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Postmodernism and Social Science Essay Example

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Postmodernism and Social Science

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For example, at the core of Marxist thinking is the idea of exploitation. Exploitation involves one entire class or segment of society taking advantage of another. Within Capitalism, the profit gained by the Capitalist is the difference between the value of the product and the actual wage that the worker receives. Thus Capitalism functions on the basis of paying workers less than the full value of their labour, thus providing profit.Within such emancipatory social science, there is an attempt at objectively identifying certain trends, processes and patterns within society, followed by a couching of what has been identified within a context of how the scholar thinks society should be changed. ‘Objectivity’ takes place with the study of what is, ‘subjectivity’ within the analysis of what should be.How does postmodernism fit within this view of social science? One of postmodernism, as might be personified by a scholar such as Jacques Derrida, would view any attempt to emancipate people through social science somewhat naïve at best. For Derrida, and the followers of deconstruction, the idea of a hierarchy of value within the world:- exploitation of workers is bad, worker control is good (within a Marxist context) – is invalid. The attempt by many emancipatory social scientists to identify an essentialist centre that is exploiting workers, biased against women, racist, homophobic (take your pick) is beside the point. Derrida best explained his position on how modern societies actually work early in his career:the entire history of the concept of structure, before the rupture of which we are speaking, must be thought of as a series of substitutions of centre for centre, as a linked chain of determinations of the centre. Successively, and in a regulated fashion, the centre receives different forms or names. The history of metaphysics, like the history of the West, is the history of these metaphors and metonymies. Its matrix (.) is the determination of Being as presence in all senses of this word. It could be shown that all the names related to fundamentals, to principles, or to the centre have always designated an invariable presence – eidos, archē, telos, energeia, ousia (essence, existence, substance, subject) alētheia, transcendentality, consciousness, God, man, and so forth .The search for an emancipatory social science was seen by Derrida

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