A sociologist of hope or a prophet of gloom?
in Bauman and contemporary sociology
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This chapter focuses primarily on one final issue, was Zygmunt Bauman an optimist or a pessimist. Bauman's views constantly vacillated between optimism and pessimism. Despite the pessimism of so much of his work, Bauman remained hopeful. While the totalitarianism that Bauman had experienced and suffered from, Nazism and Soviet-style Communism, do not now exist, Bauman was always on the look-out for new dangers to personal and collective freedoms. He is a worthy disciple of the Critical Theory tradition. As long as sociologists keep 'sounding the alarm', sociology's critical message will always find an audience and a better world will always be a possibility, a 'chance' as he often put it. Bauman came to believe that Popperian-style piecemeal, pragmatic social engineering was the only possibility in the face of the failure of the modern 'gardening' utopias of Communism and Nazism.

Bauman and contemporary sociology

A critical analysis


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