Post Modernism is defined as an attitude toward the social world in its current state of historical development. It is described as more of a diagnosis, than a theory. (Rosenau, 1992). Creswell writes that part of applying this view when conducting research is the need to “deconstruct texts” which include readings and writings to bring to the surface concealed hierarchies, as well as dominations, oppositions, inconsistencies, and contradictions. (Creswell, 2013).
This perspective can be useful in studies that are using content analysis, narrative or case studies. In analyzing the data researchers can aim to highlight any issues or concerns, especially in studies where there is hands on interfacing between researcher and communities (or individuals being studied).
Some of the most criticisms of Post modernism are as follows:
1. ” It rejects reason.” Postmodernists actually use reason extensively in their arguments. They also insist that reason should incorporate non – reason and the irrational.
2. “It denies reality.” This criticism is based on the belief that reality is socially, linguistically, historically, or culturally constructed. This is wrong because, revealing the way in which reality is constituted does not make it any less real. According to Post Modernism, that which is real may not be representable but can still have important effects, so the real needs to be considered alongside the not-real, the imaginary, the virtual, and the actual.
3. ” Anything goes—all meanings have equal value.” This criticism suggests that because postmodernism has no way of differentiating between and valuing perspectives, it is unethical and amoral. On the contrary, postmodernism argues that the question of values must remain open, even when decided—and moral ethical challenges are a matter for eternal return.
Rosenau, P. (1992). Post – Modernism and the Social Sciences: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Creswell, J.W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among The Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Linstead, S. (2010). Postmodernism. In Albert J. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Wiebe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. (pp. 695-702). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412957397.n259