Zygmunt Bauman


  • Polish-born sociologist
  • Professor at the University of Leeds until he retired in 1990

Liquid Modernity


  • Examined the effects of:
    • Consumption-based economies
    • Disappearance of social institutions
    • Rise of globalization
  • Felt that the term “postmodern” was problematic
    • Started using the term liquid modernity to better describe the condition of constant mobility and change he sees in relationships, identities, and global economics within contemporary society
  • Writes of a transition from solid modernity to a more liquid form of social life

Cloakroom Community

Source: and

  • Chapter introduces the term cloakroom communities
    • People gather before a two hours-long performance to hang their anoraks or cloaks
    • Then they all enjoy the same performance, watching the same actors in the same plot
    • When it’s finished, they jointly applaud the actors and the director, return to the cloakroom, take their jackets off the pegs; then each one goes in their own direction
  • This allegory grasps well the predicament of most communities of today
    • They are put together, temporarily, around a shared focus
    • There are little lateral bonds between the gathered, either extant or emergent apart of that focus of fleeting interest

Modernity and the Holocaust

  • Argued that modern industrial and bureaucratic paradigms made the Holocaust imaginable
  • The machinery of industrialism made it possible to carry out
  • Within modernity, there developed the gardening state that separates wanted from unwanted elements within the society
    • It equates to the gardener who, while planning the perfect garden, needs to kill weeds

From Pilgrim to Tourist


  • Part of the essay collection Questions of Cultural Identity
    • Edited by Stuart Hall & Paul du Gay
  • Moved from period where we understood ourselves as “pilgrims” in search of deeper meaning to one where we act as “tourists” in search of multiple but fleeting social experiences

Other Works

  • Culture as Praxis (1973)
  • Modernity and Ambivalence (1991)
  • Postmodernity and Its Discontents (1997)
  • Globalization: The Human Consequences (1998)
  • The Individualized Society (2001)
  • Wasted Lives: Modernity and Its Outcasts (2003)
  • Strangers at Our Door (2016)