Bringing together leading interpreters of Zygmunt Bauman’s sociology, this volume thinks with and beyond Bauman’s work in order to show its continued relevance as a theory in its own right, as an object of criticism and as a stepping stone towards a fuller understanding of contemporary society.
The volume deals with some proposed omissions and absences in Bauman’s sociology, with chapters comparing Bauman’s ideas to those of other prominent social thinkers as well as chapters devoted to teasing out some problems and pitfalls in his work. Paying attention to central concepts and themes of Bauman’s thought, authors engage with various aspects of his work, considering potential deficiencies in his ethical perspective, his neglect of the religious dimensions of modernity, his lack of consideration for ethnicity and gender, his overlooking the importance of socialisation in liquid modernity and his problematic argument for individual choice and freedom in a world that is increasingly closed down by consumer capitalism.
Beyond Bauman aspires to show that despite Bauman's status as a key sociological thinker, there are also certain deficiencies in his work demand critical discussion. It will be of use to scholars of sociology, contemporary society, social theory and modernity.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements
List of Contributors
Introduction Beyond Bauman
- Critical Engagements and Creative Excursions with a Contemporary Sociological Icon(oclast)
Michael Hviid Jacobsen
Chapter 1 Aesthetic and Relational Ethics
- Beyond Bauman’s Postmodern Ethics
Nicholas Hookway and Douglas Ezzy
Chapter 2 Voice and the Generalized Other in the Ethical Writings of Zygmunt Bauman
Chapter 3 Race, Imperialism and Gender in Zygmunt Bauman’s Sociology
- Partial Absences, Serious Consequences
Chapter 4 The Inevitable Clerisy
- A Postsecular Critique of Zygmunt Bauman
Chapter 5 Critical Theory Old and New
- Theodor W. Adorno Meets Zygmunt Bauman in the Shopping Mall
Michael Hviid Jacobsen & Claus D. Hansen
Chapter 6 Not Yet
- Probing the Potentials and Problems in the Utopian Understandings of Ernst Bloch and Zygmunt Bauman
Martin Aidnik & Michael Hviid Jacobsen
Chapter 7 Exploring Modernity’s Hidden Agenda in Europe
- The Complementary Contributions of Zygmunt Bauman and Ernest Gellner
Chapter 8 "Getting to Norway"
- Do We Need to Go Beyond Zygmunt Bauman and Pierre Bourdieu in Order to Understand Contemporary Norwegian Society?
Rune Åkvik Nilsen
Chapter 9 Overcritique and Ambiguity in Zygmunt Bauman’s Sociology
- A Long-Term Perspective
Chapter 10 Keeping Other Options Alive
- Zygmunt Bauman, Hermeneutics and Sociological Alternatives
Chapter 11 Paradoxes and Ambivalences of Liquid Modernity
- Zygmunt Bauman and the Peculiar Solidity of Liquidity
Michael Hviid Jacobsen
Michael Hviid Jacobsen is Professor of Sociology at Aalborg University, Denmark. He has published extensively on the sociology of Zygmunt Bauman.
'Bauman’s sociology questions a world taken too much for granted. Bauman is interested in questions not answers. The contributors to this book now ask questions about Bauman’s work. They show how the work opens analytical avenues, and demonstrate how attention to its foundations can explain its focus and blindspots.'- Keith Tester, Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology, LaTrobe University, Australia
'Twenty years ago there was no Bauman industry. Now there are calls for deindustrialization. Why are we still talking about Bauman? His is an untidy prominence. This volume looks to sorting him out. As we move on, what do we carry with us? These are pressing questions for those who follow, Beyond Bauman.' - Professor Peter Beilharz, Curtin University, Australia and Visiting Professor, Bauman Institute, University of Leeds, U.K
'In choosing to engage so critically with Bauman’s vast output, this wonderful collection clearly takes his sociological imagination very seriously. Edited by one of the world’s finest commentators on his work, this volume provides a vital reference point for scholars and students seeking a more robust examination of Bauman’s ideas.' – Mark Davis, Founding Director of the Bauman Institute, University of Leeds, UK