To understand post-modernism we must first understand modernism. Modernism is the philosophy that began with the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was an era when science and art flourished. European society used the Enlightenment to object to the oppression of the church. This era emphasized only those things that are observable or measurable (Smith, 1995). The scientific method developed at this time became the standard to which everything is measured. Modernism, although moving away from the confinements of religion, was limiting in its own way.
Post-modernism can be viewed as an expansion of modernism. It does not limit the idea of truth to only that which can be observed. Post-modernism is all encompassing. Post-modernism does not allow for only one definition for anything. There are several explanations for phenomena. Where modernism emphasizes racial classifications, post-modernism emphasizes cultural and ethnic classifications. Post-modernism sanctions differences from family to family and person to person within the parameters of one culture.
This multiculturalism is being used to educate from primary education through higher education. In Percival and Black's study with sixth-graders and multiculturalism, they realized that, although they were examining a specific Native American tribe, stereotypes of that tribe or people can develop (2000). For example, all African Americans from the South eat collard greens and corn bread. So, educating oneself about other cultures cannot be used to generalize to the entire group. Post-modernism is, thus,... [continues]
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