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|Zygmunt Bauman (born November 19, 1925) – Polish sociologist – Consuming Life (2007)|
Read the Wikipedia article about Zygmunt Bauman
“European society, he argued, had agreed to forego a level of freedom in order to receive the benefits of increased individual security. Bauman argued that modernity involved removing unknowns and uncertainties; it involved control which attempted to gradually remove personal insecurities, making the chaotic aspects of human life appear well-ordered and familiar. However, such order-making efforts never manage to achieve the desired results. When life becomes organised into familiar and manageable categories, he argued, there are always social groups who cannot be administered, who cannot be separated out and controlled.”
Read more about Bauman’s work here
Read excerpts from Consuming Life here
The poor and indolent, people lacking a decent income, credit cards and the prospect of better days, are not fit to do. Accordingly the norm broken by the poor of today … which sets them apart and labels them as ‘abnormal’, is the norm of consumer competence or aptitude, not that of employment.
First and foremost, the poor of today (that is, people who are ‘problems’ for the rest) are ‘non-consumers’, not ‘unemployed’. Recast as collateral casualties of consumerism, the poor are now and for the first time in recorded history purely and simply a worry and a nuisance. The poor of the society of consumers are totally useless. Unneeded, unwanted, forsaken — where is their place? The briefest of answers is out of sight.
[from Consuming Life by Zygmunt Bauman, pages 126-127]
Short video of Zygmunt Bauman at Vytautus Magnus University in Lithuania, spring 2010 (Lithuanian language)
“The Trouble With Being Human These Days” trailer