Freedom and Consumerism: A Critique of Zygmunt Bauman's Sociology

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008 - Social Science - 189 pages
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How does Bauman understand the concept of freedom? How does this understanding relate to the political traditions of conervatism, liberalism and socialism? Mark Davis offers a critical enquiry into the sociology of Zygmunt Bauman, focusing on his English-language writings from the 1960s onwards.The book has two principal aims. First, it makes a contribution to sociological debates about modern society by offering an interpretation of Bauman's work based on the concept of freedom. Davis argues that existing studies of Bauman have tended to focus uncritically upon other salient themes in his work, notably culture, power and socialism. He aims to repair the lack of critical engagement in the literature, by identifying freedom as a focus for critical reflection, a concept which he argues has thematic continuity in Bauman's writing, especially in terms of his extensive consideration of consumerism.Second, Davis aims to open up new areas of discourse around Bauman's work by analysing his understanding of freedom in relation to the three great political traditions of conservatism, liberalism and socialism. This is an original contribution to discussions around Bauman's work which will be of interest to both sociologists and political theorists.
 

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Contents

Existing Interpretations of Baumans Writings
31
Freedom as Insecurity
51
Freedom as Choice
73
Freedom as Privilege
91
Bauman Conservatism and Freedom
113
Bauman Liberalism and Freedom
131
Bauman Socialism and Freedom
149
Conclusion
167
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About the author (2008)

Mark Davis is Lecturer in Sociology, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK

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