Liquid Modernity / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Dennis Wrong
Bauman's descriptions are a good deal richer than any abbreviated summary of them suggests. He is a vivid and origianl writer with an eye for the revealing personal experience, such as his report of two companions in an airport bar each talking for over an hour on cellular phones without ever addressing one another.
Times Literary Supplement
From the Publisher
"Bauman on a bad day is still far more stimulating than mostcontemporary social thinkers. He is the Georg Simmel of our age,and his books and essays will be read when contemporary exponentsof social arithmetic are long forgotten."
Times Higher Education Supplement

"Liquid Modernity is Zygmunt Bauman's term for thepresent condition of the world as contrasted with the 'solid'modernity that preceded it ... He is a vivid and original writerwith an eye for the revealing personal experience.'

Dennis Wrong, Times Literary Supplement

"Zygmunt Bauman can be counted among those giants of sociology -C. Wright Mills, Émile Durkheim, Max Weber - who are boundtogether not by a shared ideological or disciplinary alignment, butby a profound and moral passion. I do not employ the term "moral"in the commonly used sense of "judgmental", but to describe theirability to define the spirit of the age, to ask cutting questionsabout society's direction, warn of dangers and perceiveopportunities."

Contemporary Politics

"These books mark an important advance in Bauman's project. Heseems to be trying to bring the intellectuals back into the game,twitting them for their passivity. Bauman wants social critics totake a more active role, taking a lead by showing how therelationships between individuals and society and between theprivate and public spheres may be rearticulated and the spirit ofthe agora restored to social and political life."

British Journal of Sociology

"His work is essential reading for those political theorist whofeel that part of their task is to elaborate relevant andcompelling normative critique."

Contemporary Political Theory

"Bauman lucidly depicts what others call the 'postmodernsituation' a term that he painstakingly avoids, and his analysis isimportant for anyone interested in cultural criticism"

Caterina Norlin-Brage, Religious StudiesReview

"One of post-modernity's great commentators."

Pete Ward, Church Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745624099
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/25/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Zygmunt Bauman is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: On Being Light and Liquid.

1. Emancipation.

2. Individuality.

3. Time/Space.

4. Work.

5. Community.

Afterthoughts: On Writing; on Writing Sociology.



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