This academic article discusses the definitions of power, development and equality
that appear in the evolution of various fields of study namely sociology, linguistics and
language teaching. Key concepts underlying those three terms are reviewed, taking the reader
through structuralism/modernism and postmodernism: from the attempt to find one absolute
truth to the paradigm that embraces diversity and relativity.
After the conceptual discussion, the paper takes instances from society into account in
order to discern differences in terms of context that engender the two perspectives. Specific
focus is placed on the investigation of contemporary society in order to uncover any differences
from the previous era of modernity. Jean Francois Lyotard (1979) states in The Postmodern
Condition that the key characteristic of postmodernity is voices in society. From our
observation, it is found that various voices and diverse ideologies do exist in contemporary
This paper proposes that, though conceptual ideas and social conditions have leaned
towards what is considered postmodernism and postmodernity, which necessarily display
diversity in all aspects, it does not mean that diversity should be allowed to exist unmanaged.
As with other such conditions, one needs to be aware that specific postmodern conditions
have their own pitfalls. Postmodernism and postmodernity necessitate a redefinition of the
word power to be a free flowing resource and development to be more diversified in its
realization and implementation. Both of these concepts facilitate the achievement of equality.
However, the postmodernist idea of equality has a particular danger: it can point to an age
when “anything goes” which may eventually lead to the downfall of society as we know it.
The problem of fragmentation faced by society nowadays can be seen as a precise
postmodern pitfall. This paper argues that the solution of postmodernity/ postmodernism is
not only the acceptance of differences but must also focus on communication living in an age
when this plays a paramount role to allow the exchange of ideas among people who have
different viewpoints, all within the frame of communicative rationality as proposed by Jurgen
Habermas (1984). Only when there is interaction can differences be resolved, and true
understanding instead of mere coexistence result.
อำนาจ การพัฒนา และความเท่าเทียมในยุคปลายสมัยใหม่. NIDA, 50 ปีพัฒนบริหารศาสตร์ (463-480).