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Modernist Sociology in a Postmodern World?Shipman, Jessica; Powell, Jason; University of Leeds; University of Chester (Emerald, 2005-10-14)This article looks at the problems Sociology has in theorising modern discourses in the light of the rise and consolidation of Postmodernism. The paper begins with an historical sketch of the emergence of Enlightenment and how its values helped to engender intellectual curiosity amongst the precursors of modernist sociological theorising. Indeed, the paper analyses how Sociology faces up to enlightenment thought and legacy via a critical analysis of the modern‐postmodern debate: its historiography, pathologies, and futurology. At the same time, there has been a huge escalation of neo‐Nietzschean theorists under the label of ‘postmodernist’ who have castigated the enlightenment to the dustbin of the history of ideas, that its metanarratives of ‘progress’ and ‘freedom’ have failed and that western rationality is exhausted (Lyotard, 1984). Subsequently, the paper assesses to what extent the values of the ‘project of modernity’ have to be abandoned, and whether, in turn, sociology can offer the epistemic stretching of postmodern narratives.