Difference Between Modern and Post-Modern

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


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

The difference between modern and post-modern is that modern is used to define the time between the 1890s to 1945 whereas post-modern denotes the time of World War 2 to which was mainly after 1968.

Modern vs Post Modern

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

However, both of them represent older times.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonModernPost-modern
Thought StructureIn modern times, people think in a more logical, rational, and scientific approach.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.Post-modern is the time after industrialization and hence, it includes the process of Globalization to reach the 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 along with believing that 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 were not so developed media in Modern times. Modernists believed in the development of 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 has 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 as well as rational thinking and has several key features associated with it.

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 is powerful and is known as a bureaucratic state. 

3. The people think in a scientific and rational way 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 trust the people have in Science and Technological Progress.

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

Durkheim, Marx, attempted to create concept and theories which could explain the work of the societies answer very  fundamental questions like “what makes societies change?” and ” What is the power that holds societies?”


What is Post-modern?

Postmoderns refers to the time after the second world war which was 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 itself requires to be e hot or understood in a different way. Postmodern society refers to several advanced post-industrial societies that were there 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 concept of media come into the picture.

3. Society now becoming consumer-related which means every individual has the freedom to choose their own lifestyle.

4. It was the time for cultural diversity and hybridity.  People started involving themselves in making relationships with different societies and they started thinking in a more subjective manner than a logical manner.

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 into the subjective-side.
  2. The modern world introduces the concept of industrialization whereas Post-modern times is after industrialization and has globalization concept in it.
  3. Society makes conclusions based on technologies whereas Post-modern society goes more into relationships with the world.
  4. In modern times, the culture subtly evolves but in Post-modern society, culture like music and fashion grows very 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 world in it.
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1jxRDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=modern+vs+post+modern+era&ots=LncNzbexBK&sig=GlEQBKX-1M01SWDdGlAiKAM5vVs
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-7660.1992.tb00455.x
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