Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty

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Polity, 2007 - Political Science - 115 pages
4 Reviews
The passage from ‘solid’ to ‘liquid’modernity has created a new and unprecedented setting forindividual life pursuits, confronting individuals with a series ofchallenges never before encountered. Social forms and institutionsno longer have enough time to solidify and cannot serve as framesof reference for human actions and long-term life plans, soindividuals have to find other ways to organise their lives. Theyhave to splice together an unending series of short-term projectsand episodes that don’t add up to the kind of sequence towhich concepts like ‘career’ and ‘progress’could meaningfully be applied. Such fragmented lives requireindividuals to be flexible and adaptable – to be constantlyready and willing to change tactics at short notice, to abandoncommitments and loyalties without regret and to pursueopportunities according to their current availability. In liquidmodernity the individual must act, plan actions and calculate thelikely gains and losses of acting (or failing to act) underconditions of endemic uncertainty.

Zygmunt Bauman’s brilliant writings on liquid modernityhave altered the way we think about the contemporary world. In thisshort book he explores the sources of the endemic uncertainty whichshapes our lives today and, in so doing, he provides the readerwith a brief and accessible introduction to his highly originalaccount, developed at greater length in his previous books, of lifein our liquid modern times.

 

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User Review  - the.ken.petersen - LibraryThing

This book is an eminently readable critique of life in the twenty-first century as a westerner. His section upon 'Humanity on the Move', is particularly well argued and should be given to every ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

Zygmunt Bauman is a Polish-born sociologist in the Marxist tradition mostly known for his thoroughgoing critiques of consumerism, modernity, and cultural memory (especially the Holocaust). His "liquid ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
Liquid Modern Life and its Fears
5
Humanity on the Move
27
State Democracy and the Management of Fears
55
Out of Touch Together
71
Utopia in the Age of Uncertainty
94
Notes
111
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About the author (2007)

Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Universities of Leeds and Warsaw.

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