Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World
Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World
Brand: Edinburgh University Press

Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World

  • Publish Date: 2001-04-29
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Oliver Bennett

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Cultural pessimism arises with the conviction that the culture of a nation, a civilisation or of humanity itself is in a process of irreversible decline. In an incisive and wide-ranging analysis, Cultural Pessimism: Narratives of Decline in the Postmodern World charts the growth of pessimism in the West during the last decades of the twentieth century.Drawing on studies from within a very broad range of fields, which include ecology, human rights, military history, international relations, criminology, history of science, cultural criticism and political economy, the author shows how cultural pessimism in the postmodern world can be related to the cumulative effect of four key narratives of decline:* Environmental decline* Moral decline* Intellectual decline* Political declineAfter a review of pessimism in other historical periods, each of these narratives is explored in depth. The book attempts to answer a number of questions: how are the narratives constituted and what are the conditions to whic


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