Late-Capitalism and the Information Age

Jameson states of his theory on the “waning of affect”: “As for expression and feelings or emotions, the liberation, in contemporary society,from the older anomie of the centered subject may also mean not merely a liberation from anxiety but a liberation from every other kind of feeling as well, since there is no longer a self present to do the feeling. This is not to say that the cultural products of the postmodern era are utterly devoid of feeling, but rather that such feelings…are now free-floating and impersonal…”

Could this be the reason for why depression has become almost a way of life for Westerners in this so-called postmodern era? With modern technology, have our social interactions become emotionless and shallow? Are we lacking in real affection? Has the information age imprisoned Westerners rather than liberated us?

And what about the cheapening of sex and intimacy through the information age and modern technology? Sex, as well as “media, arts, and education” has also become commodified in contemporary culture, has it not? And even the intimacy of a well thought-out letter to a friend or family member has been lost in the meaningless chatter of the information age. While the response may come quick and easy, it’s not exactly fulfilling- it lacks depth.

Is it possible for Westerners to be fulfilled after the effects that late-capitalism has had on contemporary society, and with the commodification of basically every aspect of our lives?


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One thought on “Late-Capitalism and the Information Age”


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    Professor Sample says:

    You raise a lot of good questions. I think you may be overgeneralizing a bit, but this idea of depression as a “way of life” is something worth talking about. I wonder if it is due to the waning of affect, or perhaps, the fact that our lives are medicalized to an unprecedented degree, and now our “diseases” are even commodified. Which means, our diseases have to be marketed and a demand for their solution has to be created.

    Not to give too much away, but White Noise attacks this head-on in the final section of the novel.

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