History after the end: post-socialist difference in a (post)modern world
This paper makes an intervention in the debates on postmodernism as dominant social and cultural order of the present from the perspective of post-socialist transformation. Grounded in an analysis of theoretical discourses and of qualitative interviews, it highlights the hierarchical time/space constructions and universalizing tendencies inherent in many proclamations of the postmodern epoch and contests the uncritical acceptance of the ‘end of history’ metanarrative. Post-socialist transformation is shown to be a complex process that fits uneasily into pre-given categories and disrupts an ordering logic that divides between a western, postmodern ‘us’ and ‘the rest’ of the world. My argument is formulated on the basis of research on the transformative processes in former east Germany.
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