Zygmunt Bauman's work is a case study in the possibilities of postmodernism for sociology. Characterized on the one hand by a gloomy epistemology about knowledge and morality in a postmodern world and on the other, by provocative new concepts to empirically describe a postmodern world, Bauman's work evidences a key tension within postmodern thought. Is it possible to reconcile Bauman's pessimistic epistemology with his optimistic sociology? My argument is that if we recast Bauman as a critical theorist and his method as dialectical immanent critique, we can see how his positive empirical concepts are based on his negative epistemology. In this way we can make sense of the complexity of Bauman's work and appreciate his prophetic abilities. The complexities and possibilities of postmodern thought in general become clearer as well.
Mirchandani, R. (2005), "Reconstructing Zygmunt Bauman's Postmodern Sociology of Morality", Lehmann, J.M. (Ed.) Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 301-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0278-1204(05)23006-2Download as .RIS
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