Meaning of BAUDRILLARD, JEAN (1929-2007)

Meaning of BAUDRILLARD, JEAN (1929-2007):

Although he is often classed with Lyotard and Derrida as a postmodernist, French sociologist Jean Baudrillard is better described as a disappointed Marxist who, like the members of the Frankfurt School, turned his attention to popular culture and the media in an attempt to explain the failure of the working class to play its revolutionary role. He is best known for the argument that modern societies are so saturated by the mass media that reality loses its meaning. People are no longer participants in their own Lives but observers of what the media has turned into ‘spectacles’. An example is pornography, which ought to represent unconstrained sexual excess but has been turned by the media into nothing; a symptom of the dreary and relentless commodification of everyday life. Baudrillard can therefore be seen as proposing a peculiarly radical form of semiotics; in our ‘age of simulacra’ there are only signs and representations. All prospect of access to real things has disappeared. This situation he terms hyper reality. With his own flair for publicity, Baudrillard famously claimed that the 1991 Gulf War did not happen apart from its appearance on televisior. That said, it is clear that the war actually took place, but its meaning and the details of what happened are inseparable from the televised coverage.