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Zygmunt Bauman’s ’liquid sociology’ confronts the awesome task of reminding individual men and women that an alternative way of living together is within our eminent capabilities, if only we start to think differently about our world. The metaphor of ’liquidity’, which has become such a prominent feature of his writings since 2000, provides us with just such a new interpretation, with a novel ’way of seeing’. Each chapter in this unique collection takes seriously Bauman’s analysis of modernity as ’liquid’, throwing new light upon global social problems, as well as opening up a space for assessing the nature of Bauman’s contribution to sociology, and for understanding what may be gained and lost by embracing an artistic sensibility within the social sciences. With contributions from internationally renowned scholars, this book will appeal to all those interested in Bauman’s work, especially within sociology, social, political and cultural theory, and to anyone curious about the value of metaphor in interpreting the social world.
This is the first single-authored critical engagement with the major works of Zygmunt Bauman. Where previous books on Bauman have been exegetical, here an unwavering light is shone on key themes in the sociologist's work, exposing serious weaknesses in Bauman's interpretations of the Holocaust, Western modernity, consumerism, globalisation and the nature of sociology. The book shows how Eurocentrism, the neglect of issues of gender and a lack of awareness of the racism faced by Europe's non-white ethnic minorities seriously limit Bauman's analyses of Western societies. At the same time, it points to Bauman's repeated insistence on the need for sociologists to take a moral stance in favour of the world's poor and downtrodden as being his most valuable legacy. The book will be of great interest to sociologists. Its readability will be valued by undergraduates and postgraduates and it will attract a readership well beyond the discipline.
In this provocative new book, Tony Blackshaw argues that Leisure Studies is in a quiet but deep state of crisis. The twenty-first century has brought profound change to all aspects of society, including a plurality of new leisure worlds, and traditional concepts of Leisure Studies fail to capture this richness. This book aims to re-invigorate Leisure Studies by revealing and unpacking these leisure worlds, thereby changing the way we think about leisure and the way we do Leisure Studies. Both trivial and serious in its implications, it is precisely this paradox that makes leisure such a fascinating subject of study. Re-Imagining Leisure Studies presents a new and radical set of methodological rules for studying leisure trends and cultures in contemporary society. It discusses the critical issues that underpin recent developments in leisure theory and explores the key themes of social class, community, politics, freedom and globalization. Marking a turning point in the reception and understanding of Leisure Studies, this book is vital reading for all students and scholars with a social scientific interest in leisure.
This text covers Bauman’s contribution to sociology and social theory. This ideal teaching text analyzes Bauman's shift from a sociology of postmodernity to liquid modernity, and provides a critical assessment of the contemporary Bauman, appraising his novel theory of liquid modernity in terms of its implications for self-identity, interpersonal relationships, culture, communications, and the broad-ranging institutional transformations associated with globalization. In addition to various extracts from Bauman's work, the book also contains a spirited reply from Zygmunt Bauman to both his sympathetic and unsympathetic critics. Bauman concludes by providing a new perspectives on his theory of liquid modernity, its differentiation from the modernity/postmodernity debate and its relation to current developments in contemporary social theory.
This timely book provides the definitive concise introduction to the phenomenon of Zygmunt Bauman. After introducing the man, his major influences and his special way of 'thinking sociologically', author Blackshaw traces the development of Bauman's project by identifying and explaining the major shifts of emphasis in his work – the break with Marxism and the postmodern 'turn', and the subsequent refocusing on 'liquid' modernity – as well as offering a clear and accessible guide to the key conceptual hinges which move the reader on. This book, the only concise introduction to Bauman's work on the market, goes on to explain the importance of the full range of persistent themes concerning Bauman, dealing specifically with individualization, freedom, identity, community, social control, consumption and waste, building a penetrating understanding of why these issues matter for this Key Sociologist. Bauman's ideas have impacted beyond sociology into criminology, political theory, cultural studies, leisure studies and so forth, and have also now penetrated outside the walls of the academy into social policy, welfare reform, social work and politics. Making use of pedagogical features such as boxed sections, chapter summaries, an annotated bibliography and links to further reading, this well-written text assumes no prior familiarity with Bauman's work and will appeal to anyone in any of these fields wishing to get acquainted with the ideas of one of the world's most wide-ranging thinkers.
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.
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.

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