Modern vs Post-Modern: Difference and Comparison

There are various eras or periods in the history of the world. Several terms came out in the 20th century to define them in English. ”Modern” and “Post-modern” are such two terms that came out during the 20th century.

The two terms sound similar and hence confuse many people. Many people think that the two are similar and make mistakes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Modern refers to a period of cultural and artistic development from the late 19th to mid-20th century, characterized by a focus on rationality, progress, and individualism.
  2. Post-modern refers to a period of cultural and artistic development that emerged in the mid-20th century, characterized by a rejection of traditional values and a focus on fragmentation, irony, and self-reference.
  3. Modernism emphasizes universal truths and objective reality, while post-modernism questions the idea of objective truth and embraces subjectivity and relativism.

Modern vs Post-Modern

Modernism is distinguished by an emphasis on rationality and objectivity and a belief in scientific and technological development. Postmodernism, on the other hand, rejects the concept of objective truth in favour of subjectivity and relativism and it values variation and opposes the concept of universal ideals.

Modern vs Post Modern

It is very easy to get confused between the two, but you cannot swap the two terms as they have very different definitions and eras associated with them. To use these terms, you must have good knowledge about their differences.


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However, both of them represent older times.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonModernPost-modern
Thought StructureIn modern times, people think more logically, rationally, and scientifically.In Post-modern times, people denied the logical way and were involved in a subjective way of thought structure.
EconomyThe economy starts to industrialize more at this time.The Post-modern is the time after industrialization; hence, it includes the process of Globalization to reach different parts of the world. 
SocietySociety makes conclusions made on technology and believes in learning from the past.Post-modern society was more into making relationships with the world and different communities and believing there is no use of the past to make decisions related to the present.
CultureThe music and fashion were a bit subtle in the modern era.Music, fashion, and relationships started to take bold shapes at this time. There was much diversity observed.
Media And WorldviewThere was not so developed media in Modern times—modernists believed in developing a coherent worldview.The media started to develop at a much faster pace at this time. There is an attempt to eliminate the differences between the low and the high during this time.
LiteratureThe writers from the Modern world have more of the “real world” depicting kinds of literature.Post-modern came with the concept of fantasies and fiction and included concepts and imagination beyond the “real world”.

What is modern?

Modern is a term used to define the time that began in Europe several hundred years back. It is related to logical and rational thinking and has several key features.

1. The production of goods and services and the economy are Industrial and capitalist. Also, social class is the main form of social division.

2. The  Administration and Central Government are powerful and are known as a bureaucratic state. 

3. The people think scientifically and rationally, and their knowledge is derived from that only. The thinking is not based on religion, faith, superstition, or magic.

4. The views for the betterment of society were based on the people’s trust in Science and Technological Progress.

Several great sociologists try to find ways to understand modernity and the great transformation it created.

Durkheim and Marx attempted to create concepts and theories that could explain societies’ work to answer fundamental questions like “What makes societies change?” and ” What is the power that holds societies?”


What is Post-modern?

Postmoderns refer to the time after the Second War, mainly around 1968. The approach that the people were using was based on a subjective manner. It refers to the new ways to think about the thought.

The people in this time believed that knowledge was required to be e hot or understood differently. Postmodern society refers to several advanced post-industrial societies after the 1950s. It has various key features like:

1. This time duration involved the process of globalization. The Nations started to come together and work towards the betterment of one another.

2. This era results in the evolution of the media concept come into the picture.

3. Society is becoming consumer-related, meaning everyone can choose their lifestyle.

4. It was the time for cultural diversity and hybridity.  People started involving themselves in relationships with different societies, and they started thinking more subjectively than logically.

post modern

Main Differences Between Modern and Post-Modern

  1. The thinking is more of the logical and reasoning kind in the Modern era than the Post-modern. Post-modern thinking is more on the subjective side.
  2. The modern world introduces the concept of industrialization, whereas Post-modern times are after industrialization and have a globalization concept.
  3. Society makes conclusions based on technology, whereas Post-modern society goes more into relationships with the world.
  4. In modern times, culture subtly evolves, but in Post-modern society, cultures like music and fashion grow boldly.
  5. There is a negligible amount of contribution by media in Modern times, but in Post-modern times, media is highly active.
  6. Literature in Modern times has more depiction of the “real world”, whereas, Post-modern times has the introduction to fantasy and fictional worlds in it.
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