The Individualized Society / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'These books mark an important advance in Bauman's project. He seems to be trying to bring the intellectuals back into the game, twitting them for their passivity. Bauman wants social critics to take a more active role, taking a lead by showing how the relationships between individuals and society and between the private and public spheres may be rearticulated and the spirit of the agora restored to social and political life.' British Journal of Sociology

'This provocative, interesting, and engaging book is recommended for upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.' Choice

"His work is essential reading for those political theorists who feel part of their task is to elaborate relevant and compelling normative critique." Contemporary Political Theory

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745625065
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/16/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: Lives Told And Stories Lived
Part One: The Way We Are

Chapter 1. The Rise And Fall Of Labour
Chapter 2: Local Orders, Global Chaos
Chapter 3: Freedom And Security: The Unfinished Story Of A Tempestuous Union
Chapter 4: Modernity And Clarity: The Story Of A Failed Conquest
Chapter 5: Am I My Brother's Keeper?
Chapter 6. United In Difference

Part Two: The Way We Think
Chapter 7: Critique - Privatized And Disarmed
Chapter 8: Progress: The Same And Different
Chapter 9: On Mass, Individuals, and Peg-Communities
Chapter 10: Education: Under, For And In Spite Of Postmodernity
Chapter 11: Excess: An Obituary
Chapter 12: Faith And Instant Gratification

Part Three: The Way We Act
Chapter 13: Does Love Need A Reason?
Chapter 14: Private Morality, Immoral World
Chapter 15: Democracy On Two Battlefronts
Chapter 16: Violence, Old and New
Chapter 17: On Postmodern Uses Of Sex
Chapter 18: Is There Life After Immortality?
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