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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.
The Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman
Author: Michael Hviid Jacobsen
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317015215
Pages: 256
Year: 2016-03-03
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Zygmunt Bauman is one of the most inspirational and controversial thinkers on the scene of contemporary sociology. For several decades he has provided compelling analyses and diagnoses of a vast variety of aspects of modern and liquid modern living. This book considers the theoretical significance of his contribution to sociology, but also discusses and adopts a critical stance towards his work. The Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman introduces and critically appraises some of the most significant as well as some of the lesser known of Bauman's contributions to contemporary sociology. An international team of scholars delineates and discusses how Bauman's treatment of these themes challenges conventional wisdom in sociology, thereby revising and revitalizing sociological theory. As a special feature, the book concludes with Bauman's intriguing reflections and contemplations on his own life and intellectual trajectory, published here for the first time in English. In this postscript aptly entitled 'Pro Domo Sua' ('About Myself'), he describes the pushes and pulls that throughout the years have shaped his thinking.
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.
Wasted Lives
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745637159
Pages: 152
Year: 2013-04-26
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The production of ‘human waste’ – or more precisely, wasted lives, the ‘superfluous’ populations of migrants, refugees and other outcasts – is an inevitable outcome of modernization. It is an unavoidable side-effect of economic progress and the quest for order which is characteristic of modernity. As long as large parts of the world remained wholly or partly unaffected by modernization, they were treated by modernizing societies as lands that were able to absorb the excess of population in the ‘developed countries’. Global solutions were sought, and temporarily found, to locally produced overpopulation problems. But as modernization has reached the furthest lands of the planet, ‘redundant population’ is produced everywhere and all localities have to bear the consequences of modernity’s global triumph. They are now confronted with the need to seek – in vain, it seems – local solutions to globally produced problems. The global spread of the modernity has given rise to growing quantities of human beings who are deprived of adequate means of survival, but the planet is fast running out of places to put them. Hence the new anxieties about ‘immigrants’ and ‘asylum seekers’ and the growing role played by diffuse ‘security fears’ on the contemporary political agenda. With characteristic brilliance, this new book by Zygmunt Bauman unravels the impact of this transformation on our contemporary culture and politics and shows that the problem of coping with ‘human waste’ provides a key for understanding some otherwise baffling features of our shared life, from the strategies of global domination to the most intimate aspects of human relationships.
Identity
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745637183
Pages: 110
Year: 2013-05-08
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This topical new book by Zygmunt Bauman explores the notion of identity in the modern world. As we grapple with the insecurity and uncertainty of liquid modernity, Bauman argues that our socio-political, cultural, professional, religious and sexual identities are undergoing a process of continual transformation. Identities the world over have become more precarious than ever: we live in an era of constant change and disposability - whether it's last season’s outfit, or car, or even partner – and our identities as a result have become transient and deeply elusive. In a world of rapid global change where national borders are increasingly eroded, our identities are in a state of continuous flux. Identity - a notion that by its very nature is elusive and ambivalent – has become a key concept for understanding the changing nature of social life and personal experience in our contemporary, liquid modern age. In this brief book, Zygmunt Bauman explains compellingly why this is so.
Modernity and Ambivalence
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745638112
Pages: 304
Year: 2013-05-08
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Modern civilization, Bauman argues, promised to make our lives understandable and open to our control. This has not happened and today we no longer believe it ever will. In this book, now available in paperback, Bauman argues that our postmodern age is the time for reconciliation with ambivalence, we must learn how to live in an incurably ambiguous world.
Strangers at Our Door
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1509512209
Pages: 120
Year: 2016-06-20
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Refugees from the violence of wars and the brutality of famished lives have knocked on other people's doors since the beginning of time. For the people behind the doors, these uninvited guests were always strangers, and strangers tend to generate fear and anxiety precisely because they are unknown. Today we find ourselves confronted with an extreme form of this historical dynamic, as our TV screens and newspapers are filled with accounts of a 'migration crisis', ostensibly overwhelming Europe and portending the collapse of our way of life. This anxious debate has given rise to a veritable 'moral panic' - a feeling of fear spreading among a large number of people that some evil threatens the well-being of society. In this short book Zygmunt Bauman analyses the origins, contours and impact of this moral panic - he dissects, in short, the present-day migration panic. He shows how politicians have exploited fears and anxieties that have become widespread, especially among those who have already lost so much - the disinherited and the poor. But he argues that the policy of mutual separation, of building walls rather than bridges, is misguided. It may bring some short-term reassurance but it is doomed to fail in the long run. We are faced with a crisis of humanity, and the only exit from this crisis is to recognize our growing interdependence as a species and to find new ways to live together in solidarity and cooperation, amidst strangers who may hold opinions and preferences different from our own.
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.
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.
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.
Retrotopia
Author: Zygmunt Bauman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 150951533X
Pages: 180
Year: 2017-05-23
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We have long since lost our faith in the idea that human beings could achieve human happiness in some future ideal state—a state that Thomas More, writing five centuries ago, tied to a topos, a fixed place, a land, an island, a sovereign state under a wise and benevolent ruler. But while we have lost our faith in utopias of all hues, the human aspiration that made this vision so compelling has not died. Instead it is re-emerging today as a vision focused not on the future but on the past, not on a future-to-be-created but on an abandoned and undead past that we could call retrotopia. The emergence of retrotopia is interwoven with the deepening gulf between power and politics that is a defining feature of our contemporary liquid-modern world—the gulf between the ability to get things done and the capability of deciding what things need to be done, a capability once vested with the territorially sovereign state. This deepening gulf has rendered nation-states unable to deliver on their promises, giving rise to a widespread disenchantment with the idea that the future will improve the human condition and a mistrust in the ability of nation-states to make this happen. True to the utopian spirit, retrotopia derives its stimulus from the urge to rectify the failings of the present human condition—though now by resurrecting the failed and forgotten potentials of the past. Imagined aspects of the past, genuine or putative, serve as the main landmarks today in drawing the road-map to a better world. Having lost all faith in the idea of building an alternative society of the future, many turn instead to the grand ideas of the past, buried but not yet dead. Such is retrotopia, the contours of which are examined by Zygmunt Bauman in this sharp dissection of our contemporary romance with the past.
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.
Zygmunt Bauman
Author: Shaun Best
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134791720
Pages: 158
Year: 2016-02-11
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In this ground-breaking book, Shaun Best analyses the intellectual knowledge production of Zygmunt Bauman and his rise to academic stardom in the English speaking world by evaluating the relation between his biography, the contexts in which he found himself, and why his intellectual creativity is admired by so many people. Bauman has an interesting 'contested' biography and underwent a number of intellectual shifts from the early stages of his academic career as Marxist. Bauman moved on and for almost ten years he was associated with 'postmodernity' (from 1989-1997) but in 2000 he decided to distance himself from postmodernism and rebrand his approach to understanding the contemporary world as 'liquid modernity'. Best shows how Bauman developed his canonised status becoming an intellectual guru in the UK and in Australia despite being largely ignored by the academic community in the United States and Central Europe. Rather than investigating Bauman's academic output as a demonstration of his 'creative genius', Best argues that most academic output involves the interplay of multiple factors and this book evaluates the influences on both intellectual choices and the social factors or contexts that led Bauman to attach himself to different sets of ideas during his academic career.
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 Organization
Author: Jerzy Kociatkiewicz, Monika Kostera
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134579551
Pages: 224
Year: 2014-03-14
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Widely known as a leading intellectual, Zygmunt Bauman’s thinking is often categorized as sociology or philosophy. But his work has been hugely influential in other fields as well, not least within organization studies. From increasing management control and growing standardization of work activities, to the increase in uncertainty and insecurity experienced by contemporary workers, organizations themselves are becoming ever more ephemeral entities. Bauman’s themes: globalization, liquid modernity and postmodern ethics are arguably fundamental to contemporary notions of organization and management and his thinking has never been more relevant. However, despite the obvious and continuing influence of Bauman’s ideas on business studies, there has been no comprehensive attempt to chart his impact on organization theory. In this innovative and insightful collection, an international selection of leading management scholars explore key topics in current organizational discourse, including networked organizations, control and ambiguity, technologies, work and responsibility, extending Bauman’s liquid modernity to the "liquid organization". The book will be essential reading for scholars and academics and students in management and organizational theory, and also sociology, managing culture and organizational ethnography.

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