Ontology: This refers to enquiry into, or assumptions or theories about, the nature of what exists, including whether anything can be said to exist at all. One influential area of disagreement here concerns whether all phenomena have the same fundamental character or whether there are multiple kinds of being. Another is about whether ideas or matter are the true nature of being; or whether both exist and are of equal importance; with the latter position leading to questions about the relationship between mind and body. There are also those who argue that the character of social phenomena is fundamentally different from that of the objects and events studied by natural scientists; and the epistemological implication often drawn from this is that a distinctive approach is required in order to understand them. Hammersley (2012)

Useful questions for first submission (from Richard Berger on Forum 6 Feb):

  • What are our a priori assumptions and beliefs?
  • Does our a priori knowledge impact this research?
  • How (can?) we validate that prior knowledge?
  • What is the role of the researcher in the research?
  • How have we impacted the research?
  • Whose point of view do we write from?
  • How do I position myself “above and outside” to do analysis of my work whilst still being an insider?


“The pseudo-modern cultural phenomenon par excellence is the internet. Its central act is that of the individual clicking on his/her mouse to move through pages in a way which cannot be duplicated, inventing a pathway through cultural products which has never existed before and never will again. This is a far more intense engagement with the cultural process than anything literature can offer, and gives the undeniable sense (or illusion) of the individual controlling, managing, running, making up his/her involvement with the cultural product. Internet pages are not ‘authored’ in the sense that anyone knows who wrote them, or cares. The majority either require the individual to make them work, like Streetmap or Route Planner, or permit him/her to add to them, like Wikipedia, or through feedback on, for instance, media websites. In all cases, it is intrinsic to the internet that you can easily make up pages yourself (eg blogs).”

“In postmodernism, one read, watched, listened, as before. In pseudo-modernism one phones, clicks, presses, surfs, chooses, moves, downloads. There is a generation gap here, roughly separating people born before and after 1980. Those born later might see their peers as free, autonomous, inventive, expressive, dynamic, empowered, independent, their voices unique, raised and heard: postmodernism and everything before it will by contrast seem elitist, dull, a distant and droning monologue which oppresses and occludes them. Those born before 1980 may see, not the people, but contemporary texts which are alternately violent, pornographic, unreal, trite, vapid, conformist, consumerist, meaningless and brainless (see the drivel found, say, on some Wikipedia pages, or the lack of context on Ceefax). To them what came before pseudo-modernism will increasingly seem a golden age of intelligence, creativity, rebellion and authenticity. Hence the name ‘pseudo-modernism’ also connotes the tension between the sophistication of the technological means, and the vapidity or ignorance of the content conveyed by it – a cultural moment summed up by the fatuity of the mobile phone user’s “I’m on the bus”.” Kirby (2006)


“Jennifer Egan’s short story “Black Box” was first published on the New Yorker’s Twitter account as a series of 606 tweets released at the rate of one per minute for an hour on consecutive evenings in May-June 2012. If its unusual mode of publication garnered widespread attention, its success derives from its brilliant inhabiting of the literary possibilities offered both by the tweet and by serial digital publication. I have argued elsewhere that, since the turn of the century, postmodernism has been superseded as our contemporary cultural dominant by what I call digimodernism, the textual, cultural, and artistic practices prompted by new digital technologies. Metamodernism reads digimodernism as one of the dimensions or strands characterizing the cultural landscape after postmodernism. “Black Box,” in my view, is probably the first fully-fledged and triumphant digimodernist work of literature.” Kirby (2013)


“Since the turn of the millennium, moreover, the democratization of digital technologies, techniques and tools has caused a shift from a postmodern media logic characterized by television screen and spectacle, cyberspace and simulacrum towards a metamodern media logic of creative amateurs, social networks and locative media – what the cultural theorist Kazys Varnelis calls network culture.” Notes on Metamodernism (2010)


“Contrived as it may be, the automotive parable conveys the ongoing predicament of postmodernism as well as of the historian of post-Cold War literary-aesthetic traffic, interchanges, and overall sociocultural change in the U.S. and elsewhere. Indeed, many would suggest that, for some time now, we have been witnessing the weakening, if not the “passing,” of postmodernism (The Passing of Postmodernism is the title of a 2010 book by Josh Toth). The question or questions remain, however: if this passing equals a neatly demarcated exit and thus the end of an era; if the cohort of hot rods and fancy imports so eager to leave the postmodern behind—digimodernism, performatism, globalism, cosmodernism, planetarism, hypermodernism, altermodernism, etc.—are sufficiently marked stylistically, thematically, and otherwise; if the ironic, parodic, manifestly intertextual, and cross-generic discursive signals they send as they pick up speed on the highway of aesthetic and cultural history allow for an effectively individualizing profile; if authors who have driven previous shifts in taste and form and still are central to the postmodern, postcolonial, and multiethnic canons in the U.S. and abroad—from Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Chang-rae Lee, Junot Díaz, and Mark Z. Danielewski to Zadie Smith, Michel Houellebecq, Haruki Murakami, Orhan Pamuk, and Roberto Bolaño— can be cavalierly enlisted in a Paradigmenwechsel argument plausibly geared toward the supplanting of postmodernism; if, more specifically, a writer like DeLillo can be postmodern inWhite Noise (1985) and post-postmodern in Point Omega (2010) (whose whole point—no pun intended—is an echo to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s “point Omega” from Le Phénomène humain); if the decoupling of the postmodern and the poststructural has really occurred; if the digital, Internet-based experiments of style, format, and venue à la Jennifer Egan will ever reach critical mass or will ever amount to more than a digitalization of the postmodern; and if the much-advertised return to realism, new eclecticism, new “earnestness” or “sincerity” (and to “new weirdness” too), along with the comeback of the empathic, the ethical, and the metaphysical, and the temptation of the “post-identitarian” and of the “grand narratives” will prove enough to set off a well-configured, epoch-making paradigm shift away from postmodernism and to something else labeled truly, if awkwardly, post-postmodern.” Moraru (2013)


Hammersley, M. (2012) Methodological Paradigms in Educational Research, British Educational Research Association on-line resource.

Moraru, C. (2013) Introduction to Focus: Thirteen Ways of Passing Postmodernism. American Review of Books 34(4) [Internet] Available at: <http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/american_book_review/v034/34.4.moraru.html&gt; Accessed on 5 November, 2013.

Kirby, A. (2006) The Death of Postmodernism And Beyond. [internet] Philosophy Now, 58. Available from: <http://philosophynow.org/issues/58/The_Death_of_Postmodernism_And_Beyond&lt; Accessed on 5 November, 2013.

Kirby, A. (2013) Digimodern Textual Endlessness. American Review of Books 34(4) [Internet] Available at: <http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/american_book_review/v034/34.4.kirby.html> Accessed on 5 November, 2013.

Editorial (2010) What is metamodernism. Notes on Metamodernism [Internet] Available from: <http://www.metamodernism.com/2010/07/15/what-is-metamodernism/> Accessed on 5 November 2013.

Notes on Metamodernism (n.d) Facebook Fanpage [Internet] Available at: <https://www.facebook.com/metamodernism&gt; Accessed on 5 November, 2013.


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