The Decline of Metanarratives:
The loss of the idea of "history" as a continuous, linear 'narrative' (a clear sequence of events, each of which follow logical from the one before), is indicative of the argument that, in the post-modern world, meta-narratives are in decline.
Meta-narratives, examples of which include, religion, science, art, modernism, and Marxism, make absolute universal and all-embracing claims to knowledge and truth.
Post modernist theory is highly sceptical about these meta-narratives and argues that they are increasingly open to criticism. In the post-modern world they are disintegrating, their validity and legitimacy are in decline. It is becoming harder for people to organise and interpret their lives in the light of meta-narratives of whatever kind. This argument would therefore, include for example, the declining significance of religion.
Post modernists have been particularly critical of the meta-narrative of Marxism and its claim of absolute truth, as it has been of any theory which tries to read a pattern of progress into history.
The consequence of this is that post modernism rejects the claims of any theory to absolute knowledge, or of any social practice to universal validity.