Hypermodernity (supermodernity) is a type, mode, or stage of society that reflects an inversion of modernity in which the function of an object has its reference point in the form of an object rather than function being the reference point for form. Hypermodernism stipulates a world in which the object has been replaced by the attributes of the object. The new attribute-driven world is driven by the rise of technology and aspires to a convergence between technology and biology and more importantly information and matter. Hypermodernism finds its validation in emphasis on the value of new technology to overcome natural limitations and emphasizes a dismissal of an object-driven past in favor of a flexible, attribute-driven heuristic.
According to Nicole Aubert, the hypermodern individual precedes the hypermodern model of society. The kind of personality we call “hypermodern” emerged in the 1970s in Western Europe and North America..
The hypermodern society emerges itself later after these first models whose art and culture can be echoed.
This emergence is clearly affirmed in the years 1990-2000 in economically developed societies by the following features of a society where everything is exacerbated:
in the scales at stake in the globalization of markets and trade flows,
in the immediacy of phenomena perceived through glocalised media that break the spatio-temporal limits of modernity,
in the social-economic mechanisms pushed to hypertrophy even in terms of consumption with hyperconsumption, competition with the phenomena of global monopolies and profit with financialization,
in the individual or collective research of enjoyment, health or well-being with over-medication, body worship with cosmetic surgery,
in the manifestation of violence practiced by new categories of people (increasingly younger), from mass unemployment to terrorism to the phenomenon of male or even female urban gangs,
in the loss of collective and individual social and moral references where the intermediate bodies (churches, unions, political parties) lose their legitimacy.
Hypermodernity emphasizes a hyperbolic separation between past and present due to the fact that:
The past oriented attributes and their functions around objects
Objects that do exist in the present are only extant due to some useful attribute in the hypermodern era.
Hypermodernity inverts Modernity to allow the attributes of an object to provide even more individuality than modernism. Modernity trapped form within the bounds of limited function; hypermodernity posits that function is now evolving so rapidly, it must take its reference point from form itself. Both positive and negative societal changes occur due to hyper-individualism and increased personal choice.
Postmodernity rejected the idea of the past as a reference point and curated objects from the past for the sole purpose of freeing form from function. In postmodernism, truth was ephemeral as the focus was to avoid non-falsifiable tenets. Postmodernity described a total collapse of Modernity and its faith in progress and improvement in empowering the individual.
From the Postmodernism to the hyper Hypermodernity
For Lipovetsky the term Postmodern became vague and can not express the world today, postmodern post referred to the past as if it were already dead, before asserting the end of modernity, it is seen its completion, which is embodied in globalized liberalism, the commodification of the ways of life and a galloping individualization. But this modernity, which is also termed supermodernity, is integrative, which we are leaving was a denial: no more destruction of the past, but its integration with the modern logics of the market, consumption and individuality. In defining the concept of hypermodernity, Lipovetsky proposes to “overcome the postmodern theme and reconceptualize the temporal organization that presents itself”. It suggests the term hypermodern, because a new phase of modernity arises, from post to hyper: “postmodernity will have been nothing more than a stage of transition, a moment of short duration” (Lipovetsky, 2004: 58).
Hypermodernity is characterized by a culture of excess, of the ever more. All things become intense and urgent. Movement is a constant and changes take place in an almost schizophrenic rhythm determining a time marked by the ephemeral, in which flexibility and fluidity appear as attempts to accompany this speed. Hypermarket, hyperconsumption, hypertext, hypercorpo: everything is raised to the power of the most, of the greatest. Hypermodernity reveals the paradox of contemporary society: the culture of excess and moderation.
If distinguished from hypermodernity, supermodernity is a step beyond the ontological emptiness of postmodernism and relies upon plausible heuristic truths. Whereas modernism focused upon the creation of great truths (or what Lyotard called “master narratives” or “metanarratives”), and postmodernity was intent upon their destruction (deconstruction); supermodernity operates extraneously of meta-truth. Instead, attributes are extracted from objects of the past based on their present relevance. Since attributes are both true and false, a truth value is not necessary including falsifiability. Supermodernity curates useful attributes from modern and postmodern objects in order to escape nihilistic postmodern tautology. The touchscreen phone is an excellent example of supermodernism in action. Related authors are Terry Eagleton After Theory, Marc Augé Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, and Kashif Vikaas “Hyperland”.
An undisputed modernity but chipped with chess
Hypermodernity has in many ways characteristics similar to modernity. For hypermodernity is not a challenge to modernity with regard to some of its principles – emancipation, the use of reason, orientation towards the future, the practice of contract, convention and consent.
The new term of modernity in hypertension marks the awareness of the temporary failures of an outdated modernity. Among the undisputed failures: the serious or even irremediable attack on nature, its resources and its biodiversity, negation of the subtle knowledge of the interiority of man by oppressive technologies, breaks of social learning by the disintegration of rites and links, in a general acceleration of individual and collective rhythms.
At the level of its “secularization” of these values and practices, the episteme of hypermodernity would have a “presence” still marked by the sacred and the need for irrationality, escape from the loss of vision and meaning.
Radical contestation or hopeless overcoming of modernity
Time and tradition in hypermodern society
Modern obsession with time has taken hold of all aspects of life and no longer restricting the sphere of work, according to Lipovetsky: “Hypermodern society presents itself as the society in which time is increasingly lived as a major concern, the society in which an increasing temporal pressure is exerted and generalized “(Lipovetsky, 2004: 75). We are no longer attached to the past and the future, for the present extends its dominion and both acquire new relevance. The future also acquires new contours, reveals itself less romantic and more revolutionary, using scientific technical overpower to transform the future. Environmental risks and concern for the planet are prominent in the collective debate. In hypermodernity time is accelerated, if it is rarefied, it is the reign of urgency, the schedules are full, time goes beyond the world of work. But also, on the other hand, the more personalized constructions of the uses of time arise: a greater power of individual organization of life.
In the rediscovery of the past, there arises the valorization of memory, religious traditions, ethnic identities, and finally “the revival of the past”. Before, the moderns wanted to be free of the traditions, in the hypermodernity the tradition regains social dignity. “What defines hypermodernity is not exclusively the self-criticism of modern knowledge and institutions, it is also the revisited memory, the remobilization of traditional beliefs, the individualistic hybridization of the past and the present, no longer just the deconstruction of traditions, but re-employment of it without institutional imposition, the eternal rearranging of it according to the principle of individual sovereignty “(Lipovetsky, 2004: 98). The valuation of the past is a phenomenon more hypermodern than postmodern: museums, memorial obsession, preservation of heritage, democratization of tourism, valorization of the “legitimate or authentic”. In hypermodern society, the market model and its operating criteria have managed to enter into the conservation of historical heritage, we see the emergence of cultural capitalism and the commodification of culture.
In the article “One Modernity-Another or the Hypermodern”, Samuel Mateus (2010) underlines the fact that hypermodernity “describes itself not so much as a revolt against modernity, but above all as a very acute critical adaptation to the very development of modernity. it is not “simple modernity” but rather as a superlative modern act of (re) foundation. It does not have a “counter-modern” disposition as an acute extension. inherent in modern experience. it arises from the attempt to renew the project of modernity, but above all, of the challenges that project launches in the contemporary world ”
Gilles Lipovetsky offers his reading of the all-powerful hypermodernity without going through postmodernity and especially through the prism of hyperconsumption: ” Our time is not that of the end of modernity, but that which records the The advent of a new modernity: hypermodernity: everywhere our societies are swept away by the escalation of ever more, ever faster, ever more extreme in all spheres of social and individual life: finance, consumption, communication, information, town planning, sport, shows… Not a post-modernity but a hyperbolic modernization, the completion of modernity “.
Until then modernity worked framed or braked by a whole set of counterweights and counter-models. This time is coming to an end. The uniting society is one in which the oppositional forces to democratic and individualistic modernity are no longer structuring, where the great alternative aims have disappeared, where modernization no longer meets with any substantive organizational and ideological resistance. We can therefore define hypermodernity by the radicalization of the three logics that make up the modern age, namely,
the individual and his political transcription, democracy ”.
A radicalization that unfolds through the processes of rationalization but also the intensification of competition and the almost general commercialization of lifestyles. (see Institut Paul Bocuse, “Big Witnesses” Conference Cycles on the theme of “Hypermodernity”, Extract from the conference of Gilles Lipovetsky – October 4, 2010).
François Ascher also offers his reading of hypermodernity, the formulation of a “third modernity” which is illustrated by considerable developments in transport and storage techniques (storage is the correlate of movement) of people, goods and services. especially information. In fact, information plays a central role in the dynamics of transition to cognitive capitalism. This quantitative and qualitative extension of the movement adds to the dynamics of individualization and differentiation, which contribute to the emergence of new forms of structuring society. The metaphor of hypertextallows us to give an account of this new type of society constituted of a sort of leaf of social fields (work, family, neighborhood etc.) which each have their own social values and rules and which are connected by individuals who belong simultaneously to these different fields. Thus, society is doubly structured, by social fields and by individuals, as hypertexts are doubly structured by the syntax of texts and by the words that link texts. The “hyper” hypermodernity prefix thus expresses both the exaggeration of modernity and its “n” dimensional structure.
In psychoanalysis, hypermodernity appears as a crisis of autonomy coupled with a crisis of acceptance of otherness. As Martin Pigeon claims [ archive ]: “I call this era, ours, hypermodern. It is not a question of the end of modernity (which is why I do not use the term postmodernity), but of its acceleration in a direction where autonomy defeats itself. Hypermodernity carbide the denial of radical otherness, the denial of the incompleteness of the Other. This denial is part of the movement of reduction of otherness, inaugurated by modernity, which becomes “excessive” in hypermodernity. All that can be presented as a figure of otherness passes there: authority, hierarchy, sacredness, body, time, desire, finitude, presence, difference… Otherness does not disappear of course it is rather its social recognition that tends to disappear. Rather, autonomy is synonymous with independence. The contemporary promotion of autonomy evacuates as much as possible the encounter with otherness, the conflictual encounter with the Other, hence the multiplication of self-modalities (self-evaluation, self-limitation, self-management, self-reference, self-satisfaction…). The problem is that there is no humanization without alterity, no autonomy either. The less the subject encounters the otherness, the less it is imposed by the social organization, the more it will impose it and, quite often, fiercely (violence towards oneself, panic attack, addiction…)). To meet otherness becomes more and more unbearable. Contemporary man feels quickly a victim of the Other, a victim of the desire of the Other. Is it any wonder that for many, the least encounter with otherness (the otherness of one’s body, a love encounter,
New profiles of individuals
The survival modes separate hypermodernity of modernity
It is very difficult to compare the episteme of hypermodernity with that which precedes it. In modernity there still existed a sort of natural selection of individuals by disease and accident. On the other hand, society selected its deviant individuals by sending them to the military and civilian structures of colonialism.
At the crossroads of individual and collective dynamics, accidents at work, for example, reduced the population of thousands of individuals every year, some of whom were addicted.
Nothing like it in hypermodernity. There are many individuals who have come close to death from intrauterine life to the ordeals of adolescence. There is therefore a fragile population of ” young” and not so young that did not exist in the previous episteme. Say there are more addictions, social behavior, etc. that in the modern episteme only makes sense if we specify these very different conditions of survival of a whole part of the population.
A more fragmented social selectivity that persists
Like any episteme, hypermodernity has its “winners” and “losers” in terms of individuation.
The winner who has found the new social codes will be able to live enjoying all the material and possibly spiritual attributes that hypermodernity brings to him: the intensity gains all the compartments of his life in a renewed blooming.
The loser will be able to experience all the forms of disintegration of Western societies in the extreme process of individuation that the SDF phenomenon illustrates: from personal economic (unemployment) and social (sickness, divorce), loss of meaning and links, vacuity of displayed values, leaks.
Stressful freedom to a single individual
According to a sociologist, Christine Castelain-Meunier explains the rise of stress among contemporaries and the different somatizations, addictions and deviances that result: ” Yesterday, we were worn, supervised. free electrons! In seeking to free themselves from all shackles, the hypermodern individual has found himself vulnerable and has finally traded the constraints of the past against other dependencies, work, play, or the Internet… “. Western adolescents are not left behind as indicated by Jocelyn Lachance’s work. “Based on a survey of young people aged 15 to 19, the report on the time of a new generation summoned to respond to the order of autonomy in a world tinged with uncertainty “is described Alain Ehrenberg returns to the Janus of the hypermodern man (The Fatigue of being oneself, Extracts following p.250-201.), ” deficit and compulsive ” all at the same time.The depression watches him at every step between ” depressive implosion and addictive explosion for to face the immuttrable “,” when it is no longer a matter of conquering one’s freedom but of becoming oneself and taking the initiative to act. “” Depression is the guardian of the man without a guide “(…), “it is the counterpart of the deployment of its energy. The concepts of project, motivation and communication dominate our normative culture “” Project failure, lack of motivation, lack of communication, the depressed is the exact reverse of socialization standards “that clutter the hypermodern universe.
The tension generated by multiplied identities
For Hugues de Jouvenel the hypermodern tension is palpable on a global scale and can lead to happiness or horror: ” Another phenomenon that seemed to me striking is that said” multiple belongings. “I can be a citizen of my village, of my country, of Europe, of the Mediterranean as of the world, while claiming other belongings, religious or parareligious, cultural, professional… The question which then arose is that of knowing what founded these communities of belonging and, above all, if this diversity plays in favor of a happy interbreeding of identity, mark of the modernity to come, or on the contrary leads to phenomena of tension or even of radicalization, if not of schizophrenia, which could be at the origin of new tensions or conflicts, internal to each individual or between social groups claiming values, beliefs, different cultures “(see Futurible, July / August 2007, Editorial).
Individual and collective ways of appeasement?
On an individual level, the hypermodern living in a global or confined horizontality can find a solution to its programmed destructuring by seeking a meaning for its life. The success of approaches related to the meaning of life or personal development is a witness to these aspirations that can be captured with loss and shattering by sects in search of servile agents.
On the collective level, hypermodernity must find the ways of priorities to be solved by concrete action through multiple innovative social networks whose communitarian coordination is becoming more and more sophisticated.
The slowing down of the rhythm of life and the simplification of lifestyles, the less dependence on a society of consumption, a social time and well-being preserved, the sanctuarisation of the threatened spaces and species are undoubtedly the signs of a search for appeasement, through multiple experiences.
Source from Wikipedia