Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman / Edition 1

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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, 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 which 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Tester's (social theory, U. of Portsmouth) intention is to provide Bauman (sociology, U. of Leeds and U. of Warsaw) an opportunity to outline some of the deep currents beneath the surfaces of the many texts he has produced on contemporary social thought, to summarize his ideas informally, and to reflect on the meanings his texts have come to possess. Most of the interviews were conducted in the spring and summer of 2000. They are not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
'Zygmunt Bauman is a rare intellectual. He does not like to talkabout himself except via the byways, the work of others and theproblems of the world. Keith Tester is a fine interlocutor whoknows how to draw Bauman out. The result is a fascinating series ofconversations. This is a book to press against the future, a bookfor tomorrow. Peter Beilharz, Thesis Eleven, La TrobeUniversity

It is very readable. It provides a clear introduction toBauman's ideas in a much more concise and open style than isotherwise possible ploughing through his volumous works. As such itis to be highly recomendable" Gary Pattison, University ofSouthampton, Network

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745626642
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/10/2001
  • Series: PCVS-Polity Conversations Series, #2
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Zygmunt Bauman is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at theUniversities of Leeds and Warsaw

Keith Tester is Professor of Social Theory, University ofPortsmouth

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction 1
Conversation 1 Context and Sociological Horizons 16
Conversation 2 Ethics and Human Values 43
Conversation 3 The Ambivalence of Modernity 70
Conversation 4 Individualization and Consumer Society 99
Conversation 5 Politics 129
Notes 159
Bibliography 161
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