Auto-Modernism after Postmodernism. What does “Social” Look Like in the Digital Age?
pdf (Русский)


Social theory, postmodern, postpostmodernism, social, society, modernity, automodernity, subject, technologies, internet

How to Cite

Mazorenko, D. (2019). Auto-Modernism after Postmodernism. What does “Social” Look Like in the Digital Age?. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 1(2), 202-224.


At the end of the 20th century the concept of postmodernity was one of the dominant theoretical paradigms that described the social world. But in the early 2000s a group of leading researchers announced an exhaustion of its explanatory capacities. After that some theoreticians have suggested plenty of new approaches through which we can reflect elusive nowness. The idea of automodernism, formulated by Robert Samuels in his book ‘New Media, Cultural Studies and Critical Theory after Postmodernism’, was a part of that conceptual line. His descriptive model is based on dichotomy of individual autonomy and technological automation which is the result of interaction of different social structures. According to Samuels, the reason why people normally use wide range of technologies is hidden in their pursuit of independence from public realm. The most paradoxical thing is that their alienation is only possible in the highly social environment. Nonetheless, atomization becomes one of the main problems of modernity which whips up backlashes against the postmodern welfare state. It seems like Samuels has created adequate way of thinking about today’s social problems, but it is necessary to add some actual observations on how social networks transform the notions of ‘social’ and ‘subject’. This article offers pack of theses, made by Dutch media theorist Geert Lovink, that not only helps us to modify these terms, but also embeds economical component, dropped out from Samuels’ analysis.
pdf (Русский)


Althusser, L. (2011). The ideology and ideological apparatus of the state (notes for research). The untouchable reserve, (3). Retrieved from

Jamison, F. (2019). Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism. M .: Publishing house of the Gaidar Institute.

Lovink, G. (2019). Critical Internet Theory. M .: Ad Margin Press, Garage Museum of Modern Art.

Martynov, K. K. (2014). Selfies: between media democratization and self-commodification. Philosophical and Literary Journal Logos, (4), 73-86.

Pavlov, A. V. (2018). Parallaxes of the "Fox": to the definition of the subject and boundaries of social philosophy. Sociological Review, 17 (3), 149-172.

Regev, J. (2014). Criticism of the filtering mind. In place of one selfie, there are always two. Philosophical and literary journal Logos, (4), 87-94.

Safronov, E. E. (2019). What Will Happen instead of Postmodern? Digimodernism as a Cultural Dominant. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, (1), 178-195.

Chun, W. (2005). On Software, or the Persistence of Visual Knowledge. Grey Room, (18), 26-51.

Dean, J. (2016). Images without Viewers: Selfie Communism. Still Searching... Retrieved from

Frasca, G. (2003). Sim Sin City: Some Thoughts about Grand Theft Auto 3. Game Studies, 3(2). Retrieved from

Hutcheon, L. (2002). The Politics of Postmodernism. 2nd edition. London and New York: Routledge.

Hutcheon, L. (2007). Gone Forever, But Here to Stay: The Legacy of the Postmodern. In Postmodernism: What Moment? Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Jenkins, F. (2006). Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. New York: New York University Press.

Laclau, E. (2006). Why Constructing a ‘People’ is the Main Task of Radical Politics. Critical Inquiry, 32(4), 646-680.

Rudrum, D. & Stavris, N. (2015). Supplanting the Postmodern. An Anthology of Writings on the Arts and Culture of the Early 21st Century. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Samuels, R. (2007). Auto modernity after post-modernism: Autonomy and Automation. In Culture, Technology, and Education. Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected. M: The MIT Press,.

Samuels, R. (2010). New media, cultural studies and critical theory after postmodernism. Automodernity from Zizek to Laclau. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Samuels, R. (2013). Why Public Higher Education Should Be Free. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Touraine, A. (2007). A New Paradigm for Understanding Today’s World. Cambridge: Polity.

Zizek, S. (2008). The Prospects of Radical Politics Today. International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, 205(201).

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.