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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trend: Identity Crises

Came across the essay (linked above) by Francis Fukayama.

Many believe we have entered the "postmodern" period. As we struggle to figure out just what the hell that means, one clearly related question seems very timely: What holds us together? Nationalism, ethnicity, religion, generational constructs, geography, tradition and any number of other structures have provided the glue that holds a culture together. Arguably, many of these constructs are disappearing. Now what? Can brands play a role in helping to shape new cultural identities (I am being serious here)? Do they already? If not, what defines us? Fukayama ends with this:

"Postmodern elites, particularly those in Europe, feel that they have evolved beyond identities defined by religion and nation and have arrived at a superior place. But aside from their celebration of endless diversity and tolerance, postmodern people find it difficult to agree on the substance of the good life to which they aspire in common."

The warning is that we may not have the luxury of waiting around to figure this out. Others may do it for us.

1 comment:

Charles said...

I just think Fukuyama is completely discredited as an intellectual for still having his name on the Project For A New American Century.

It's not a tbeoretical mistake he made. The next unwanted war is with Iran.