He was driven out of the Polish People's Republic during the Polish political crisis and forced to give up his Polish citizenship. He emigrated to Israel; three years later he moved to the United Kingdom. Bauman was a social theorist, writing on issues as diverse as modernity and the Holocaust , postmodern consumerism and liquid modernity. He took part in the Battle of Kolberg and the Battle of Berlin.
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Zygmunt Bauman turned 90 years of age in November , as vital, productive, and intelligently alive as ever. After more than seventy books written over five decades, each one taking a single subject and finding doors to open in all directions, his work remains an essential reference point in sociology.
Bauman continues to be one of most electrifying writers in sociology, among the sharpest and most supple thinkers of his generation.
This explains why some commentators have described him as the most important living sociologist. Yet his work has also come in for some severe critique. After outlining what his detractors have had to say, the view developed in this article is that generally speaking this criticism says more about present culture in sociology than it does about the quality of the work as such.
The way in which Bauman practices his craft may have the appearance of idiosyncrasy, yet nothing about it is unusual; it has had a previous life in sociology. Other important sociologists have played the same nonconformist game that Bauman plays — Marx, Simmel, Weber — but none in the contemporary period.
It is explained that in common with other important nonconformists Bauman is a product of his own unusual biography. It is argued thereafter that the metaphors Bauman uses to describe this modernity are messianic and ecological: they are saving a certain kind of sociology, an endangered species. And it is the sense of freedom emanating from this dialectic that he communicates in his work.
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90-letni Zygmunt Bauman: Schöpferkraft i jego dwoistości