ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Literature

"Provide Your Definition of Postmodern Media and Support It with Examples"

Updated on July 6, 2016
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games'.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games'. | Source

Postmodernism can be defined in multiple ways. One such way is simply as a development from modernism, but this fails to appreciate all that postmodernism is – a self-reflexive bricolage of intertextuality, "prosumerism", and the blurring of boundaries – and focuses instead on what postmodernism is not.

In order to begin to develop a sense of the postmodern, undeniably postmodern texts, such as 'The Hunger Games' (Ross, US, 2012) and 'Gogglebox' (Channel 4, 2013-2016) must be analysed, to identify the core postmodern elements, as established by theorists such as Jameson (intertextuality, the dislocation of time, and the flattening of affect), and Baudrillard (levels of representation of reality).

'The Hunger Games' relies heavily on the use of screens to bridge the boundary between the worlds of the arena, the Capitol, the outlying districts, and indeed ourselves, the 'real' audience.

The 'real' audience is shown the audience in the Capitol; the latter can easily be interpreted as a parody of the former, with an exaggerated passiveness, laughing at every comment of the talkshow's host, Caeser Flickerman.

The Capitol's audience also demonstrates Jameson's concept of the flattening of affect; we are shown two children play-fighting with swords, mimicking actions from the arena; this enhances the idea of the Capitol audience being a parody (mocking, as opposed to the celebratory nature of pastiche) of ourselves.

'The Hunger Games' also features an intriguing form of self-reflexivity, by breaking the "fifth wall" when Katniss is shown holding her hand up to the camera, which she is unexpectedly and seemingly uniquely aware of, triggering a riot in an outlying district.

The combination of multiple core postmodern elements, such as those previously mentioned, constructs a postmodern piece. However, this can be interpreted as a scale; a text does not need a set number of the key elements to be considered postmodern. 'The hunger Games' has a relative lack of intertextual references, which contrasts greatly with 'Gogglebox'.

The concept of 'Gogglebox' relies entirely on intertextuality and audience participation; the "characters" are represented as being part of the "real" audience, and are filmed reacting to a mixture of television programmes.

"#GoggleboxMe" allows the audience watching the show to send their own reactions to the producers; reactions are then shown before advert breaks, thus creating a wealth of self-reflexivity – an ironic self-awareness.

'Gogglebox' is also heavily based on the blurring of boundaries between "high" and "low" culture, juxtaposing a chess master from Cambridge with a working-class family in Newcastle, who are then forced to watch the same six hours of programmes, on one night each week.

'Gogglebox' creates a myth of community; it is a disguised misrepresentation, placing it in Baudrillard's third stage of the representation of reality. Channel 4's website describes 'Gogglebox' as a "British observational documentary", yet Tania Alexander, the show's executive producer, said in an interview that the show is "created in the edit". Bill and Josef live far apart; one travels far each week so that they can be recorded together. The very notion of a family sitting together to watch television is now uncommon.

Source

Postmodern media challenge the traditional relationship between text and audience; they emphasise spectacle and often incoherent or overly complex narratives, whether the complexity is derived from the dislocation of time and overlapping of sub-narratives, combined with understanding from intertextual references, as in Sherlock, 'The Empty Hearse' (BBC, 1/1/14, episode 1, series 3), or from the overwhelming avoidance of conservative narrative styles, and a turn to abundant bricolage, and surreal, explicit hyper-reality, as was common in music videos in the 1980s, such as Bowie's 'Ashes to Ashes' and Talking Heads' 'Road to Nowhere', in which no sense can be found by any sane person from the overlays of a jogging David Byrne and a naked man emerging from a cardboard box.

In conclusion, postmodern media are those which feature an array of the core elements: bricolage, an ironic self-awareness, pastiche, parody, hyper-reality, intertextuality, fragmentation, etc. They blur the boundaries between cultures, levels of reality, time periods, and more, and they are explicitly aware that they are doing so. They employ bricolage to create new meaning, as described by Jacques Derrida, and they challenge how audiences are involved in the production of their own entertainment. Overall, postmodern media baffle; they confuse and they make conscious thinkers question the necessity for such incoherent, surreal, and diverse narratives, and they achieve all of this through the recycling of past ideas, thrown together to form something new.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very informative.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)