Globalization: The Human Consequences

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All this has to be achieved without erecting barriers of exclusiveness.

There can be no return to "solid modernity". The political institutions of this are parliamentary democracy and the public sphere; the former has been eroded and the latter hollowed out. Insecurity has appeared in the workplace and the welfare state has become attenuated. No ready-made theoretical solutions can be offered. These belonged to a "modern" past the observer can now see in a somewhat clearer light than in former times. People live in a world where they are forced to make choices and in which their only resources are their critical faculties and their determination never to rest on their moral laurels.

Bauman urges people continually to ask two questions: have I done enough? Could I do more? Let us see how the foregoing requirements might be met or otherwise within the project of European integration. Although it started life as a principally economic arrangement one can see in its current political, economic and social life many of the themes that so concern Bauman being played out.

Perhaps it is here in the heartland of classical sociology that the issue will be decided. At any rate it is a great drama, a human adventure, where not alone certainly, but potentially in a world-changing way, the shape of the future will in part be decided. This is nothing less than the shape of human being-together in the world , where diversity must be negotiated and a common fate turned - possibly, just possibly - into a shared destiny. Bauman is a declared European on 19 March he delivered the opening lecture - entitled Making the Planet Hospitable to Europe" - in the Festival of Europe , a London event designed as an intellectual and cultural counterpoint to the EU's fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

He values the unique diversity of the continent that has made dialogue a necessity. Dialogue has been cultivated to a unique degree once the aim of uniting Europe in first religious, then military terms through conquest of one part by another, was abandoned or failed. The European Union promises the valuing of difference which is ethically so important to him.


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Communal allegiance is the danger to be avoided. The ideology of multiculturalism threatens to turn this into the order of the day; however it is equally expressive of a "washing of the hands" over the prospect of wider solidarities.

Globalization: The Human Consequences by Zygmunt Bauman

Fundamentalism likewise is an often unscrupulous, manipulated offer of security in a single exclusive community. Both threaten the human brotherhood. The beginning of this one might say one sees in the European idea. If communism was a failed experiment Europe is an unfinished project, one fraught with difficulties morally and sociologically. In terms of intellectual lineage the moral dimension of Bauman's sociology owes something to Karl Marx in that a collective solution to humanity's predicament is promised as the only possible one.

But like Max Weber moral goals are posited as human choices, and in consonance with Weber and in contradistinction to Marx it is underlined that there is simply no guarantee that humanity's condition will improve, that a truly human life will be possible. The two axial options were set by Bauman's two great predecessors. They were salvation by society" Marx and "no salvation by society" Weber. Bauman's thought, it may be suggested, revolves within this single, central dilemma. We may regard his ideas as a synthesis, albeit a partial and incomplete one as he would be the first to admit , of the two possibilities.

These are the "solution" in underdetermined moral choice of a great liberal Weber and the solution of a great socialist Marx. Bauman is arguably both - a liberal and a socialist. Is Bauman's a balanced diagnosis of contemporary reality? Is it an adequate strategy for the present time? Or is it overly general, excessively rhetorical, and despite its dialectical mastery, at bottom a survival of the thought patterns of a now finally exhausted Marxism? In my experience he tends either to be dismissed by sociologists as a social philosopher, moral critic or pessimist, or to attract followers who do but repeat his analyses and offer adulation and unqualified approval rather than rigorously selective and creative appropriation of his ideas.

This is a great shame. Unfortunately it is possibly a reflection of the qualities that make his writing so attractive. These are its suggestiveness, the rapid changes of theme and direction, a strong and prominent basis in values, and the claim that it makes on the moral and political feelings. Bauman still awaits a commentator of weight, one who would do him the justice his stature as a social theorist and his sheer industry over three-quarters of a century so clearly merit.

Globalization: The Human Consequences by Zygmunt Bauman

That's just the tip of the iceberg: we've got many more leads to chase down. Find out more and support our work here. Make a donation. Projects Close Close Please type and press enter Submit. Ian Varcoe. Share this Share on Twitter. Share on Facebook. Share via email. Share link. Bauman also makes a distinction between tourists and vagabonds in a globalized economy.

Tourists include the wealthy, the upper classes, business people, increasingly few academics, etc. Tourists go places comfortably and by choice, experience controlled versions of those locations--usually from nice hotels, restaurants, and clubs isolated from the local population. However, vagabonds--including migrant laborers, refugees, and other displaced populations--function essentially like the locals, except without geographic security. Vagabonds have little to no control over their economic conditions, exert little to no power in structuring the global economy, and have little to no recourse when they are abandoned by globalized forces.

I think Bauman's work is still really relevant today, though some of the sections on digital access have become less true in than they were in We can see this, for instance, in the importance of smart phones, twitter, and youtube during the Arab Spring uprisings, where technology and digital spaces because major tools for organizing resistance. Sep 18, Jeanne rated it it was ok Shelves: never-again.

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First I hated this book then I hated more and now I dont like this book. It was really painful to read it for me. I read it some months!

I usually read quickly but this book was so boring But on the another hand I have to say that I like some of ideas. Maybe I would like the book if some else write it in other way. Im so happy that Im done with this! View all 7 comments. Jul 12, Nate rated it it was amazing. I will never look at the world the same way after reading this. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Un libro muy recomendado para cualquiera, ya que de lo que trata es bastante transversal, y su forma de estar escrito no espanta a legos.

Jul 12, Yacoob rated it liked it. Velit nulla voluptatem quia. Assumenda porro sint omnis et ipsa dolorem. Repudiandae quo ea autem harum. Veniam aperiam cumque voluptatibus nihil ut. Mollitia est aliquid numquam blanditiis. View all 4 comments. Jul 10, Anna Zenchenkova rated it it was amazing. Sabemos que pereceremos y, lo creo, queremos que llegue ese final. Nuestra hipnosis nos ha paralizado. No queremos desviarnos del abismo.

Jun 07, Shushuli rated it it was amazing. During my studies, one of the chapters of Zygmunt Bauman was added to our curriculum. That one chapter changed gave me a better understanding of globalization that I have since gone back to more of Zygmunt Bauman's theories and try to include them as much as I can in my studies. It's a great book for those studying or working in areas that are affected by globalization, but it's also a great book for those who need to understand that the world isn't as black and white as the media often portrays During my studies, one of the chapters of Zygmunt Bauman was added to our curriculum.

It's a great book for those studying or working in areas that are affected by globalization, but it's also a great book for those who need to understand that the world isn't as black and white as the media often portrays it to be. Jun 25, Kotryna rated it liked it. An attempt to define globalization through human experience and specific case studies. Not an easy read though, full of academic terminology. I found it hard to find the connection between the chapters, though I'm sure it makes more sense to a more educated reader.

A book for specialized and repetitive reading, not something one should skim through though that's exactly what I did in parts of it. May 26, Subdee rated it really liked it. Nociones interesantes sobre justicia y trabajo, desde una perspectiva amplia y clara. Jul 25, Richard Skolek rated it it was amazing. Really dense, but with a lot of interesting ideas and observations. Proceeding to analyse the phenomenon of so-called globalization, Zygmunt Bauman pins down a number of arguments related to its impact over nation-states and their sovereignty.

In view of a lessened state power - in favour of a stronger economical market that dictates how the global society evolves -, class differences are accentuating.