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The metanarrative paradigm

Nissen, A.M. (2017) The metanarrative paradigm. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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The original contribution of this thesis is an examination of how the concept of metanarrative can be used to illuminate shifts in popular thought in the Information Age. There is disagreement over what Information Age paradigms signify, and whether a metanarrative can exist. The postmodern dismissal of metanarrative requires re-examination in the face of understandings that have accompanied contemporary technological advancements. Information technology will be used in this study to explain the movement in globalised culture towards metanarrative understandings as technology is the most broadly visible indicator of human advancement. Branching out from a core literature of media and cultural theorists and internet researchers, I also employ analogous understandings of such a phenomenon from tangential theory including philosophy, psychology and natural science.

Observations have been made of a pattern of increased self-referral over recent decades occurring in various disciplines, indicating shifts in the contextualisation of understandings. Our paradigms are becoming more selfconscious as narratives. As humankind’s ideas and capacity to harness understandings of the world continue to develop, we are increasingly engaging with further levels of self-awareness that provide us with the
perspective needed for epistemological shifts. This thesis explores the way in which our advancement brings us closer to a meta-textual awareness. I will argue that this constitutes a shift in our perception towards an initial oneness of cultural narratives. An examination of convergence paradigms in the Information Age can be demonstrated to speak of an underlying metanarrative that fundamentally shapes our constructed narratives.

The institutions constructed by our conscious theorisations are becoming seen as conceits, as the Information Age is illustrating for the public that our notions of discrete concepts are constructed from narratives. The dream world offered by the virtual is ingraining us with the idea of a potential for any narrative to emerge and shape the collective consciousness. I conclude from this investigation that we increasingly have a self-awareness of the narratives we inhabit as constructions, creating a popular conceptualisation of everyday interactions as narratives being acted out.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Supervisor(s): Moody, David and Cook, Ian
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