Over the course of the semester, we have read some challenging texts which present theories of how society and culture work at certain times. Dick Hebdige, in particular, describes two different theories: Modernism and Postmodernism. His article is an attempt to answer the question: What is Postmodernism? As Hebdege himself, notes, however, his article answers this in many ways but is not definitive. He even speaks of the meandering nature of his article and its inability to provide a clear answer to his question:
“What follows is an attempt to re-present my own ambivalence vis-a-vis the prospect(s) of the Post: to engage with some of the issues raised in debates on postmodernism, to cruise the text of postmodernism without forfeiting the possibility of another place, other positions, other scenarios, different languages. In what I take to be the postmodern spirit, I shall try to reproduce on paper the flow and grain of television discourse switching back and forth between different channels.” (Hebdige 332-333)
Where would you challenge Hebdige’s view of Postmodernism or Modernism? Where do you think he needs to be more clear in his argument? What use (if at all) is his engagement with these themes? In your response to one or more of these questions, please provide evidence from his text. You are welcome to pose questions about his text as well and/or respond to the questions of a classmate, if you think they are substantive and need to be addressed.