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In postmodern philosophy, a metanarrative is an untold story that unifies and totalizes the world, and justifies a culture's power structures. Postmodernism has been described as an "incredulity toward metanarratives" (Lyotard 1984).

Metanarratives are not usually told outright, but are reinforced by other more specific narratives told within the culture. Examples of metanarratives might include the story of the emerging utopian society (which is thought to reinforce Marxism and various religions), the story of the evil empire (which is thought to reinforce war and anti-Communism), and the story of the monster hidden among us (which is thought to reinforce such things as McCarthyism, Nazism, racism, and anti-witchcraft). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanarrative, May 2004

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