Zymunt Bauman Essay Research Paper A Distinguished

7 July 2017

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Zymunt Bauman Essay, Research Paper

A Distinguished Man

Zygmunt Bauman was born in Poznan, Poland in 1925. He moved to Britain with his married woman Janina in the 1950 & # 8217 ; s, and took up a place as Lector at both the University of Warsaw and the University of Tel Aviv. He held several sing chairs before he became Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds in Yorkshire from 1972 until his retirement in 1990. Bauman is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at both the University of Leeds and University of Warsaw ( www.sociologyonline.com ) . & # 8220 ; He has been described by the British sociologist, Anthony Giddens as: & # 8216 ; the theoretician of postmodernity he has developed a place with which everyone has to think & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; ( www.sociologyonline.com ) .

While heading the Department of Sociology at Leeds, Bauman brought great qualities of rational leading. & # 8220 ; From the start he saw his undertaking as one of animating pupils, and among his academic co-workers advancing a collegial ambiance in which new academic undertakings were welcomed and free and unfastened treatment encouraged in an ambiance of common tolerance and apprehension & # 8221 ; ( www.leeds.ac.uk ) . Since his retirement, Bauman and his repute has continued to profit sociology at Leeds.

Zygmunt Bauman is a fecund author known for such plants as Legislators and Interpreters ( 1987 ) , Modernity and the Holocaust ( 1989 ) , and Postmodern Ethics ( 1993 ) . He is the writer of approximately 21 books, two more projected for the early 2000s, and of legion articles and reappraisals ( www.leeds.ac.uk ) . In 1990, Bauman was awarded the Amalfi European Prize, followed by the Adorno Prize in 1998. & # 8220 ; Today he is described diversely as one of the 20th century & # 8217 ; s great societal theoreticians and the universe & # 8217 ; s foremost sociologist of postmodernity & # 8221 ; ( www.leeds.ac.uk ) .

Influences to Bauman & # 8217 ; s Work

Bauman & # 8217 ; s logic can be traced back to his upbringing in the Polish Humanist tradition, where society was civilization. His most immediate instructors, Julian Hochfeld and Stanislaw Ossowski, viewed sociology as chiefly a service to the common adult male, seen at the same time as a merchandise and the manufacturer of civilization ( www.ub.es ) . Bauman finally learned to believe of civilization as the activity of structuring, instead than construction as a matrix of substitutions, which he adopted from Claude Levi-Strauss & # 8217 ; theory. & # 8220 ; He came to believe of civilization as bing entirely in its substitutions, in doing and unmaking differentiations, binding and untying connexions & # 8221 ; ( www.ub.es ) .

In an interview with Zygmunt Bauman published on October 25, 1999, Marian Kempny asked what the most of import influences on his rational development were. Bauman responded & # 8220 ; If some & # 8216 ; minute of disclosure & # 8217 ; must be located, I guess the brush with Antonio Gramsci & # 8217 ; s Prison Notebooks comes closest to the thought of such an event & # 8221 ; ( www.ub.es ) . Bauman goes on to explicate that his background was largely in the Marxist theory, with all of its historical finding and solid constructions. Gramsci & # 8217 ; s Hagiographas made him recognize that this stiff model & # 8220 ; was really a fluid, liquid flow of cultural transubstantiations and such a point of view has opened up a wholly new attack to understanding and analysing societal world & # 8221 ; ( www.ub.es ) . Bauman suggests, & # 8220 ; Gramsci immunized me one time and for all against the na ve hope that cultural phenomena might be construed in footings of systems, constructions, and maps & # 8221 ; ( www.ub.es ) .

There are two really different theories sing societal and cultural analysis- modernness and postmodernity. Zygmunt Bauman falls under the postmodernity class, so in visible radiation of this, it can be assumed that he writes in reaction to the modernist train of idea, therefore unwittingly act uponing him. The modernist statement is that & # 8220 ; personal and cultural experience in the modern-day universe involves assorted tensenesss and ambiguities, the typical features of which involve contradiction, fluidness, and atomization & # 8221 ; ( Elliott 1996, pp6-7 ) . They believe that our universe is experienced by people as both an exciting chance and a threatening hazard. Modernists want to make some kind of balance between security and hazard ( Elliott 1996, p7 ) . Postmodernism, on the other manus, & # 8220 ; reacts against the fatigue of the modernist dialogue of hazard and uncertainness by trying to fade out the job all together & # 8217 ; ( Elliott 1996, p7 ) . They believe that cultural ambivalency can non be overcome, and that societal and cultural organisation can non be rationally ordered and controlled ( Elliott 1996, p7 ) . In the words of Bauman:

Postmodernity does non needfully intend the terminal, the discreditation of the rejection of modernness. Postmodernity is no more ( but no less either ) that the modern head taking a long, attentive and sober expression at itself, at its status and its yesteryear plants, non to the full wishing what it sees and feeling the impulse to alter ( Modernity and Ambivalence 1990, p272 ) .

Bauman believes that modern-day civilization exercises both postmodern and modern orders at the same time, which leads to Bauman & # 8217 ; s cardinal thesis: & # 8220 ; postmodernity as modernness without semblances & # 8221 ; ( Elliot 1996, p22 ) .

Bauman & # 8217 ; s Theory

Like stated above, Bauman believes that there exists a brotherhood between the modernist and postmodernist train of idea. He suggests that & # 8220 ; postmodernity is modernity coming to age it is coming to footings with its ain impossibleness ( Elliot 1996, p5 ) . He believes that postmodernism a

s a theory is non merely existent but necessary, and that it provides an account of the status of postmodernity ( Turner 1996, p305 ) . Bauman thinks that modernity’s greatest job is its permutation of amoral aims for ethically valued terminals ( Cohen 1996, p120 ) .

Bauman suggests that modernness is about what is rational, and what is rational can turn into evil. One illustration of this was depicted in his research on the Holocaust, where he attempts to demo the true face of modernness. Bauman shows how in the decease cantonments everything was rationalized:

Each measure on the route to decease was carefully shaped as to be calculable in footings of additions and losingss, wagess and penalties. Fresh air and music rewarded the long, ceaseless asphyxiation in the cattle passenger car. A bath, complete with cloakrooms and Barbers, towel and soap, was a welcomed release from lice, soil, and the malodor of human perspiration and body waste ( Modernity and the Holocaust 1989, p202-203 ) .

The Holocaust, in Bauman & # 8217 ; s point of position, shows the ambidextrous world of modernness, because this atrocious happening took topographic point in its thick:

The mute panic pervading our corporate memory of the Holocaust is the gnawing intuition that the Holocaust could be more than an aberrance, more than a divergence from an otherwise consecutive way of advancement, more that a cancerous growing on the otherwise healthy organic structure of the civilised society ; that, in short, the Holocaust was non an antithesis of modern civilisation and everything ( or so we like to believe ) it stands for. We suspect ( even if we refuse to acknowledge it ) that the Holocaust could simply hold uncovered another face of the same modern society whose other, so familiar, face we so admire. And that the two faces are absolutely comfortably attached to the same organic structure ( Modernity and the Holocaust 1989, p7 ) .

It is apparent to see that Bauman believes that modernist ground is non inherently good. It can be used for disgusting intents, and it can be an ally of immorality. Bauman is trying to reason that modernness is an semblance ; it is non a sensible, indifferent attack for society to follow. The holocaust is a perfect illustration of this imperfectness.

Bauman suggests that we are caught between two tyrannies, neither of which will be able to measure constructively this & # 8220 ; irreversible pluralism & # 8221 ; ( www.sociologyonline.com ) . He thinks that intellectuals have to follow a new function if they are to take pluralism earnestly ; this function being that of transcribers. & # 8220 ; Translators need to be present between the assorted traditions, civilizations, and doctrines which constitute the plural universe we live in they must develop a specialism of impacting positive communicating between different civilizations and traditions & # 8221 ; ( www.sociologyonline.com ) . Bauman believes that interlingual rendition is both a necessary and a mundane accomplishment implicit in mundane communicating.

Bauman & # 8217 ; s Current Condition

Zygmunt Bauman has had a batch of influence on many of his coevalss, as seen in the Hagiographas of such people as Elias, Horkheimer/Adorno, and Beck. He is a adult male of many talents- scholarly and literary, of the research worker and the instructor. Bauman has international celebrity that is good deserved and justly founded. Bauman & # 8217 ; s work remains really of import to sociological theory as his ideas are ever traveling to interrupt new land. He is a adult male of great differentiation holding been awarded the Amalfi European Prize in 1990, followed by the Adorno Prize in 1998. Current sociological idea is grounded chiefly on Bauman & # 8217 ; s theory, where he expresses an ethical peculiarity of the postmodern age:

What the postmodern head is cognizant of is that there are jobs in human and societal life with no good solutions, distorted flights that can non be straightened up, ambivalencies that are more than lingual bloopers shouting to be corrected, uncertainties which can non be legislated out of being, moral torments which no reason-dictated formulas can comfort, allow alone remedy. The postmodern head does non anticipate any more to happen the all-embracing, entire and ultimate expression of life without ambiguity, hazard, danger and mistake, and id profoundly leery of any voice that promises otherwise. The postmodern head is reconciled to the thought that the muss of the human quandary is here to remain. This is, in the broadest of lineations, what can be called postmodern wisdom ( Postmodern Ethics 1993, p245 ) .


Bauman, Zygmunt. Culture as Praxis.

Boston: Routledge & A ; K. Paul, 1973.

Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernity and Ambivalence.

Cambridge: Civil order, 1990.

Bauman, Zygmunt. Modernity and the Holocaust.

California: Stanford University Press, 1989.

Bauman, Zygmunt. Postmodern Ethics.

Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.

Best, Shaun. & # 8220 ; Zygmunt Bauman ; Personal refections

Within the mainstream of modernity. & # 8221 ;

The British Journal of Sociology. V49 p311, June


Elliot, Anthony. Subject to Ourselves.

Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996.

Postmodernism: a reader. Ed. Thomas Docherty.

New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.

Social Theory. Ed. Bryan s. Turner.

& # 8220 ; The Nature of the Social & # 8221 ;

& # 8220 ; Theories of Action and Praxis & # 8221 ; by Ira J. Cohen.

Oxford: Blackwell, 1996.

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