect on how much we ignore the events in which we are immersed daily, we must learn to visualize and distinguish the changes that happen in our environment,Well these transformations are continuous and never stop.

In order to start talking about modernity we must mention man (and contemporary) and the importance that the "subject" had in this movement.

Contemporary man unlike modern man is a representation of the influence of a system in commercial essence. This first man is generally not aware of his condition of ignorance, which guarantees a lethargy in his state of consumerist dependency.

When we talk about the modern, we must refer to its meaning in the past, which defined it as ‘news in time, and therefore only referred to the present of things”. Through time with all kinds of humanistic, opposition and intellectual revolutions, modernity tends towards them and thus their conceptions and objectives. This neglects the simplicity of its definition and begins to enrich itself and based on development. This began to spread through:

  • Of art
  • Culture
  • The science
  • Freedom
  • Knowledge and reasoning

The latter are those that allow to speak openly of modernity.


Modernity was a period of history, a cultural phenomenon full of transformations, where the notion of the human as well as its political, social, economic and cultural reality changing greatly comparing it to the ancient age. This begins between the fifteenth century. Before this movement was the so -called "the ancient world", during that period everything was very different, the human being was subordinated to divinity and all he could do was devote himself to worship to a God and the hope of reaching thedarling.

But inevitably and due to human nature, man began to think of himself, about his role as an individual and his potential, it is derived in the Renaissance.

This departed from the premise of human rediscovery and returned the powerful idea of man as the center of the universe, leaving aside ancient ideas of the Medievo.

There were also substantial changes in transport and commerce, societies began to approach each other, caused the approach of numerous cultures and ways of seeing the different world of each civilization, because of this began to question even moreAbout others and their role in this world.

Its maximum point came in 1492 with the discovery of America presenting a new reality beyond the seas, in addition to the opening of a larger world and more possibilities, new issues about human nature were revealed. To this is added the arrival of the Lutheran reform in the 16th century (1517). Martin Luther questioned Catholicism and his abuses in particular rejection of the sale of indulgences, which the Church sold to facilitate entrance to heaven, also insisted on the translation of the Bible.

Protestantism gave man something he had never had, the possibility of deciding and the freedom to choose on himself.

The role of knowledge and the way of knowing were very important in the seventeenth century during scientific revolutions. When the human being began to understand the laws of nature and manipulate phenomena for their benefit.

The human potential was transferred to political and social life by the illustrated seventeenth century, who insisted that man’s freedom was necessary to train himself, to decide and to assert. Freedom joined the concept of modernity, this change completely the way of understanding man in society, and gave this a new purpose the search for happiness.

The search for happiness brought new complications to the philosophical countryListen to different sectors of society, and the culmination of all these ideas occurred with the French Revolution and the drafting of the rights of man and citizen (1789). This is considered the stage of the consolidation of modernity, since the individual, his freedom, his creative potential and reason are put in the center of the world.

Despite all the advances that modernity brought to the world during the 19th century, a great social problem was present;Inequality.

Economic differences increased the differences in classes, in itself the situation between powerful and repressed not changing a feeling of helplessness in the face of the impossibility of exercising authentic freedom.

Although modernity brought with it scientific and technological riches and advances also produced social discontent, inequality and crisis worldwide.

After the events of the two world wars, the idea of progress was questioned from the root and questioned the freedom of man, he even seemed to deny the possibility of achieving happiness.

The conflict between capitalism and communism did not help solve the problem and, the great ideas of modernity were ridiculous and obsolete and after this you enter a new stage somewhat confusing and strange called postmodernity.


At the end of the 20th century an artistic, cultural and philosophical current called postmodernism arose, this movement does not have a concrete date, but many intellectuals place its beginning in the event of the fall of the Berlin wall.

Postmodernism arises from disappointment with the failure of modernism and its failed attempt to create a perfect, rational, planned and compassionate world.

It appears in response to the aesthetic canons of modernity in order to question the existence of unique and universal canons of which the whole society was forced to be part.

One of the best known contributions on this subject was that of Lyotard with the text "The postmodern condition".

This period was a time of disenchantment, of renunciation of utopias and the idea of progress

In postmodernism there were important changes, on the one hand, relevant historical changes: a production economy is passed to a consumer economy, mass media and marketing become centers of power, intimacy and life are lostOf others it becomes a show.

On the other hand there were also very relevant socio-psychological changes. The only revolution that the individual is willing to carry out is the interior. Individuals just wantovercoming, faith in reason and science, and many idealisms disappear all these changes gave rise to Francis Fukuyama wrote his most relevant book “The end of history and the last man. This defends that human history seen as a struggle for ideologies has ended with the failure of the communist regime, which shows that the only viable option is democratic liberalism.

Ideologies are no longer necessary, they have been replaced by the economy.

Fukuyama’s work was published 3 years after one of the most important international conflicts of the second half of the twentieth century "The Cold War" ends. The confrontation between the capitalist bloc and the communist bloc culminated with the fall of the Berlin wall in the year of 1989, this fact implies the defeat of communism and the victory of capitalism.

Fukuyama tells us that the end of the Cold War is not based solely on a new stage of peace, but goes beyond, this implies the triumph of Western liberal democracy over other ideologies (as Absolutism was in its time, Bolshevism, fascism and updated Marxism)

The imposition of liberalism as a political system is mainly due to the exhaustion of viable alternatives. In addition to the acceptance of the western idea by intellectuals and consumption culture.

Francis Fukuyama mentions that the end of the Cold War may not be just the end of a stage aino the end of history, the cusp of the evolution of human ideology and the universalization of economic and political liberalism.

The author’s concepts had already been used by George Hegel and Karl Marx in his time.


Modernity is considered as a period of rebirth and lighting in the life of man, it was a stage of great transition for knowledge that focused on reason and looking for aspects regarding the knowledge of man.

Postmodernism transforms the ideals of modernism into a new vision, individuals no longer believe in the purposes of progress and development, they no longer trust the future.


  • Corzo, d.(2018). Anthologiahistoria Universaliiciclo School2018-2019.3-14PP.
  • 10 characteristics of modernity. (S.F.). In characteristics. Accessed in electronic version on October 10, 2019: https: // www.features.Co/Modernity/
  • Great Ocean Library. Thematic encyclopedia 6. Universal history. (1568-1571pp.) (1590-1591pp.)
  • Harvey, d. (1990). The condition of postmodernity, 1st ed. [ebook] oxford, England, pp.4 379. AVAILABLE AT: http: // economy.UNAM.MX/ACADEMIA/INAE/PDF/INAE2/U212, PDF [ACCESSED 10 OCT. 2019].

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