Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds, UK
Zygmunt Bauman is one of the most significant global social thinkers of our age.
His work, spanning nearly five decades, steadfastly refuses to be constrained by arbitrary disciplinary boundaries within the arts, humanities and social sciences.
An extraordinarily productive scholar, his writings continue to be relevant to his host subject of sociology, but also to social and political theory, philosophy, ethics, art theory, media/communications studies, cultural studies, and theology.
His unique contribution of the conceptual framework ‘liquid modernity’ has influenced international research within all of these disciplines.
By employing the metaphor of ‘liquidity’, Bauman’s later work has captured the fluid and constantly shifting character of our equally individualized and globalized lives and, over the course of a series of related books and articles, has offered one of the most significant interpretations of human societies in the twenty-first century.
As is evident from the list of publications that bear his name, this period of his work offers a reappraisal of fundamental concepts such as freedom, responsibility, morality, identity, community, security and uncertainty, love and intimacy, and welfare.
In sum, Bauman’s ‘liquid modern’ period has been exceptionally influential both within and outside the Academy and his contributions to the challenge of ‘rethinking global society’ are as valuable as ever.