Academic jargon

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rockfreak
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Academic jargon

Post by rockfreak » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:55 pm

While on another discussion site I incurred the wrath of an academic type because I questioned the use of the term "postmodern". It was a meaningless term, said I. Either something is old or it's modern or if it's the very newest thing it might be avant-garde. He told me that I was "beyond satire" for not knowing this. Well I'm vaguely aware that in literature there are French writers like Foucault and Derrida who are described as postmodern, but I've not read them and when I looked postmodern up in an encyclopedia it wasn't much help because the description itself seemed to be written in jargon. I discovered that in architecture the term apparently describes buildings that are post-Brutalist, but that's OK because I understand that Brutalism is at least a descriptive term for the unadorned glass and concrete building that took place in the decades after the war. Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, etc - these are terms which at least graphically describe a style. But postmodern? There's no stylistic description.
Anyway I thought, where better to test out people's knowledge than the CH discussion site where some will have done arts, literature or humanities at college, others will have done more practical subjects, some won't have been to college and some won't give a toss about postmodernism anyway. So is it just me that's beyond satire or are there others out there?

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Re: Academic jargon

Post by ZeroDeConduite » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:54 pm

Beyond satire??? That's 'post-satire'...

Francis Fukuyama's influential 1989 essay 'The End of History?' announced the triumph of liberal democracy and the arrival of a post-ideological world.
As another writer put it:
"The modern age was a time when human beings, alone or together, could sculpt the marble of history with the hammer of will." Today, this has "vanished from sight. There is no longer … a progressive temporal dimension."

Ergo: what follows is 'post-modern'. In thinking, design, music etc etc. Music journalism too, probably :D
And Fukuyama was wrong. All the rest too. Probably. :lol:

And 450 years of abusive Housey tradition? Maybe...
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Re: Academic jargon

Post by rockfreak » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:57 pm

When I was writing for the music papers in the 70s we were mostly influenced by the "new journalism" coming from America, particularly in Rolling Stone and Creem magazine from Detroit. Whether it was new journalism, postmodern, or just a load of fevered old cobblers off the top of our heads stoked by too much drink and illicit substances, I'm not sure. I dread to think what it would read like today. But maybe some academic could dream up a fancy name for it.

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Re: Academic jargon

Post by J.R. » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:23 am

Dream up a fancy name for it ??

I could dream up a name for it. Not particularly fancy and I would probably have to censure myself !

:rolleyes:
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Re: Academic jargon

Post by sejintenej » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:01 pm

rockfreak wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:57 pm
When I was writing for the music papers in the 70s we were mostly influenced by the "new journalism" coming from America, particularly in Rolling Stone and Creem magazine from Detroit. Whether it was new journalism, postmodern, or just a load of fevered old cobblers off the top of our heads stoked by too much drink and illicit substances, I'm not sure. I dread to think what it would read like today. But maybe some academic could dream up a fancy name for it.
I agree with your view about "postmodern". In this instance "post" means after and "modern" means "of this era". I, like many, allow the French to speak and write French, Germans to read and write German and architects to write architecturism. The French and germaqns do not automatically expect us to understand allegrement or gott in himmel so why the f*** should architects expect us to understand architecturism? Just call him a slobberdosk or a blouson noir!

New Journalism; as a victim of the press I see the old journalism as being fact orientated with efforts to present the entire and not a partial biased version. New journalism is far more biased, even out of this world like the London Bus on the Moon. Compare "Wellington's troops won the battle at Waterloo against thos of Napoleon" and "Contrary to accustomed and honourable behaviour the French upstart refused to surrender his sword after our troops smashed the Frog scum at Waterloo and the Austrian immigrant Rothschild took immoral advantage of the market by his business dealings before the war results were published
(Those references to Napoleon's sword and to Rothschild are not totally wrong but highly biased)
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Re: Academic jargon

Post by rockfreak » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:49 pm

Does your reverence for the old journalism and its "fact-based reportage" include episodes like the Daily Mail's "Zinoviev letter" of 1926 which was a fabrication designed to forge a false connection between Soviet Russia and the British Labour party? And how about Lord Beaverbrook's famous dictum that "the purpose of newspapers is not to print facts but to make propaganda"? The least that I would say about my ravings in the consumer music press in the 1970s was that they never pretended to be anything other than ravings.

Anyway, come on guys and gals. There must be someone out there from our illustrious old school who went to college and studied modern literature/arts/sociology and who has a view on the concept of "postmodernism". Do we limply concede the field to poseurs like Jordan B Peterson and other social commentators who speak in jargon and expect everyone else to understand it?

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Re: Academic jargon

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:07 pm

While I agree that 'postmodern' in most contexts is an oxymoron, in some it can be said to have a meaning, namely those contexts where 'Modern' means 'in the Modernist style'. This can certainly be applied to architecture, probably to the other visual arts, and probably to classical music. So that when someone decides to put a broken pediment on top of a skyscraper, that is breaking all the canons of Modernism and can in my opinion properly be called Postmodernism (with a capital P). But when applied to literature, for example, the term is meaningless. There is no such thing as 'Modern(ist) literature' (as opposed to 'modern literature') and consequently no Postmodern (let alone postmodern) literature. It is of course sometimes used as convenient shorthand for the syndrome of devices used by some modern novelists trying to be clever (self-referentiality, footnotes etc. etc.)
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Re: Academic jargon

Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:51 pm

What is 'Modern' today is 'Old Hat' tomorrow.
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Re: Academic jargon

Post by LongGone » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:38 pm

I would point out that ‘jargon’, academic or otherwise; is usually intended for internal use by a group that often use it either as shorthand for a complex concept or as a precise term. As such, jargon often becomes abused and misunderstood when used outside its intended area. As a geneticist I am aware my field is very prone to the use of jargon and it’s misuse in the press and public. Most of the time I say nothing, but there are cases where the resultant misunderstanding can have unfortunate policy decisions.
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Re: Academic jargon

Post by sejintenej » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:08 am

LongGone wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:38 pm
Most of the time I say nothing, but there are cases where the resultant misunderstanding can have unfortunate policy decisions.
Certainly. My company had a case of this where London used a technical term and our New York office had a very different understanding of it. We were lucky in that we spotted their error in time to avoid a considerable loss and perhaps legal case.
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