Ali Rattansi
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The Holocaust’s modernity
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Hannah Arendt was one of the first intellectuals to confront, in 1945, the enormity of what had happened to six million Jews and millions of Roma, Poles and others in the Holocaust. Zygmunt Bauman's own thesis of the Holocaust's modernity, he argues, is impossible to formulate within conventional sociological frameworks. Without anti-Semitism the Holocaust, aimed first and foremost at Jews, would obviously not have been possible. Bauman's reflections on racism are marked by constant attempts to tie racism to social engineering and modernity, rather than seeing it as a broader phenomenon. Bauman's inspiration for his understanding of the nature and role of bureaucracy was Max Weber. Weber had analyzed bureaucratic authority as one ideal typical form of rule, which contrasted with traditional, charismatic and value-laden forms of authority.

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Bauman and contemporary sociology

A critical analysis

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