One of the best books on modern, western cultural trends that I’ve ever read is David Lyon’s introduction simply called POSTMODERNITY. It’s now on its 2nd edition and has almost doubled in size. But it is brilliantly lucid and accessible, with plenty of worked examples and illustrations. If someone is wanting to find out more about all this PoMo stuff, then this is the first place I send them, despite it being a 1st year primer text book published by the Open University. What I love is that he actually only reveals his position on the very last page (or at least that’s how he did it in the first edition), but up until that point, is providing as objective a survey as he can muster. Fantastic stuff.
Here is one gem from it, that suddenly sprang to mind as I was walking home from a meeting, passing an upmarket hair salon (are there any down-market hair salons in Marylebone?). People’s religion is now shopping, because they no longer trust the institutions and ideologies that have, for example, torn Europe apart over the last 500 years (eg Catholicism, Protestantism, Atheism Imperialism, Marxism, Fascism etc). So what do we have left? Well as Lyon sums it up:
Thecollapse of ideology leaves us with ‘consumer clusters of taste and fashion’
And almost too good to be true, here is the logical extension of that: hair religion…