This paper seeks to address the question: what happened to postmodern?
Three trends are reviewed: postmodern fragmentation, late modern appropriations of postmodern moves; and emergent awareness of the dark‐side of postmodern.
On the way to postmodern theory the revolution to reform modern capitalism fragmented into rhetoric‐strands, while practice became ineffective.
The paper concludes with possibilities for participatory research in ways that enact more postmodern forms of capitalist praxis.
It is suggested that qualitative studies of postmodern praxis can be conducted; such as postmodern organizations that enact the dark‐side of biotechnology; consumer organizations, such as Blackspot and No Sweat that contract to non‐sweatshop factories; and autoethnographic examples of how building a Harley‐Davidson chopper is post‐production and post‐consumption.
The paper shows that in the fragmentation of moderns and postmoderns, there is a relentless appropriation of postmodern moves by late modernism. This is one contributing factor to the “dark side of postmodern.” Other contributing factors are naive brands of postmodern (e.g. chaos theory, complexity, new age spirituality) which, sometimes only see the positive potentialities, and blind one to the dark side. What is original is the call for a combination of critical theory and postmodern theory (critical postmodern) that looks at the relation between various ideas of modern and postmodern and how they can be studied in their dialogicality.
Boje, D. (2006), "What happened on the way to postmodern?", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 22-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465640610666624Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited