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Part II Living with postmodernity It is in the 1987 Legislators and Interpreters that Bauman presents the first fruits of his growing engagement with the debates about postmodernity that had convulsed intellectual life in Continental Europe and, increasingly, North America. Modernity and the Holocaust, which followed Legislators, although written from a postmodern perspective, makes no mention of these debates. However, this is hardly surprising because Bauman’s focus in this book is on a historically specific period and set of events in Western modernity. But

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Extending the critique of Bauman’s first exposition of postmodernity and postmodernism

with modernity; as Bell had recognised, many modernist movements were critical of bourgeois society, and this became particularly clear after the carnage of the First World War. According to Harvey, there were differences between the temper of modernism in Europe and America (Harvey 1991: 27), with European modernism being more anti-bourgeois, though art historians have pointed out that many of the American modernists who became prominent in the 1950s had already been involved with an art critical of the Depression-era America of the 1930s (Harris 1993: 3). As

in Bauman and contemporary sociology

Modernism and postmodernism ‘Modernism’ is a term usually reserved for a set of movements in the arts that began in the latter part of the nineteenth century in Europe, gained a particular momentum in the early years of the twentieth century and continued to flourish until at least the middle of the twentieth century, the periodisation being dependent on when one believes that a new set of aesthetic strategies and products, dubbed postmodernist, began. As we will see, for many commentators postmodernism in the arts was, by and large, a continuation of modernism

in Bauman and contemporary sociology

’, and ‘modernism’ and ‘postmodernism’, that had engulfed Continental Europe and the English and philosophy departments of American universities. This was not surprising. Little in the preceding years had prepared Anglo-American sociology for what was about to hit them. Marx, Weber and Durkheim, the revered greats of classical sociology, had not used the concept of modernity, although of course they were acutely aware of the novelty of the times they were living in (Ray 1999). Only George Simmel (1858–1918), a relatively little-known figure in mainstream sociology, had

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Perspectives on civilisation in Latin America

expressed in history, others would continue shortly after in the modernist arts, literature, poetry, music and philosophy. A second wave of radical modernism emerged in Marxist politics, political economy, liberation theology and indigenous movements. 153 Engagement in the cross-currents of history 153 Modernism arose at the turn of the twentieth century as a movement of artists, philosophers, writers, poets, musicians and activists (Schelling, 2000). In a short time, they remedied the positivist cultures that had denigrated Latin America and venerated European

in Debating civilisations

work of Raymond Williams, Spivak is likewise moved to challenge the work of Terry Eagleton for its insularly national account of Jane Eyre’s class dynamics. Jameson writes from a different but equally revisionary impulse: to extend Lukácsian aesthetics to include the impact of empire building on metropolitan art, and to amplify Lenin’s conceptions of imperialism as the last stage of capitalism. Like Jameson, Said and Spivak are also motivated by expressly contemporary political goals. Spivak offers a strategic intervention against contemporary Anglo-European

in Postcolonial contraventions

political critique (Callinicos 1990: 162–71; see also Eagleton 1996: 1–44; and see also Owen 1997, and Lopez and Potter 2005). Some of these descriptions apply only too well to Bauman the postmodernist. In the 1987 Legislators, as we have seen, Bauman draws upon Rorty’s critique of the Western rationalist tradition and Foucault’s notion of modernity as a disciplinary complex, and is clearly influenced by the critique of hyper-rationalism and modernism in postmodernist architecture. Equally important to Bauman’s embrace of the postmodern turn was his utter disillusionment

in Bauman and contemporary sociology
Re-visioning family change

) and then cohabiting couples (5.9 per cent). Such households would have been exceptional in Ireland when Seamus and John, whose stories we examined in Chapter 1, were starting their families. Figure 2.1 provides an overview of family household composition in Ireland, Denmark and Portugal in 2009, based on the European Survey on Income and 30 Denmark Ireland Portugal 25 20 15 10 5 0 Single person aged under 65 Single person aged 65+ Couple both under 65 Couple 1 or both aged 65+ Couple + dependent children Couple + adult children Lone parent + dependent

in Family rhythms

had no influence in society and priests had no relevance. In the remainder of the book Benson’s imaginary future changes dramatically. It becomes one in which Catholic social and political thought has been implemented worldwide, where the great political economists of the day consult cardinals and where Ireland has been turned into the contemplative monastery of Europe. At the beginning of the twentieth century Catholic thinkers were preoccupied with the threats that secular, liberal and socialist ideals presented to religiosity. In his 1907 novel Lord of the World

in Are the Irish different?

Benson’s imaginary future changes dramatically. It becomes one in which Catholic social and political thought has been implemented worldwide, where the great political economists of the day consult cardinals and where Ireland has been turned into the contemplative monastery of Europe. At the beginning of the twentieth century Catholic thinkers were preoccupied with the threats that secular, liberal and social ideals presented to religiosity. In his 1907 novel Lord of the World, Benson had imagined a future world dominated since 1917 by socialism, freemasonry and

in Irish adventures in nation-building