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The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman
Author: K. Tester
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230505686
Pages: 210
Year: 2004-05-28
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Zygmunt Bauman is one of the most important contemporary social thinkers. He has changed the way we think about the Holocaust, postmodernity and globalisation. This is the first book to discuss all of Bauman's work, from the first essays in post-Stalinist Poland, through to his participation in 1960s Marxist revisionism, and up to the work for which he is well known in the West. Bauman's work is put into its social and historical context, and it is shown why Bauman matters.
Freedom
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816617570
Pages: 106
Year: 1988
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Liquid Modernity
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 074565701X
Pages: 240
Year: 2013-07-10
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In this new book, Bauman examines how we have moved away from a 'heavy' and 'solid', hardware-focused modernity to a 'light' and 'liquid', software-based modernity. This passage, he argues, has brought profound change to all aspects of the human condition. The new remoteness and un-reachability of global systemic structure coupled with the unstructured and under-defined, fluid state of the immediate setting of life-politics and human togetherness, call for the rethinking of the concepts and cognitive frames used to narrate human individual experience and their joint history. This book is dedicated to this task. Bauman selects five of the basic concepts which have served to make sense of shared human life - emancipation, individuality, time/space, work and community - and traces their successive incarnations and changes of meaning. Liquid Modernity concludes the analysis undertaken in Bauman's two previous books Globalization: The Human Consequences and In Search of Politics. Together these volumes form a brilliant analysis of the changing conditions of social and political life by one of the most original thinkers writing today.
Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman
Author: Zygmunt Bauman, Keith Tester
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745657133
Pages: 176
Year: 2013-05-31
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Zygmunt Bauman is one of the leading figures in contemporary social thought. His work ranges across issues of ethics, culture and politics. It never forgets that social thought ought to help men and women make sense of their lives and aspire towards something different. His books and essays always focus on the here and now: violence and moral indifference, globalization, consumerism, politics and individualization. They cast a sharp eye on the panaceas of ‘there is no alternative'; the embrace of community and the fads of the ‘counselling boom'; through which men and women are told that they can achieve biographical solutions to what are, in fact, systemic problems. In this new book, Zygmunt Bauman and Keith Tester engage in five accessible conversations that uncover and explore the assumptions and commitments underpinning Bauman's ground-breaking social thought. The conversations show how those commitments have influenced Bauman's analyses of modernity, postmodernity and ‘liquid modernity'. The book ranges widely, from autobiographical reflection through to pointers for the understanding and future of Bauman's social thought. The conversations illustrate the moral substance of Bauman's refusal to accept that the world cannot be made different. They show why social thought is a human necessity. Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman is a book which will offer fresh insight into Bauman's work for those who are familiar with it, and provide an engaging and helpful entry point for those who are new to it.
Liquid Times
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745639607
Pages: 128
Year: 2013-04-17
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The passage from ‘solid’ to ‘liquid’ modernity has created a new and unprecedented setting for individual life pursuits, confronting individuals with a series of challenges never before encountered. Social forms and institutions no longer have enough time to solidify and cannot serve as frames of reference for human actions and long-term life plans, so individuals have to find other ways to organise their lives. They have to splice together an unending series of short-term projects and episodes that don’t add up to the kind of sequence to which concepts like ‘career’ and ‘progress’ could meaningfully be applied. Such fragmented lives require individuals to be flexible and adaptable – to be constantly ready and willing to change tactics at short notice, to abandon commitments and loyalties without regret and to pursue opportunities according to their current availability. In liquid modernity the individual must act, plan actions and calculate the likely gains and losses of acting (or failing to act) under conditions of endemic uncertainty. Zygmunt Bauman’s brilliant writings on liquid modernity have altered the way we think about the contemporary world. In this short book he explores the sources of the endemic uncertainty which shapes our lives today and, in so doing, he provides the reader with a brief and accessible introduction to his highly original account, developed at greater length in his previous books, of life in our liquid modern times.
Consuming Life
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745655823
Pages: 168
Year: 2013-05-08
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With the advent of liquid modernity, the society of producers is transformed into a society of consumers. In this new consumer society, individuals become simultaneously the promoters of commodities and the commodities they promote. They are, at one and the same time, the merchandise and the marketer, the goods and the travelling salespeople. They all inhabit the same social space that is customarily described by the term the market. The test they need to pass in order to acquire the social prizes they covet requires them to recast themselves as products capable of drawing attention to themselves. This subtle and pervasive transformation of consumers into commodities is the most important feature of the society of consumers. It is the hidden truth, the deepest and most closely guarded secret, of the consumer society in which we now live. In this new book Zygmunt Bauman examines the impact of consumerist attitudes and patterns of conduct on various apparently unconnected aspects of social life politics and democracy, social divisions and stratification, communities and partnerships, identity building, the production and use of knowledge, and value preferences. The invasion and colonization of the web of human relations by the worldviews and behavioural patterns inspired and shaped by commodity markets, and the sources of resentment, dissent and occasional resistance to the occupying forces, are the central themes of this brilliant new book by one of the worlds most original and insightful social thinkers.
Hermeneutics and Social Science (Routledge Revivals)
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136955542
Pages: 267
Year: 2010-03-23
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Originally published in 1978, this important work, by one of the leading European social theorists, is arguably the best introduction to the hermeneutic tradition as a whole. It is designed to help students of sociology and philosophy place the problems of "understanding social science" in their historical and philosophical context. It does so by presenting the major current in sociological thought as responses to the challenge of hermeneutics. The idea that true knowledge of social life can be attained only if human conduct is seen as meaningful action whose meaning is accordingly grasped has been presented as a discovery of recent sociology. In fact its history is long and its connections plentiful, reaching beyond the boundaries of sociology itself. Yet it is in sociology that the hermeneutic tradition has attracted most interest but most misinterpretation. The debate is in full swing and there is no attempt to offer "correct" solutions - the emphasis instead is upon revealing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the main approaches. However it is Bauman's view that the theory of understanding may achieve valid results only if it treats the problem of understanding as an aspect of the ongoing process of social life.
Culture in a Liquid Modern World
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745637167
Pages: 144
Year: 2013-05-08
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In its original formulation, ‘culture' was intended to be an agent for change, a mission undertaken with the aim of educating ‘the people' by bringing the best of human thought and creativity to them. But in our contemporary liquid-modern world, culture has lost its missionary role and has become a means of seduction: it seeks no longer to enlighten the people but to seduce them. The function of culture today is not to satisfy existing needs but to create new ones, while simultaneously ensuring that existing needs remain permanently unfulfilled. Culture today likens itself to a giant department store where the shelves are overflowing with desirable goods that are changed on a daily basis - just long enough to stimulate desires whose gratification is perpetually postponed. In this new book, Zygmunt Bauman - one of the most brilliant and influential social thinkers of our time - retraces the peregrinations of the concept of culture and examines its fate in a world marked by the powerful new forces of globalization, migration and the intermingling of populations. He argues that Europe has a particularly important role to play in revitalizing our understanding of culture, precisely because Europe, with its great diversity of peoples, languages and histories, is the space where the Other is always one's neighbour and where each is constantly called upon to learn from everyone else.
Liquid Fear
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745654495
Pages: 200
Year: 2013-05-08
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Modernity was supposed to be the period in human history when the fears that pervaded social life in the past could be left behind and human beings could at last take control of their lives and tame the uncontrolled forces of the social and natural worlds. And yet, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, we live again in a time of fear. Whether its the fear of natural disasters, the fear of environmental catastrophes or the fear of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, we live today in a state of constant anxiety about the dangers that could strike unannounced and at any moment. Fear is the name we give to our uncertainty in the face of the dangers that characterize our liquid modern age, to our ignorance of what the threat is and our incapacity to determine what can and can't be done to counter it. This new book by Zygmunt Bauman one of the foremost social thinkers of our time is an inventory of liquid modern fears. It is also an attempt to uncover their common sources, to analyse the obstacles that pile up on the road to their discovery and to examine the ways of putting them out of action or rendering them harmless. Through his brilliant account of the fears and anxieties that weigh on us today, Bauman alerts us to the scale of the task which we shall have to confront through most of the current century if we wish our fellow humans to emerge at its end feeling more secure and self-confident than we feel at its beginning.
Liquid Love
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745655785
Pages: 176
Year: 2013-05-03
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This book is about the central figure of our contemporary, ‘liquid modern’ times – the man or woman with no bonds, and particularly with none of the fixed or durable bonds that would allow the effort of self-definition and self-assertion to come to a rest. Having no permanent bonds, the denizen of our liquid modern society must tie whatever bonds they can to engage with others, using their own wits, skill and dedication. But none of these bonds are guaranteed to last. Moreover, they must be tied loosely so that they can be untied again, quickly and as effortlessly as possible, when circumstances change – as they surely will in our liquid modern society, over and over again. The uncanny frailty of human bonds, the feeling of insecurity that frailty inspires, and the conflicting desires to tighten the bonds yet keep them loose, are the principal themes of this important new book by Zygmunt Bauman, one of the most original and influential social thinkers of our time. It will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology and in the social sciences and humanities generally, and it will appeal to anyone interested in the changing nature of human relationships.
Thinking Sociologically
Author: Zygmunt Bauman, Tim May
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119051711
Pages: 208
Year: 2014-10-01
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In this lucid, stimulating and original book, Zygmunt Bauman and Tim May explore the underlying assumptions and tacit expectations which structure our view of the world. The authors elucidate key concepts in sociology: for example, individualism versus community, and privilege versus deprivation. While charting a course through sociology's main concerns, Bauman and May also examine the applicability of sociology to everyday life.
Globalization
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745656951
Pages: 136
Year: 2013-05-28
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'Globalization' is a word that is currently much in use. This book is an attempt to show that there is far more to globalization than its surface manifestations. Unpacking the social roots and social consequences of globalizing processes, this book disperses some of the mist that surrounds the term. Alongside the emerging planetary dimensions of business, finance, trade and information flow, a 'localizing', space-fixing process is set in motion. What appears as globalization for some, means localization for many others; signalling new freedom for some, globalizing processes appear as uninvited and cruel fate for many others. Freedom to move, a scarce and unequally distributed commodity, quickly becomes the main stratifying factor of our times. Neo-tribal and fundamentalist tendencies are as legitimate offspring of globalization as the widely acclaimed 'hybridization' of top culture - the culture at the globalized top. A particular reason to worry is the progressive breakdown in communication between the increasingly global and extra- territorial elites and ever more 'localized' majority. The bulk of the population, the 'new middle class', bears the brunt of these problems, and suffers uncertainty, anxiety and fear as a result. This book is a major contribution to the unfolding debate about globalization, and as such will be of interest to students and professionals in sociology, human geography and cultural issues.
The Individualized Society
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745657036
Pages: 272
Year: 2013-04-25
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We are spurred into action by our troubles and fears; but all too often our action fails to address the true causes of our worries. When trying to make sense of our lives, we tend to blame our own failings and weaknesses for our discomforts and defeats. And in doing so, we make things worse rather than better. Reasonable beings that we are, how does this happen and why does it go on happening? These are the questions addressed in this new book by Zygmunt Bauman - one of the most original and perceptive social thinkers writing today. For Bauman, the task of sociology is not to censor or correct the stories we tell of our lives, but to show that there are more ways in which our life stories can be told. By bringing into view the many complex dependencies invisible from the vantage point of private experience, sociology can help us to link our individual decisions and actions to the deeper causes of our troubles and fears - to the ways we live, to the conditions under which we act, to the socially drawn limits of our imagination and ambition. Sociology can help us to understand the processes that have shaped the society in which we live today, a society in which individualization has become our fate. And sociology can also help us to see that if our individual but shared anxieties are to be effectively tackled, they need to be addressed collectively, true to their social, not individual, nature. The Individualized Society will be of great interest to students of sociology, politics and the social sciences and humanities generally. It will also appeal to a broader range of readers who are interested in the changing nature of our social and political life today.
Society under Siege
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745657273
Pages: 264
Year: 2013-05-08
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Society is under siege – under attack on two fronts: from the global frontier-land where old structures and rules do not hold and new ones are slow to take shape, and from the fluid, undefined domain of life politics. The space between these two fronts, until recently ruled by the sovereign nation-state and identified by social scientists as ‘society' is ever more difficult to conceive of as a self-enclosed entity. And this confronts the established wisdom of the social sciences with a new challenge: sovereignty and power are becoming separated from the politics of the territorial nation-state but are not becoming institutionalized in a new space. What are the consequences of this profound transformation of social life? What kind of world will it create for the twenty-first century? This remarkable book – by one of the most original social thinkers writing today – attempts to trace this transformation and to assess its consequences for the life conditions of ordinary individuals. The first part of the book is devoted to the new global arena in which, thanks to the powerful forces of globalization, there is no 'outside', no secluded place to which one can retreat and hide away, and where the territorial wars of the past have given way to a new breed of 'reconnaissance wars'. The second part deals with settings in which life politics has taken hold and flourished. Bauman argues that the great challenge facing us today is whether we can find new ways to reforge the human diversity that is our fate into the vocation of human solidarity.
Modernity and the Holocaust
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801487196
Pages: 267
Year: 1989
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A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember—But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in such phenomena as the seductiveness of martyrdom; going to extremes in the name of safety; the insidious effects of tragic memory; and efficient, "scientific" implementation of the death penalty. Bauman writes, "Once the problem of the guilt of the Holocaust perpetrators has been by and large settled . . . the one big remaining question is the innocence of all the rest—not the least the innocence of ourselves."Among the conditions that made the mass extermination of the Holocaust possible, according to Bauman, the most decisive factor was modernity itself. Bauman's provocative interpretation counters the tendency to reduce the Holocaust to an episode in Jewish history, or to one that cannot be repeated in the West precisely because of the progressive triumph of modern civilization. He demonstrates, rather, that we must understand the events of the Holocaust as deeply rooted in the very nature of modern society and in the central categories of modern social thought.

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