In Social Life, the authors highlight, explain, and scrutinize socio-theoretical analyses of contemporary social relations and conditions - put forward by eight modern social theorists - and analyse how these have informed sociological inquiries into people’s lives in today’s social world. The book discusses the works of the following social theorists: • Anthony Giddens • Pierre Bourdieu • Bruno Latour • Donna Haraway • Zygmunt Bauman • Jean-Francois Lyotard • Michel Foucault • Jean Baudrillard In each chapter, the authors identify the key components of each theorist’s conception of society and apply the theories outlined to specific, modern phenomena. This connection with modern-day phenomena allows for a critical interrogation of issues in contemporary society, including: Inequality and Capital, Power, Fear and Terrorism, Immune System Discourse, Suffering, and Climate Change.

Zygmunt Bauman: Liquid Social Life

Zygmunt Bauman: Liquid Social Life

Part 1: Liquid Society

Zygmunt Bauman’s conception of contemporary social reality turns on his distinction between ‘solids’ and ‘fluids’ such as ‘liquids’ (LM 1–2). A solid, he clarifies, generally maintains its ‘shape’: its ‘spatial dimensions’ are definite; ‘time’ has limited relevance for it. A liquid is always about ‘to change’ ‘shape’: it takes up a ‘space’ only momentarily; for a liquid, ‘the flow of time’ is essential. ‘Fluids’ are also more mobile, and thus commonly considered ‘lighter’, than ‘solids’. Bauman argues that the current stage of ‘modernity’ can be captured by the ‘metaphors’ of ‘“fluidity” or “liquidity”’ and that this ‘phase’ is, in many respects, new (LM 2).

The kind of modernity which was the target, but ...

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