Modernity and the Holocaust / Edition 1

Modernity and the Holocaust / Edition 1

by Zygmunt Bauman, Zygmunt Bauman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801487196

ISBN-13: 9780801487194

Pub. Date: 02/01/2001

Publisher: Cornell University Press

A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember—But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in…  See more details below

Overview

A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember—But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in such phenomena as the seductiveness of martyrdom; going to extremes in the name of safety; the insidious effects of tragic memory; and efficient, "scientific" implementation of the death penalty. Bauman writes, "Once the problem of the guilt of the Holocaust perpetrators has been by and large settled . . . the one big remaining question is the innocence of all the rest—not the least the innocence of ourselves."Among the conditions that made the mass extermination of the Holocaust possible, according to Bauman, the most decisive factor was modernity itself. Bauman's provocative interpretation counters the tendency to reduce the Holocaust to an episode in Jewish history, or to one that cannot be repeated in the West precisely because of the progressive triumph of modern civilization. He demonstrates, rather, that we must understand the events of the Holocaust as deeply rooted in the very nature of modern society and in the central categories of modern social thought.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801487194
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
254
Sales rank:
784,583
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Introduction: Sociology after the Holocaust1
2Modernity, Racism, Extermination I31
Some peculiarities of Jewish estrangement33
Jewish incongruity from Christendom to modernity37
Astride the barricades41
The prismatic group42
Modern dimensions of incongruity46
The non-national nation52
The modernity of racism56
3Modernity, Racism, Extermination II61
From heterophobia to racism62
Racism as a form of social engineering66
From repellence to extermination72
Looking ahead77
4The Uniqueness and Normality of the Holocaust83
The problem85
Genocide extraordinary88
Peculiarity of modern genocide93
Effects of the hierarchical and functional division of labour98
Dehumanization of bureaucratic objects102
The role of bureaucracy in the Holocaust104
Bankruptcy of modern safeguards107
Conclusions111
5Soliciting the Co-operation of the Victims117
'Sealing off' the victims122
The 'save what you can' game129
Individual rationality in the service of collective destruction135
Rationality of self-preservation142
Conclusion149
6The Ethics of Obedience (Reading Milgram)151
Inhumanity as a function of social distance155
Complicity after one's own act157
Technology moralized159
Free-floating responsibility161
Pluralism of power and power of conscience163
The social nature of evil166
7Towards a Sociological Theory of Morality169
Society as a factory of morality170
The challenge of the Holocaust175
Pre-societal sources of morality179
Social proximity and moral responsibility184
Social suppression of moral responsibility188
Social production of distance192
Final remarks198
8Afterthought: Rationality and Shame201
Social Manipulation of Morality: The European Amalfi Prize Lecture208
The Duty to Remember - But What?: Afterword to the 2000 Edition222
Notes251

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