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The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman – Histories of Violence

As a part of the Histories of Violence project, directed by Dr Brad Evans (POLIS, University of Leeds), The Guardian newspaper has launched its 10 Years of Terror series:

Today, a specially commissioned video lecture by Zygmunt Bauman was launched on the Comment is Free website and can be accessed here:

For more information on the Histories of Violence project, see:

This entry was posted in News, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

‘Why do good people do evil things?’

Oxford University Chabad Society cordially invites you to a lecture by Professor Zygmunt Bauman.

Zygmunt Bauman, born in Poznan, Poland, is one of Europe’s most influential sociologists and is currently Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Leeds University.  Since 1971, he has resided in England after being driven out of Poland by an anti-Semitic campaign, engineered by the Communist government which he had previously supported. Bauman’s published work extends to 57 books and well over a hundred articles. Bauman was awarded the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Sciences in 1992 and the Theodor W. Adorno Award of the city of Frankfurt in 1998. He has been awarded in 2010, the Príncipe de Asturias Prize for Communication and the Humanities. The University of Leeds launched The Bauman Institute within its School of Sociology and Social Policy in Bauman’s honour in September 2010“.

‘Why do good people do evil things?’, Tuesday 22 Feb, 8pm, buffet reception at 7:30pm.

At Slager Jewish student centre, 61 George St, Oxford, OX1 2BQ.


All are welcome!

This entry was posted in Events, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

Social Europe Journal

Zygmunt Bauman is now contributing frequently to Social Europe Journal (SEJ).

Social Europe Journal (SEJ) is the first journal, delivered mainly electronically, addressing issues of critical interest to progressives across Europe and beyond. It was founded in late 2004 and has been continuously published since spring 2005.

SEJ is above all a forum for debate and innovative political thinking. We not only deal with social democracy and European economic policy but also use ‘Social Europe’ as a viewpoint to examine issues such as globalisation, political economy, industrial policy and international relations.

Primarily as an electronic journal, we encourage interactive communication. It is our goal to make as many readers as possible active participants of SEJ. By providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas, SEJ is the pioneer of a new form of European public realm – a public realm that grows and is shaped from the people up; driven by citizens.

We are committed to publishing stimulating articles by the most thought-provoking authors. Since its founding, SEJ has published writers of the highest calibre including several Nobel laureates, international political leaders and academics as well as some of the best young talent.

SEJ is published by Social Europe Journal Ltd., a UK-based not-for-profit company, in cooperation with the Global Policy Institute London and the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung.

You can follow Zygmunt’s column here.

This entry was posted in News, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

Memory/history as casualties of liquid identities and society

Could community members direct me to that part of Professor Bauman’s published works which mostly discusses memory and history as casualties of liquid identities and society? The reasons for my request are twofold. First I am writing a private paper about counter-history. And second, unfortunately, I do not have access to a university library.

If you have any suggestions or recommendation please add a comment to this message. Thanks.

This entry was posted in The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

Theory, Culture and Society

To coincide with Zygmunt Bauman’s 85th birthday in November 2010, Theory Culture and Society have commissioned for the journal a special section of articles on his work (see forthcoming, TCS 27.6), and for the journal’s associated blog they asked Mark Davis, Director of the Bauman Institute, to provide his own reflections on Bauman.

Click here for Mark’s sociological, personal and birthday notes ‘For Zygmunt’

This entry was posted in News, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

The science of hope? or a sociology of possibilty?

Mark Davis’s article “Bauman’s Compass” prompted a series of thoughts about how the sociology of hope could mount a more direct challenge to the classical certainty of the sciences of capitalism.

These thoughts have coalesced into the start of a “think piece” about recognising ambiguity and uncertainty as fundamental to reality rather than aberrations from the rational, natural norms. Perhaps made all the more relevant by Bernanke’s assertion that the crisis of 2008 was not a failure of economic science but of economic management.

Continue reading

This entry was posted in The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

The art of essay writing

I very much liked Mark’s ‘thought piece’ published in Compass, the topic of Mark’s last post, Bauman’s compass, and on which I commented. It has made me think that the article I am currently writing on the practical and policy implications of Zygmunt’s thoughts on what sociology is under conditions of liquid modernity and what it can contribute to the formation and development of a new left movement could well be construed as an essay. If so I could offer it to Compass or perhaps this Community could offer a platform for members to contribute think pieces and essays. One or two delegates at the Rethinking Global Society conference suggested this might be a useful development of the Institute’s community site. This has not been discussed with Mark yet but it would interesting to get members’ views. I am supposing that an essay is, as the word suggests, a trial of an idea and that although conforming to certain scholarly standards, would not necessarily have the rigour of argumentation and referencing of a formal peer reviewed article. It is likely to be rather more experimental, suggestive and personal. This is not to say there wouldn’t have to be some sort of editorial process. But this would be a matter for discussion. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Blog, Ethics and Soci(ologic)al Theory, Renewing Politics and Civil Society, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman and tagged , .

Bauman’s Compass

As the impact of our recent international launch conference starts to be felt far and wide, I am slowly beginning to gather my thoughts from the whirlwind of discussion and presentations that took place here in Leeds a few weeks ago. As I mentioned in my email to all of our delegates, I will soon post my own thoughts and reflections on the various sessions I attended and we will soon have available through our website both images and videos of our plenary sessions. Continue reading

This entry was posted in News, Renewing Politics and Civil Society, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman.

Conference day two – first reflections

Day 2 was a real roller coaster for me and my head is still buzzing. I thought I would get some impressions down while they are still fresh in my mind less than 24 hours after the end of a truly inspiring conference. To begin at the end, the first of the final two sessions was a panel of Zygmunt’s old colleagues (including Janet Wolff who also taught me in the late 70s along with Zygmunt). Each told personal stories of knowing and working with Zygmunt that were especially characteristic and memorable. I must admit one of the reactions I had to the panellists’ stories was of unashamed jealously! How amazing to be so intimately a part of his life and part of his story and to have had such direct influence on their own work, ideas and career trajectories. I would like to have heard some of the recollections of his students too but there is a limit to what can be done at one event. Perhaps there will be other opportunities to share our stories. I found Zygmunt’s presentation that followed the panel session especially relevant and inspiring, to which I will return. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Blog, Renewing Politics and Civil Society, The Social Thought of Zygmunt Bauman and tagged , , , .

Liquid education resources

I am aware of two writings by Zygmunt Bauman on education. I will be writing a short paper that summarises the main points made in these as I see them. I’ll post the paper here for comment and discussion if anyone is interested. The two readings are:

Educational Challenges of the Liquid-Modern Era in Diogenes 2003; 50; 15

Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? 2008 Harvard. Chapter 4 ‘Hurried Life, or Liquid-Modern Challenges to Education’.

Liquid Life 2005 Polity. Chapter 6 ‘Learning to Walk on Quicksand’.

Some of chapter 6 in Liquid Life was reproduced at The School of Sociology and Social Policy Alumni Event held on May 6th 2006 where Prof. Zygmunt Bauman gave a talk on Liquid Modern Challenges to Education. There is an audio file of the talk and the following discussion that will be linked to from here in due course.

If you are aware of any other writings by Bauman on this topic, or references to education in any of his other books and articles please post them here as replies to this discussion.

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