Sociologist and philosopher, creator of the concept of "post-modernity".
In March, 1968, Zygmunt Bauman was professor of sociology at the University of Warsaw and Chairman of the General Sociology Department. He was suddenly stripped of his post and expelled from the university for political reasons by the communist authorities. Although he left Poland, he was remembered as the author of many books and sociology textbooks. Bauman had been an outstanding teacher of younger sociologists and the first editor-in-chief of "Studia Sociologiczne". In emigration, he continued to develop his ideas and his original scholarly concepts. Bauman lectured at the universities in Tel Aviv and Haifa in 1969-1971. He went to England in that year and accepted a permanent post at the University of Leeds. He was also visiting professor at Berkeley, Yale, Canberra, St. John's and Copenhagen.
Read about "Lawnswood Gardens" - a film portrait of Zygmunt Bauman...
He writes and publishes in English. His books have appeared in many countries. Zygmunt Bauman was awarded the European Amalfi Prize in sociology and the social sciences for Modernity and The Holocaust.
Bauman seems intellectually closest to the neopragmatism exemplified by Richard Rorty. Bauman finds Rorty's interpretative pluralism especially congenial. This is particularly important in relation to the aesthetic and moral questions that are most important to Bauman, particularly in his highly original treatment of the Holocaust. As he states in Modernity and The Holocaust, the Shoah "emerged as the result of an extraordinary accumulation of factors, each of which was completely ordinary and normal by itself, and the responsibility for that accumulation must be attributed to the modern state".
In the 1990s Bauman started to reflect mostly on the late modernity, consumerism and technology. The concept of liquid modernity is his best known. It is characterized by the uncertainty of the individual, episodicity and fragmentarization in the globalized, capitalist world, which changes under the effect of technology. It is not the reverse of modernity, but a chaotic continuation: it is modernity which agrees with its own failure. This notion has been introduced by Bauman in the book Liquid Modernity (2000). The concept of liquidity was developed in Bauman's following works, dedicated to different aspects of modernity: Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds (2003), Liquid Life (2005), Liquid Fear (2006), Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty (2006) and Liquid Evil (with Leonidas Donskis, 2016). Lately he also wrote about the crisis of democracy, the fight with terrorism and the migration crisis (in books such as (Strangers at our Door, 2016). Professor Bauman passed away on 9th January 2017.
- Hermeneutics and Social Science, New York: Columbia University Press, 1978.
- Memories of Class: The Pre-history and After-life of Class, London-Boston: Routhledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.
- Legislators and Interpreters - on Modernity, Post-modernity, Intelectuals, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987.
- Freedom, Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1988.
- Modernity and the Holocaust, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1989.
- Thinking Sociologically. An Introduction for Everyone, Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1990.
- Modernity and Ambivalence, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1991.
- Intimations of Postmodernity, London, New York: Routhledge, 1992.
- Mortality, Immortality and Other Life Strategies, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992.
- Postmodern Ethics, Life in Fragments. Essays in Postmodern Morality, Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell,1995.
- Postmodernity and its Discontents, New York: New York University Press, 1997.
- Work, Consumerism and the new Poor, Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1998.
- Globalization: The Human Consequences, New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
- Culture as Praxis, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 1999.
- Ponowoczesność jako źródło cierpień (Man's discomfort in postmodernity), Warsaw: Sic!, 2000 (more...).
- Globalizacja (Globalization), Warsaw: PIW, 2000.
- Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All?, Cambridge: Polity Press. 2013.
- State of Crisis (with Carlo Bordoni), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014.
- Practices of Selfhood (with Reine Raud), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2015.
- Liquid Evil (with Leonidas Doskis), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016.
- Babel (with Ezio Mauro), Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016.
- Strangers at Our Door, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016.
Source: www.polska2000.pl; copyright: Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza; updated by NMR, November 2016.