A philosophical school which views modernization (essentially westernization) as a type of universal social solvent that will transform all societies it contacts into something resembling a modern western society. Based on the assumption that western forms of thinking, social organization, and personality development are inherently superior.
Theory and practice in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, which holds that each new generation must build on past styles in new ways or break with the past in order to make the next major historical contribution. Characterized by idealism; seen as "high art," as differentiated from popular art. In painting, most clearly seen in the work of the Post-Impressionists, beginning in 1885; in architecture, most evident in the work of Bauhaus and International Style architects, beginning about 1920.
A literary movement that reached its peak in the 1920s, modernism developed in two rather different strands. American modernism, as practiced by Williams and Hughes, is characterized by an interest in portraying ordinary subject matter in concrete, vernacular language. Modernist poetry written in Europe, as characterized by Eliot, tends to be highly allusive. The poems are nonlinear and often refer to the modern condition, particularly the city, in a deeply critical manner. This strand of modernism tends to use a disembodied voice and a collage-like method.