In this major work, Zygmunt Bauman seeks to classify the meanings of culture. He distinguishes between culture as a concept, culture as a structure and culture as praxis and analyzes the different ways in which culture has been used in each of these settings. For Bauman, culture is a living, changing aspect of human interaction which must be understood and studied as a universal of human life. At the heart of his approach is the proposition that culture is inherently ambivalent. With a major new introduction to this new edition, this classic work emerges as a crucial link in the development of Bauman's thought. By his own admission, it was the first of his books to grope towards a new kind of social theory, in contrast to the fals

Culture as Concept

Culture as concept

The unyielding ambiguity of the concept of culture is notorious. Much less so is the idea that this ambiguity follows not so much from the way people define culture, as from the incompatibility of numerous lines of thought, which have come together historically in the same term. Scholars are usually sophisticated enough to realize that similarity of terms is a poor guide when identity or diversity of concepts is to be established. Still, methodological self-consciousness is one thing, the magic of words is another. Only too many people too often find themselves misled by a rash though commonsensical inclination into imposing a frail conceptual unity on similar terms. The effort, which can be of some profit in the case of ...

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