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Modernity and Postmodernity

3. Jean Baudrillard on Simulation and Hyperreality

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In this lecture, we think about Jean Baudrillard’s work on the mass media and his notions of simulation and hyperreality, focusing in particular on: (i) the concept of media-saturated societies in which social life is organised around virtual images, and Baudrillard’s claim that the consequences of this characterise postmodernity; (ii) Baudrillard’s phases in the historical evolution of the image and the different effects these have in different periods; (iii) his idea of hyperreality, the false reality created by media images, and its impacts on the way people experience the world.


In this course, Dr Ross Abbinnett (University of Birmingham) explores notions of modernity and postmodernity in sociological theory. In the first lecture, we consider the meaning of modernity and its characteristics. In the second lecture, we look at Jean-François Lyotard’s writing on the postmodern condition, in which common understandings of the world are fractured and society is disunited. In the third lecture, we look at Jean Baudrillard’s work on the mass media, and his ideas of simulation and hyperreality as features of postmodernity. Next, we think about Jacques Derrida’s method of deconstruction. In the fifth and final lecture, we look at how these ideas might be relevant to contemporary society.


Dr Ross Abbinnett is Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Theory at the University of Birmingham. His recent publications include The Neoliberal Imagination: Politics, Aesthetics, and Economics in the Evolution of Hyper-Industrial Capitalism (2021), The Thought of Bernard Stiegler: Capitalism, Technology and the Politics of Spirit (2018) and Marxism After Modernity: Politics, Technology and Social Transformation (2006).

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APA style

Abbinnett, R. (2021, August 24). Modernity and Postmodernity - Jean Baudrillard on Simulation and Hyperreality [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Abbinnett, R. "Modernity and Postmodernity – Jean Baudrillard on Simulation and Hyperreality." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Aug 2021,

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