grand narratives and metanarratives
grand narratives and metanarrativesgeneral conceptions (compare NARRATIVES) such as ‘the emancipation of the subject’, which for LYOTARD (1984) have been characteristic of the 'S ciences’ of ‘modernity’, and which have usually legitimized themselves with reference to such metadiscourses. It is a central part of Lyotard's critique of modernity that, in a ‘postmodern’ era, such grand narratives lose their legitimacy. The paradox exists, however: is not Lyotard's theory itself yet another grand narrative? see also POSTMODERNITY AND POSTMODERNISM.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000