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.
This book will appeal to a large general audience as well as being essential reading for students and professionals.
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.
The book examines what sociology can teach us about the Holocaust, but more particularly concentrates upon the lessons which the Holocaust has for sociology. Bauman's work demonstrates that the Holocaust has to be understood as deeply involved with the nature of modernity. There is nothing comparable to this work available in the sociological literature.
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.
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.
In this book the author challenges such an interpretation, showing that sociology continues to hold a central position within the social sciences. Looking both to the past of sociology and the diversity of intellectual trends found in the present-day, Giddens explores many aspects of the sociological heritage. Comte, Durkheim, Parsons, Marshall, and Habermas are among the figures covered. Giddens also connects sociological work directly to current political issues and places the discipline of sociology in the context of broad questions of social and political theory.
This book will be of interest to undergraduates and professionals in the fields of sociology, anthropology and political science.