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Invitation:

The Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman

'"We know what we are', said Ophelia, 'but we know not what we may be'. The gentle and nave Ophelia was wrong: we do not know, in fact, what we are, unless wc are fully aware of what we may be" - Zygmunt Bauman, 'Culture, Vales and Science of Society'

The Stranger and Outsider in Our Midst


Georg Simmel described the stranger as someone who 'arrives today and stays tomorrow' (Simmel 1950). The stranger is ''freer, practically and theoretically" than the locis, and "he surveys conditions with less prejudice; his criteria for them are more general and more objective ideis; he is not tied down in his action by habit, piety, and precedent" (Simmel 1950:404-405). Thus, to Simmel it was a defining characteristic of the stranger that he was a synthesis of nearness and distance, involvement and passivity, proximity and detachment. Alfred Schtz (1944), described the stranger as someone who gradually approached a group in order to obtain acceptance by it and final assimilation into it. The stranger, for Schtz, cannot 'think as usual' and deploy the commonly applied schemes, recipes and typifications for understanding social ufe and standardised situations, and he therefore has to navigate uneasily but freely between his own understanding and that of the cultural group he approaches. Because the stranger 'questions the unquestionable', he contributes new perspectives to what the others regard as self-evident and the order of the day - something which the in-group may greet either positively or negatively depending on their disposition. Zygmunt Bauman is a stranger. He has brought a breath of fresh air into the stuffy atmosphere of the new culture into which he arrived, but he also brought the stench of burned bridges, scorched earth, faded hopes and unpleasant memories from the culture he had to leave behind. Bauman is a stranger and who strides across the cultural, scientific and ideological boundaries that are normally in place in order to keep things apart and which "conceals borderlines deemed crucial to ... orderly and/or meaningful life" (Bauman 1997a: 17). As a stranger Bauman thus reinterprets the world by making the familiar unfamiliar and by defamiliarising and denaturalising the world that is taken for granted and at face valu by its native inhabitants. In this way, the stranger is a metaphor for sociology as much as a label that can be applied to a given sociologist. Modernity became the eradle of sociology and strangeness alike. Throughout this period strangeness became a widespread human experience due to increased geographical mobility, detradition13

alisation and social and cultural uprooting. Sociology not only undertook the study of this new sense o strangeness, but also self-consciously positioned itself as par of lie sclfsame phenomenon, as a stranger among strangers. Tiiis is one of the main reasons why sociology, according lo Baunan, attracts so many diverse interpretations and emotions: "In most countries, sociology is always an object of intense, and slightly morbid, fascination. Whether it is praised or castigated and condemned, it is always considered very much like, in simpler societies, blacksmiths were: people who were sort of alchemists, who sit astride the normal barricades which ought to be used to keep things apart" (Bauman 1992a:209). In sociology, the stranger among strangers, Bauman himself has remained the archetypal 'marginal man' to quote Everett Stonequist's (1961) development of Robert E. Park's classic understanding. The marginal man, according to Stonequist and Park, is someone who will always remain on the margins, walking carefully on the perimeter while looking into his own discipline as well as outside into the real world. He is "poised in psychological uncertainty" between the different worlds of his origin and his present situation and "reflecting in his soul the discords and harmonies, repulsions and attractions of these worlds" (Stonequist 1961:8). Stonequist illustrated this duality, ambiguity, contradictory feeling and subsequent marginality by specifc reference to the Jewish experience. As Milton Goldberg (1941:52) also stated of the marginal man: "When an individual shaped and moulded by one culture is brought by migration, education, marriage, or other influence into permanent contact with a culture of different conten, or when an individual from birth is initiated into two or more historie traditions, languages, political loyalties, moral codes or religions, then he is likely to find himself on the margin of'each culture, but a member of neither". This ambivalent status characterises Bauman's own personal and professional situation. There is a mixture of enforced exile in England, and his resulting never at-homeness anywhere, with the warm welcome he always receives wherever he attends high-profile internatonal conferences or smaller presentations in places cise to his heart. Contrary to Goldberg's understanding, in which the marginal man appears insecure^and excessively self-conscious, Bauman's personality and writings rather radiate humility, generosity and sensitivity towards the plight of others. There is no excessive self-consciousness or artificial self-presentation, but a modest aspiration - practised with feverish energy and ceaseless conviction - to come to terms with the human condition and its often inhuman consequences.

On Thinking ar

Bauman is a strangc lationship to the de "Bauman's Jewish 1 under communist j 2002:376). Thus, fi. European backgrou for decades domin American thinkers. throughout the Coli mate of the day, me; was a strange acade Secondly, Bauma Jewish experience, I the Jew as the arel" Bauman remained v connection to his o Jewish experience i the maxims that he quotes philosopher I philosophical probl Second, critic Geor Finally, playwright Jew is that I am ever add the insight of R tionality ... the best pecially the Jewish < freedom coupled wi of loyalty, futility ai learned to embrace t Bauman illustrate source of creativity: from the experience seen either as a misf< son for despondenc (Kolakowski 1990: deep-seated ambival

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lot only undertook he -.sciously positioned itr.ong strangers. This is aman, attracts so many :s. sociology is always \'hether it is praised or much like, in simpler f alchemists, who sit to keep things apart" himself has remained uist's (1961) developjginal man, according ;main on the margins, his ov/n discipline as hological uncertainty" *ent situation and "reons and attractions of i this duality, ambigu.' specific reference to dso stated of the marone culture is brought no permanent contact from birth is initiated loyalties, moral codes in of each culture, but personal and profesEngland, and his reslcome he always reinferences or smaller oldberg's understandexcessively self-con; humility, generosity o excessive self-conispiration - practised to terms with the hu-

On Thinking and Writing in Exile


Bauman is a stranger both in terms of his own biography and in terms of his relationship to the dominant forms of sociology. As Steven Seidman observed: "Bauman's Jewish birthright and his coming of age as an intellectual in Poland under communist rule were crucial in shaping his social ideas" (Seidman 2002:376). Thus, firstly, Bauman carne to the West from Poland. This Eastern European background automatically placed him at the outskirts of a discipline for decades dominated institutionally by great Germn, French, British or American thinkers. Coming from the periphery of Western sociology, and throughout the Cold War belonging to the 'enemy camp' in the political climate of the day, meant that upon arrival in England in the early 1970s Bauman was a strange academic quantity. Secondly, Bauman is also Jewish. Although he has never fully embraced the Jewish experience, mere is little doubt that he is indeed shaped by the image of the Jew as the archetypal stranger who arrived yesterday and settles today. Bauman remained what Samuel Heilman (1980) termed 'native-as-stranger' in connection to his own Jewish background. Put simply, he associates with the Jewish experience more than with the Jewish community. This is clear from the maxims that he has taken from three modern Jewish writers. First, he quotes philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein saying that 'the only place where real philosophical problems can be tackled and resolved is the railway station'. Second, critic George Steiner remarked that 'my homeland is my typewriter'. Finally, playwright Frederic Raphael noted that 'the meaning of my being a Jew is that I am everywhere out of place' (Bauman 1992a:226). One could also add the insight of Romanian poet Emil Cioran who stated that 'I have no nationality ... the best possible status for an intellectual'. Exile, and perhaps especially the Jewish experience of living and being in exile, means intellectual freedom coupled with uncertainty, motility, instability, lack of belonging and of loyalty, futility and a multitude of different impressions, and Bauman has learned to embrace these experiences throughout his own exile. Bauman Ilstrales Kolakowski's contention that exile can be and often is a source of creativity: "Creativity arse from insecurity, from an exile of a sort, from the experience of homelessness". He went on to say that exile "can be seen either as a misfortune or as a challenge; it can become no more than a reason for despondency and sorrow or a source of painful encouragement" (Kolakowski 1990:58). In the case of Bauman, exile meant a fusin of the deep-seated ambivalences of these different experiences into a combination of

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challenge and creativity. Despite his involuntary exile, Bauman has not forgotten his Polish background and, as Peter Beilharz noted, still watch Polish TV by satellite and occasionaliy participates in Polish cultural life. Indeed, shortly after he had to flee the anti-Semitism of state socialist Poland in 1968 he noted in embittered fashion about the Jewish exiles that they "will leave the country bearing in their hearts attachment to Polish culture, Polish landscape, and a sense of resentment against the rulers of Poland for denying the Jews - as Jews - the right to be recognised as fully fledged citizens of their country" (Bauman 1969:8). Bauman has turned his long-term exile into a context for academic development, and he has integrated its experiences into important insights of his work. Thus, he observed when contemplating the specifc Jewish-Polish experience of being an exile, that "to be in exile means to be out of place ... In exile, uncertainty meets freedom" (Bauman 1996:321). Uncertainty coupled with freedom may seem unpleasant but is not entirely unrewarding. He went on to observe of the destiny of so many of these specifc exiles: "For the great majority of diasporic Jews, comfortably settled now in the middle classes of their respective countries - local, yet not militantly parochial - assimilation means no more than keeping up with the Joneses. Thou shalt not step out ofline with hy neighbour is assimilation's sol commandment" (Bauman 1996:321). Bauman, however, has never merely aspired to 'keep up with the Joneses'. This tendency has placed Bauman in opposition to what is taken for granted. He refrains from showing loyalty to any particularistic, nationalistic, political, scientifically sectarian or ideological doctrines. His loyalty is reserved for universalistic, moral and humanistic vales that may be and indeed have been termed 'socialist' but which seem much more encompassing than that:
These principies [of justice and self-assertion or autonomy] stay with me all the time if you cali them socialist, fine; but I don't think they are particularly socialist, anyway. They are much wider than that. I really believe that communism was just the stupidly condensed and concentrated, naive effort to push it through; but the vales were never invented by the communists. The vales were there, much wider; they were Western, Enlightenment vales. I can't imagine a society which would dispose of these two vales, ever ... Once the ideas of justice and self-assertion were invented, it is impossible to forget them. They will haunt and pester us to the end of the world (Bauman 1992a:225).

a testfield of courag 1972:203). This aspir

Bauman's Biogra

In relation to the poles of 'involvement' and 'detachment' which Norbert Elias identified (1956), Bauman clearly comes much closer to the former than to the latter. In his inaugural lecture at the University of Leeds in 1971, he expressed a wish that "our vocation, after all these unromantic years, may become again

Zygmunt Bauman wa ly in Poznan, Poland. ing the Stalin regime September 1939. Initi ed studies at a Soviet join the military inste 1943. By the end o f t pating in the Red Arrr post-war Poland he b (Smith 1999:39). He i the Warsaw Academy a member of the Com na later described, he a better socialist socie In 1953 Bauman st missed from the arm; completed his MA in : pointed lecturer at tht years he received his 1 don School of Econon conducted research on started editing Polish s tained the position as also elected President Association. During ti member of the Commi when he handed in hi missed from his positi< text of encouraging su ish youth. This event v authorities were whipp lems. Exile became th gled to settle, the Baui Australia. Despite rece

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luinan has not forgotxtill \vatch Polish TV .1 lite. Indeed, :;hort!y iland in 1968 he not"\\ill leave the counilish landscape, and a i the Jews - as Jews ircountry" (Bauman ^ academic developinsights of his work. sh-Polish experience ilace ... In exile, un;y coupled vvith free:. He \vent on to obFor the great majorile classes of their re^similation means no p out ofline with thy an 1996:321). Bauthe Joneses'. at is taken for grant. nationalistic, politivalty is reserved for nd indeed have been ng than that:
y with me all the time uiarly socialist, anyway. sm was just the stupidly ai the vslues were never den they were Western, spose of these two valuented. ii rs impossible to iiBaurnl992a:225).

a testfield of courage, consistency, and loyalty to human vales" (Bauman 1972:203). This aspiration has characterised Bauman's mission ever since.

Bauman's Biography - The Basles


Zygmunt Bauman was born on November 18th 1925 into a poor Jewish family in Poznan, Poland. His formal schooling took place in the Soviet Union during the Stalin regime, after his family fled the Nazi occupation of Poland in September 1939. Initially he had ambitions of becoming a physicist and started studies at a Soviet university, but the outbreak of World War II made him join the military instead. He joined the Polish divisions of the Red Army in 1943. By the end of the war he was wounded but was still capable of participating in the Red Army's liberation of Berln in May 1945. Upon his return to post-war Poland he became one of the youngest majors in the Polish army (Smith 1999:39). He met his wife and life-long companion, Janina, in 1948 at the Warsaw Academy of Social Sciences. Zygmunt Bauman officially became a member of the Communist Party in 1951 (Bielefeld 2002:113ff) and as Janina later described, he was initially a devoted believer in the ideas and ideis of a better socialist society. In 1953 Bauman started an academic career as a sociologist after being dismissed from the army during an anti-Semitic and 'de-Judaising' purge. He completed his MA in social sciences at the University of Warsaw and was appointed lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences in 1954. In the following years he received his PhD and made several trips to England, first to the London School of Economics and later to the University of Manchester, where he conducted research on the Englis'h labour movement. From the early 1960s he started editing Polish sociology journals (Bunting 2003:23) and in 1964 he obtained the position as Chair of General Sociology at Warsaw. In 1966 he was also elected President of the Executive Committee of the Polish Sociological Association. During mis period he remained a loyal, yet increasingly critical member of the Communist Party but this carne to a swift halt in January 1968 when he handed in his party membership card. Bauman was eventually dismissed from his positien as Chair of Sociology in late March 1968, on the pretext of encouraging student revolt against the Party and of corrupting the Polish youth. This event was part of a wider anti-Semitic campaign that the Polish authorities were whipping up, in order to divert attention from their own problems. Exile became the only option. For three years during which they struggled to settle, the Baumans stayed in Israel and had brief spells in Canad and Australia. Despite receiving invitations from a number of institutions, they ar-

aliich Norbert Elias e former than to the I971.faeexpressed may recome again

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rived at Leeds in England where Bauman taught at the sociology department until his retiremeni in 1990. Today, Bauman is professor emeritus at (he universiies of Leeds and Warsaw and, amongst oher places, honorary doctor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Eversince these early exile years, Bauman has written, travelled and lectured extensively and almost incessantly on issues cise to his heart and he is a frequently booked as an inspirational speaker at conferences al! over the world. What do these brief biographical details reveal about Zygmunt Bauman, the sociologist? First, they Ilstrate the extent to which the biographical is mixed with the historical. Bauman was right when in his inaugural lecture as professor of sociology at the University of Leeds he remarked: "In the professional life of a sociologist his most indnate, prvate biography is inextricably intertangled with the biography of his discipline; one thing the sociologist cannot transcend in his quest for objectivity is his own, intmate and subjective encounter-with-the-world" (Bauman 1972:185). Second, the fact that Bauman became an integral part of the Polish academic power structure despite his Jewish background and his gradually evolving scepticism towards the system also illustrates how, as perpetual stranger, he simultaneously remained part of and an outsider to the system. This was a position that also characterised his situation in the West. His intellectual itinerary is a transformation from the intellectual as 'legislator' to the intellectual as 'interpreter' (Bauman 1987a). The Polish trra 'intellectual', as Stanislaw Baranczak (1986) points out, actually has a double meaning and contains different semantic connotations. First, as the term intelektualista meaning 'the intellectual', it refers to a member or representative of the arrow and elitist circle of 'creative' intellectuals. Second, as the term inteligent, it connotes a person who works with his mind rather than with his hands. Early in life, Bauman embraced and personified the intelektualista when still in Poland and occupying the position as professor of sociology at the University of Warsaw. He was a man apparently <?/the system and also belonged to the inteligencia, the intelligentsia. Later, however, when he started voicing criticism against the system and its way of treating people and abandoning its promises of a socialist utopia, he was expelled from the intellectual lite and had to make it on his own without the security of being part of the intelektualista. Stanislaw Baranczak described the inevitable plight of the Polish intellectual upon arrival and settlement in the West: "A Polish intellectual who in his own country appears to other intellectuals as a specifc, individual personality ... after becoming an emigr finds himself reduced to the role of a typical, 18

face-in-the-crowd 'i Westerners, who qu thought, poetry, or i Bauman has several and being an exile. I perences of living mixed and dubious t jective' and exotic st However, as strange ness from the 'nativ travel light, they wou those many who may sions" (Bauman \991 exiled ... in the end [ country of arrival, lii 1997b:160). That is the story o the process of assimil international sociolog ed. It is as if he has al many years of succes

The Backbone of

Bauman is a 'mavericl cific school of though cipline. He is unique i that are offered by bei Bauman is actually ex gards his work as a vo ble. He is also unique and interpretative iron conventional categori Bauman is neither everything. He clearly guess that my works j record, since in their d spicuous solely ihroug 'modernist trilogy' o f

: sociology dcpartment lies of Leeds and War: University of Copeniiman has writlen, travon issues cise to his speaker at conlerences Zygmunt Bauman, the : biographical is mixed iural lecture as profes-d: "In the protessional .y is inextricably interthe sociologist cannot ,ate and subjective en: of the Polish academhis gradually evolving rpetual stranger. he sistem. This was a posiis intellectual itinerary i the intellectual as 'inaal'. as Stanislaw Baling and contains difalisa meaning 'the innarrow and elitist cir>ent, it connotes a per. Early in life. Bauman in Poland and occupyityofWarsavv. Hewas imeligencja, the intelsm against the system -omises of a socialist had to make it on his ista. f the Polish intellectuntellectual who in his individual personality the role of a typical,

face-in-the-crowd 'Polish exile'. He is reduced to such a role not only by Westerners, who quite naturally know nothing of his achievements in social thought, poetry, or theatre, but also by himself" (Baranczak 1986:222-223). Bauman has severa! times commented on this specific experience of being in and being an exile. Exiles are normally regarded as an avant-garde whose experiences of living elsewhere man their original habitat are "notoriously a mixed and dubious blessing" (Bauman 1997b:159). On the one hand, as 'objective' and exotic strangers, they may encounter warm and welcoming arms. However, as strange 'outsiders', they "may well expect all sorts of unpleasantness from the 'natives'. Just because they already know that their fate is to travel light, they would be looked upon with suspicion, distaste and rancour by those many who may still hope against hope to cling on to their bulky possessions" (Bauman 1997b:159-160). Whiie it may seem a "mixed blessing for the exiled ... in the end [it is] no small a blessing for their new neighbours in the country of arrival, little that they may expect it in the beginning" (Bauman 1997b:160). That is the story of Bauman's personal and sociological journey. For him, the process of assimilation to the West as well as acceptance into the centre of international sociology has never, and self-consciously, been totally completed. It is as if he has always wanted to retain his status as stranger even after so many years of successful exile.

The Backbone of Bauman


Bauman is a 'maverick' sociologist. He is not a member or founder of any specific school of thought, or representative for a certain paradigm within the discipline. He is unique in the sense that he does not seek shelter in the secundes that are offered by being part of an established tradition or intellectual faction. Bauman is actually extremely wary of accepting sociology as a career and regards his work as a vocation for which he is personally, and morally, responsible. He is also unique - a stranger - in the sense that he escapes our cognitive and interpretative iron-cages and does not allow himself to be caught in the conventional categories we normally employ when classifying thinkers. Bauman is neither a systematic thinker or the creator of grand theories of everything. He clearly cherishes this unsystematic tendency in his writings: "I guess that my works justify my filing among the least systematic thinkers on record, since in their descriptions the merit of 'conceptual clarity' can be conspicuous solely through its absence" (Bauman 2005). Apart perhaps from his 'modernist trilogy' of Legislators and Interpreten, Modernity and the Holo-

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caust and Modernitv and Ambivalence, Bauman has not written a coherent, integrated or syslematic sociological theory in trie manner of Talcott Parsons, Niklas Luhmann or Jrgen Habermas. Like Siminel he writes essavs about whatever he finds stimulating, whether that is love, law and order, human rights, religin, sexuality, strangers, criminology, marginalisation, globalisation, individualisation, terrorism, morality, postmodernity, intellectuals, the Holocaust, ethics and morality, death, etc. These themes are merged into some sort of fragmented order in which, what at the surface level may seem to be utterly disorderly and coincidental, deeper down reveal a certain lose structure, sensitivity and senseof purpose. Bauman attempts to make his words matter in real life by ascribing an uncompromising critical role to the academic. He claims, by way of Lev Shestov, thai "the philosopher's [and sociologists'] search for the ultmate sysiem, for the complete order, for the extirpation of everything unknown and unruly, stems from the dream of having a firm soil and solid home, and leads to closing down the obstinately infinite human potential. Such search for the universal cannot but degenerate into a ruthless clamp-down on human possibilities" (Bauman 1988-1989:23). Bauman, perhaps inevitably therefore, is not afraid o remain open to interpretation and does not want to constrain or constrict the reader in his or her own interpretations of the texts he has authored. Pieter Nijhoff (1998) has speculated that the self-imposed inconsistency in Bauman's work mirrors the ambivalence and complexity of the world he explores. As Kwang-Ki Kim stated in his Order and Agency in Modernity:
Such ambivalence has often been held against one or another modern theorist, for example, as a symptom of personal confusin or inconsistency, but it now needs to be recognized that modernity is complex and multi-faceted; any insightful analysis, and especially any penetrating evaluation, should recognize and reflect this complexity. It is not a question of personal confusin about an unambiguous phenomenon, but a question of personal insight into a phenomenon which is in many respects ambiguous (Kim 2003:109).

el way and seen in this description thai Sociology - and th that seeks to 'defan ning the apparent in Another reason f Nijhoff noted, "ofte intertwines scientifi questions that are u different genres, B work, but he does s look deeper than h< conventional scient individual who has Thus, Bauman rece
I believe that th< pose the specifi sponsibility; it s sequences for ti e's vocation ou, denies its relatii around, showin dition told whil tral, and doing whoever takes assume or rejec ly (Bauman 20i

Besides the fact that modernity is ambivalent in itself, there are also other reasons why such ambivalences and inconsistencies can be detected in Bauman's work. He willingly pursues the fragment, the non-linearity of argument, admits his ambivalence and lack of access to any ultimate or incontrovertible truth. He does not claim to hold superior wisdom or insight because of his status as sociologist, although he believes that the sociologist holds an obligation to "help an ordinary person like you and me to see through our experience, and to show how the apparently familiar aspects of life can be interpreted in a nov20

Consequently, Bai and ethical respon; the moral depths o: the early writings defence of a moral - as human sueno inhuman delusion; manity in life, that the difference be 2001:335). Thus, without s: ity, it can neverthe

,Tillen a cohercnt, inr o Talcoll Parsons, writcs cssays about w and ordcr, human nalisation. globalisaity, intellectuals, the ir mcrgcd inlo some .-I may seem to be utrtain lose structure, e his \vords matter in to the academic. He s [and sociologists'] or the extirpation of of having a firm soil y infinite human poerate into a ruthless };23). :emain open to inter reader in his or her : Nijhoff 0998) has ji's work mirrors the As K\vang-Ki Kim

el way and seen in a different light" (Bauman 1990a:18). It is obvious from this description that Bauman places himself alongside the 'ordinary person'. Sociology - and the sociologist is engaged in a conversador, with lay people that seeks to 'defamiliarise the familiar' and disclose the illusions underpinning the apparent inevitability and stubborn facticity of the world. Another reason for the ambivalences of his work is that Bauman, as Peter Nijhoff noted, "often combines the criteria of what is just, pleasing or true - he intertwines scientific and moral considerations and lavishes literary means on questions that are usually treated analytically" (Nijhoff 1998:87). By mixing different genres, Bauman transgresses the traditional boundaries of scientific work, but he does so in a way that encourages the reader to reach farther and look deeper than he would have been able to do armed merely with dull or conventional scientific 'facts'. He confronts the reader personally as a moral individual who has a responsibility for his own Ufe as well as that of others. Thus, Bauman recently stated that
I believe that the propulsin to sociologize, to tell stories the sociological way - to compose the specifically sociological stories - is born from responsibility and driven by responsibility; it signis the assumption of responsibility for human choices and their consequences for the shape of humanity. I believe that to be a sociologist means to make one's vocation out of that responsibility. Sociology that shakes off such responsibility or denies its relation to its own labour is not, of course, inconceivable (there is plenty of it around, showing no symptom of decay) - but it is an oxymoron. No story of human condition told while that condition is in-the making (as it always is) is not or can be neutral, and doing sociology means, whether by design or by default, taking sides. And whoever takes sides bears responsibility for the consequences. The sol problem is to assume or reject one's responsibility for that responsibility - and then to act accordingly (Bauman 2005).

modero theorist. for exrnit it nov> needs to be reinsiehnul analysis. and flect thi? complexity. It is ous phesomenon. but a nanv resrects ambiguous

re are siso other reaietecte-d in Bauman's ity of srsument. ad; or ircomrcvertible ht beca.se of his sta-i hol5 jn ocligafion i our ecerseace. and InterTTtzC -j~ a nov-

Consequently, Bauman mixes scientific considerations with moral concerns and ethical responsibility. This has meant that he has always delved deep into the moral depths of his discipline, and his critique of positivist sociology, from the early writings to the latest books, illustrates that Bauman is serious in his defence of a morally committed sociology. Bauman warns that "Wertfreiheit is - as human silences is concerned - not just a pipe-dream, but also an utterly inhuman delusion; that sociologizing makes sense only in as far as it helps humanity in life, that in the ultmate account it is the human choices that make all the difference between Uves human and inhuman" (Bauman in Beilharz 2001:335). Thus, without stretching the analogy of the stranger beyond reasonable utility, it can nevertheless be said that Bauman, as the stranger, has, therefore, not 21

distanced himself from the interna! concerns of the discipline of sociology or retreated into self-imposed or self-satisfied intellectual isolation. As Simmel observed. to be a stranger does neither mean non-participation or self-constraining isolation. It rather means a positive and definite kind of participation, theoretical or practica!, which "does not mean that the mind is a passive tabula rasa on which things inscribe their qualities, but rather signifies the full activity of a mind working according to its own laws, under conditions that exclude accidental distortions and emphases whose individual and subjective differences would produce quite different pictures of the same object" (Simmel 1950:404). Moreover, apart from 'a mind working according to its own laws', the status as stranger involves a positive freedom from common sense, from the often stagnant logic of the insiders. It is this that allows Bauman to develop a distinctive view of the social world as well as of the academic discipline of which he is a part. The pragmatist philosopher William James once stated that 'any author is easy if you catch the centre of his visin'. Although the vastness and complexity of Bauman's work makes attempts at catching and clarifying the 'centre of his visin' somewhat problematic, he offers some clues. Bauman remarked in an interview that there "were actually two things with which I was concerned throughout my writings, throughout my academic career. One was the working class, standing for the downtrodden or the underdog, for suffering in general. For a long time there was a sign of identity between the two: the working class as the embodiment of suffering. That was one topic, and the other was culture ... To understand how the visibility, tangibility and power of reality - and the conviction concerning the belief in reality - are being constructed: that is why I became interested in culture" (Bauman 1992a:206). 'Suffering and culture have indeed been some of the recurrent themes in Bauman's work. Moreover, not only the theme in themselves but also the Way he has confronted them is importan! in understanding the 'centre' of Bauman. Dennis Smith has observed: "The driving forc behind Zygmunt Bauman's work as a sociologist has been two things: first, a sense of intellectual and moral outrage about the extent to which societies are run on the basis of untruth and self-deception; and, second, a deep dissatisfaction with the evil and suffering this makes possible" (Smith 1998:40). So Bauman not only looks and analyses but he does so in a special way. He looks at both conditions and consequences. He equally describes, analyses, diagnoses, and evalales. However, he never proposes how or what people should do - this dimensin is left entirely to people themselves as autonomous and potentially active human beings. Thus, morality is one of the most frequently discussed and occurring con-

cepts in the sociology tified as a 'moral so Matthias Junge (200, versin of morality ti privileged as being th< approach was identif which he instead pro] man's understanding Robert Musil in his d The Man Without Que
For him morality \e for constant intens most people do, in cut-and-dried and < without believing i; rality is something cause life does not hing that could nev But morality mus 1969/1995:430).

This 'morality as ima infinity of possibilitie; of one single incontro"phrases like 'the sane ciology seminar as the ic office" (Bauman 19 gy if it is to serve a re; The moral imaginat stated in Alone Again: tinuous uncertainty, ar to withstand pressures tional and in principie their never quenched c ing suspicion that they Bauman has dramatic; one's life for another 1 (Bauman 1992b:210). This approach to me

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soplillo of sociology or al isolation. As Simmel ticipation or self-conitc kind of participation, niind is a passive tabuher signifies the full acnder condilions that exlividual and subjective the sanie object" (Simic according to is own m troni oommon sense, that allows Bauman to s of the academia disciited that 'any author is vastness and complex:larifying the 'centre of s. Bauman remarked in which 1 was concerned r. One was the working or suftering in general. t\vo: the working class d the other was culture ver of reality - and the onstructed: that is why Suffering and culture nan's \vork. Moreover, ia> confronted them is Dennis Smith has obwork as a sociologist oral ourrage about the th and self-deception; fering mis. makes poshe does so s. He equally er. he never proposes itirely x> people themO"v.

cepts in the sociology of Bauman (see Crone 2005) and his work can be identified as a "moral sociology'. His so-called 'poisoned gift of morality', as Matthias Junge (2001) aply described it. consists in offering an alternative versin of morality than the one the West has traditionally conceived of and privileged as being the dominant, true and most valid. This traditional Western approach was identified by Bauman as a 'morality of conformity', against which he instead proposes a 'morality of choice' (see Bauman 1998c). Bauman's understanding of morality is perhaps best captured by the words of Robert Musil in his description of the moral hero, Ulrich, towards the end of The Man Wilhout Qualities:
For hira morality was neither conformism or the sum of acquired knowledge; it was the infinite fullness of life's potentialities. He believed that morality held the capacity for constant intensification. He believed in stages of moral experience, not merely, as most people do, in stages of moral apprehension - as though morality were something cut-and-dried and only man were not yet pur enough for it. He believed in morality without believing in any particular code of moris. What is generally understood by moraiity is something like a system of plice regulations for keeping order in life; and because life does not answer to these, they come to look as if they were by nature something that could never quite be lived up to and henee, in a rather sordid way, like an ideal. But morality must not be reduced to mis level. Morality is imagination (Musil 1969/1995:430).

id anc vX-curring con-

This 'morality as imagination' means a morality attuned to human life, to the infmity of possibilities and paths available, not to the totalising understanding of one single incontrovertible moral truth or norm. Bauman is well aware that "phrases like 'the sanctity of human life' or 'moral duty' sound as alien in a sociology seminar as they do in the smoke-free, sanitized rooms of a bureaucratic office" (Bauman 1989:29), yet he still insists on bringing them into sociology if it is to serve a real mission in the lives of people and society. The moral imagination also means a never-ending search for moral life. He stated in Alone Again: Ethics After Certainty that "moral life is a life of continuous uncertainty, and it takes a lot of strength and resilience and an ability to withstand pressures to be a moral person. Moral responsibility is unconditional and in principie infinite - and thus one can recognize a moral person by their never quenched dissatisfaction with their moral performance; the gnawing suspicion that they were not moral enough" (Bauman 1994:45). Elsewhere Bauman has dramatically claimed that it is only by being willing to sacrifice one's life for another human being, that one can ultimately claim to be moral (Bauman 1992b:210). This approach to morality contains the space in which ambivalence is so im-

23

porttil for Bauman. Even though modernity sought lo crush ambivalence (the kind of ambivalence that is represented by the stranger) in the ame of 'perfect order', for Bauman ambivalence is the nub of the human condition and the circumstance in which moral choices have to be inade and carried out. In Bauman's work then, ambivalence embodies and connotes positive aspects of cultural life such as diversity, liberty, variety, choice and non-conformity, and he is a stern defender of ambivalence against the oppressive and relentless social forces of order, structure, system and streamlining (see Junge 2002; Diken 2005). Bauman's sociological and moral mission is always, categorically and unconditionally, to side with the weakest members of society and to show us, the better off part of the planet, that our moral obligation must be equally unconditional and unwavering if human suffering is to be avoided or overeme. It is in this context of a concern with suffering that social and spatial stratification are important (see Abrahamson 2004); economic poverty and the inability to uphold a decent life spur Bauman's sociological and moral indignation. He even calis poverty the 'meta-humiliation' that in turn serves as a 'trampoline' for other humiliations and indignities in life (Bauman & Tester 2001:154). All of his books are drenched in solidarity with - and sympathy for - people caught and suspended in the webs of power, oppression, persecution, poverty and potential extermination. He thus claims that in the last instance we can judge "society by the care it takes of its weakest members" (Bauman 1990b: 23). Given that Bauman addresses questions of morality, ambivalence and suffering within a sociological context - and given that he refuses to see them as abstractions - it is inevitable that his attention focuses on power. Kilminster and Varcoe have claimed of Bauman that, "his treatment of power is possibly his single most accomplished sociological analysis" (Kilminster & Varcoe 1996:218). Power, in his universe, is a multi-facetted phenomenon including direct physical coercin, torture, starvation and execution, surveillance, control of the predictability of outcomes, repression and the mastery over the life chances of other people. Bauman's sociological imagination wishes to "understand how the visibility, tangibility of power, of reality - and the conviction concerning, the belief in, reality - are being constructed" (Bauman 1992a: 206). This is not a merely descriptive task, and he consequently seeks to assist in relieving people from repression, from the determinations of the powerful or false consciousness. Bauman's work seeks to show to the oppressed and powerless that the world can be different from what it currently is despite its awesome and powerful structures, order and systemic appearance. Repression

and inequality of life cha either in the form of physi 1982, 1998a) or with wha consumerist postmodern t man is, as a consequena evitability, totality and in quence of human unfreed ture the essence of his ow
I have seen morally ns logic of the reality thei themselves to re-define human meaning, to der potential. I was with th of the same stubborn re. again from below the ti young and vigorous, ii challenge the ungratify which the meaning and termined, merge contin ry and mischievously e human world (so I lean was, I think, congenial form emerged. It was b ihe ends people read in between anticipations ; 1972:186-187).

Bauman's sociology seel crepancy' in order to alie He does not tell his reade they themselves discove this is perhaps also becau swers or the solutions. Despite his indefatigal danger that the discipline as people actually experii commentary, an after the tude of events in human the time at my disposal s( the older you are the bettt they will never be big en<

24

orush ambivalence (the in the ame o 'periect n condition and the cirid carried out. In Baupositive aspeis of cullon-conformity. and he ve and relentless social ee Junge 2002: Diken . categorieally and unety and to show us. the riust be equally unconided or overeme. It is id spatial stratification rty and the inability to moral indignation. He .-rves as a 'trampoline' :Tester 2001:154). All vrnpathy for - people i, persecution. poverry ; last instance we can iers" (Bauman 1990b: ambivalence and sufrefuses to see them as on power. Kilminster t of power is possibly Kilminster & Yarcoe henomenon including on, surveillance. con mastery over the ufe don wishes to "uoder- and the convicon ed" (Bauman 1992a; }uentlv seeks to assis .tions of the powrful to the oppressed ao urrently is despitr it pearance. Repre

and inequality of life chances have always been part of the human condition either in the form of physical regimentation or mental indoctrination (Bauman 1982, 1998a) or with what he succinctly termed the 'velvet repression' of the consumerist postmodern era (Bauman in Cantell & Pedersen 1992:142). Bauman is, as a consequence, a keen observer and stern critic of necessity, inevitability, totality and invariability that is either the condition or the consequence of human unfreedom, suffering and defeat. He thus attempted to capture the essence of his own work in the following way: .
I have seen morally inspired, noble and lofty ideis smashed to pieces by the merciless logic of the reality their bearers failed to assess. I was with those who took ... upon themselves to re-define the world they lived in, to fill the world with a new, better, more human meaning, to deny its repulsive reality in the ame of the untrammelled human potential. I was with them still when they saw their ambition shattered against the wall of the same stubborn reality they refused to admit, and the same moral squalor sprouting again from below the thin film of ideis. And then, fortunately, I saw the same, always young and vigorous, indomitable spirit of exploration and perfection rising again to challenge the ungratifying reality. There seemed, indeed, to be no end to the drama in which the meaning and the reality, the subjective and the objective, the free and the determined, merge continuously to mould our present into our future. Such - contradictory and mischievously elusive to all clear-cut unilateral descriptions - is the shape of the human world (so I learned), my metier - sociology - is about. And the lesson I learned was, I think, congenial to the collective experience from which sociology in its modern form emerged. It was born of the painful realization of the vexing discrepancy between the ends people read into their actions and the consequences these actions bring about; between anticipations and results; ideis and reality; the 'ought' and the 'is' (Bauman 1972:186-187).

Bauman's sociology seeks to describe, bridge and remedy this 'vexing discrepancy' in order to allow people themselves to overeme and transcend it. He does not tell his readers how to do it, when or where, but rather insists that they themselves discover the path that may take them there. This reason for this is perhaps also because Bauman himself does not pretend to know the answers or the solutions. Despite his indefatigable belief in sociology, Bauman is well aware of the danger that the discipline may not necessarily always capture the social world as people actually experience it. Sociological knowledge will always remain a commentary, an after the fact and indeed selective interpretation, of the multitude of events in human life. This difficulty made Bauman ponder: "Perhaps the time at my disposal seems too short not because of my od age, but because the older you are the better you know that however big the thoughts may seem, they will never be big enough to embrace, let alone keep hold of, the bountiful 25

prodigaJity of human expenence" (Bauman 2003a:2). The human world, inhabited by creative and also 'destructively creative' human beings, capable of compassionate and self-effacing - as vvell as inhuman and selfish deeds - i s a complex realm that requires the skills of sociology in order to be understood. and Bauman's work takes us a long way in that direction.

Sources of Sociological Imagination


As Matthias Junge and Tilomas Kron rightly observed when trying to capture the theoretical lineage of Zygmunt Bauman: "When one attempts to summarise possible predecessors of and affinities with the work of Zygmunt Bauman, then ever more persistent references show up which have influenced his position and understanding of social, historical and ideational processes" (Junge & Kron 2002:8). True, such an attempt is similar to opening up a Pandora's Box from which a swarm of ames, traditions and possible interpretations suddenly starts appearing, making a coherent or agreed upon reception of the nature of his work almost impossible. There is a multitude of sources of inspiration, affinities, fads, references, predecessors, contemporaries and intellectual kinships, spiritual and sociological soul mates in Bauman's writings. Mixing, combining, uniting, utilising, bending, joining, modifying, supporting, critiquing, forging and transforming these constant presences makes up much of the sociological skeleton that he has gradually constructed and developed. He once noted on his particular, and to some peculiar, way of working with the ideas and theories of others:
I am inherently, and probably incurably eclectic; that is, I am not v'ery much interested in loyalty to any particular school or style. I am looking everywhere for things which seem to be relevant to what I am working on. And, once I have found them I am not very much bothered with the question of whether I transgressed some sacred boundary, or went into an rea which I shouldn't, because I belong to a different school... During my intellectual career - if you want to put it this way - I flirted in this manner with a number of new fads which I thought might contain something relevant (Bauman 1992a:211).

1998:95). In a similar strategy is to ingest wl many ames have been literary predecessors a determining these, eith committing a 'strong (1997) by way of litera fluence (1973), Bloom poem, but another poen same way Bauman's w< other pieces of work th; Bauman's early acac him like a shadow. In Hochfeld and Stanisla\

work has been charact 179ff). Despite theirdif cio-political importance tached work, for its ow clearly fond of the anti "I am so grateful to Os very beginning of my that sociology is (or sh history behind and nev wanted sociology to m cial life. Hochfeld want cial suffering to reveal tion more likely. From of standing up against tions of the actual, the r which Bauman has nev

This kind of eclecticism made Pieter Nijhoff propose that "Bauman is not bothered too much by the boundaries between politics, social science and cultural history; social-psychological analysis and existential reflections intermingle; he switches back and forth between literary and logical expositions; he changes the lenses from hermeneutical to systematical, analytical and back; fmally, his moral philosophy searches for indeterminacy beyond all definitions. All these combinations match his conception of sociology" (Nijhoff 26

The fact that a man or from obedience requires him to be d red to do so, or if he ctfulofhisduty ...T sional obligation. H the synod, or the c inNowak!963:10)

The human world, innian beings, capable of .ind selfish deeds - is a cu'der to be understood,

when trying to capture one attempts to sum\\orkofZygmuntBauich have influenced his ideational processes" ar to opening up a Panmd possible interpreta;reed upon reception of Ititude of sources of initemporaries and intelin Bauman's writings. g. modifying, supportnt presences makes up constructed and develculiar, way of working

jn not very much interested \e for things which ve found ihem I am not ven i some sacred boundary. or erent school... During my . n this manner with a num.evant (Bauman 1992a:211).

1998:95). In a similar vein, Peter Beilharz stated that "Bauman's working strategy is to ingest whatever intere.sts" (Beilharz 2001:3). As a consequence, many ames have been mentioned as Bauman's sociolgica!, phiiosophical or literary predecessors and sources of inspiration throughout the years. When determining these, either by including or excluding them, one is in danger of committing a 'strong misreading' or 'poetic misprision', as Marek Kwiek (1997) by way of literary critic Harold Bloom remarked. In The Anxiety oflnfluence (1973), Bloom had stated that "the meaning of a poem can only be a poem, but another poem - a poem not itself' (Bloom in Kwiek 1997:3). In the same way Bauman's work may poetically be understood through the prism of other pieces of work that either latently or manifestly colour his perspective. Bauman's early academic training in Poland has without doubt followed him like a shadow. In particular the influence of his two teachers, Julin Hochfeld and Stanislaw Ossowski, shaped Bauman's own unique development. Where the former represented a so-called 'open Marxism', the latter's work has been characterised as a 'humanistic sociology' (Sztompka 1984: 179ff). Despite their differences, both were "convinced of the tremendous socio-political importance of their purely academic work. Theirs was never detached work, for its own sake" (Bauman 1992a:208). Moreover, Bauman was clearly fond of the anti-positivistic strand of sociology that they represented: "I am so grateful to Ossowski and Hochfeld for having vaccinated me, at the very beginning of my sociological life and once and for all, against the idea that sociology is (or should become) a kind of physics which leaves its own history behind and never looks back" (Bauman & Tester 2001:35). They both wanted sociology to make a difference and to have a bearing on practical social life. Hochfeld wanted the sociologist to see behind the smokescreen of social suffering to reveal its underlying causes and in order to make its alleviation more likely. From Ossowski, Bauman learned the importance of critique, of standing up against the status quo and of confronting the official presentations of the actual, the real or the necessary. Ossowski outlined a position from which Bauman has never departed:
The fact that a man is a scholar does not free him from the discipline of his profession, or from obedience as a citizen. But in certain circumstances professional discipline requires him to be disobedient ... If he is obedient, if he changes his views when ordered to do so, or if he in his thinking is not in agreement with his words, then he is neglectful of his duty ... The scientist is a man for whom disobedience of thought is a professional obligation. His social function is to question. In this respect he must obey neither the synod, or the committee, or the cabinet minister, or Caesar, or God (Ossowski inNowak 1963:10).

e that "Bauman is not social science and cul;ntial reflections internd logical expositions: al. analytical and back: acy beyond all defini?f sociology" (Nijhoff

27

The valu of disobedience, of refusing to obey, of saying 'no' and of non-conformity was a lesson Bauman learned early on and later embraced as the sine qi'.a non of academic as well as of human existence. These lessons taught by Hochfeld and Ossowski constitute Bauman's special sociolgica! sensibility or 'sixth sense', as he himself has termed it. This sixth sense entails the "realisation that there is more to what you see and hear than meets the eye, that the most important part is hidden from view, and that there is a huge and dense tissue of inter-human connections below the visible tip of the iceberg" (Bauman in Blackshaw 2002:1). But there is no doubt that the younger Marx can be and should be mentioned as well, despite Bauman's perpetual battle with and revisin of Marxism. These influences were filtered through Gramsci and his insistence on the possibility of a world different from what it currently is, Hannah Arendt and her notion of democratic participation and republicanism, Robert Musil and the anti-naturalistic attitude, Albert Camus and the commitment to human dignity and moral refusal, as well as the critica! and dialectical social theory of the early Frankfurt School (see Beilharz 1998, 2000, 2001; Tester 2002, 2004; Jacobsen 2003, 2004a). Moreover, the recurring theme of ambivalence was clearly inspired by Mary Douglas, whose anthropological perspective he sociologised: "To Douglas I owe my understanding of the social production and the effects of ambivalence" (Bauman & Tester 2001:35; Beilharz 2001:335). He also specifically mentions the inspiration found in the work of Michel Crozier on the bureaucratic phenomenon and the idea that domination is based on the control of uncertainty, and Claude Lvi-Strauss' insistence that culture is the result of endless structuration instead of constituting an immutable structure in itself. Common to most of these sources of inspiration is their defence of possibility and insistence on a negation of the apparently inevitable reality. They are all there, along with Max Weber, whom Peter Beilharz found particularly important when he stated that "much of Bauman's work reads something like a dialogue with the ghost of Weber" (Beilharz 2000:172). In an interview with Beilharz, Bauman, however, specifically revealed his admiration for Simmel who taught him a great deal about how to understand and appreciate the complexity of the social world. On this, Bauman stated: "Simmel took away ... the youthful hope/cheek that once the 'surface' incongruities and contradictions are out of the way, FU find 'down there' the clockwork running exactly to the second; he also taught me that for the pencil of every tendency there is an eraser of another, and that the wish to dismantle that ambivalence in order to see better how society works is like wishing to take the walls apart to see better what supports the ceiling" (Bauman in Beilharz 2001:334-335). 28

One of the ames the tioned as one of Baur (1959) and his classical of sociolgica! as an in important to Bauman's i in sociology, Thinking the sociological imagin work: "This is exactly \t i tertwine with the histor May 2001:7). Like Mil jective structures confrc ested in the deeply subj tions or the inner psych on the collective experie follow from the mercile man 1998b, 2001a) and moral solidanty (Bauma ested in isolated 'privat issues' that often take 1959:11). This how Bauman has his socialist sympathies. excessive individualisat ist', when he turned ag; needs into individual coi interested in shedding li; ly powerful social and c trating the dialectic relat sus coercin, choice ver: versus community, mor; autonomy versus confo This is Bauman's specia us how to transcend thes< extreme (see Jacobsen 2 As Peter Beilharz ren subjects, but does so thr< as the largest most comf ever, a perspective that

ig 'no' and ot'non-conr embraced as the sine nstitute Baunun's speself has termed it. This what you see and hear en from view. and that tions below the visible t there is no doubt that vell. despite Bauman's ,ifluences were filtered ' a world differeut from jmocratic parcipation tic attitude, Albert Carefus-al, as well as the rt School (see Beharz 2004a). Moreover, the Mary Douglas. whose glas I owe my undervalence" (Bauman & j mentions the inspiraratic phenomenon and icerunty, and Claude dless structuranon inCommon to most of ty and insisterce on a er Beilharz fcxnsi paran's work rea> somez 2000:172). kan in;vealed his asration iderstand and rprecistated: "Simrjd took mconirruines s^. conlockwork rumrrg excil of every Escency le that ambivaeace in :ake the walls- srart to

One of the ames that is only seldom, and indeed surprisingly rarely, mentioned as one of Bauman's intellectual confreres is Charles Wright Mills (1959) and his classical notion of the 'sociolgica! imagination'. Mills's idea of sociological as an imagination rather than a discipline has been extremely important to Bauman's own practice (Bryant 1972:114). Bauman's 'text book' in sociology, Thinking Sociologically is permeated with suggestions as to how the sociological imagination must be an indispensable quality in sociological work: "This is exactly what sociological thinking can do.for us. As a mode of thought it will ask questions such as: 'How do our individual biographies intertwine with the history we share with other human beings?'" (Bauman and May 2001:7). Like Mills, Bauman is concerned with understanding how objective structures confront and shape individual Uves. As such, he is not interested in the deeply subjective and idiosyncratic individual feelings and emotions or the inner psychological frames of mind of people. Bauman's focus is on the collective experiences of despair, suffering, deprivation and misery that follow from the merciless forces of individualisation and globalisation (Bauman 1998b, 2001a) and the subsequent undermining of human community and moral solidarity (Bauman 2001b). In Mills's terminology, Bauman is not interested in isolated 'prvate troubles' but in the widespread and serious 'public issues' that often take the shape of 'indifference' or 'uneasiness' (Mills 1959:11). This how Bauman has never entirely shed his Marxistroots and has retained his socialist sympathies. He has always stressed the negative consequences of excessive individualisation, as in the essay 'The Importance of Being Marxist', when he turned against the "continuing tendency to transate collective needs into individual consumption" (Bauman 1987b:9). Therefore, Bauman is interested in shedding light on the often invisible and intangible yet immensely powerful social and cultural pressures that shape human life, and in illustrating the dialectic relationship that exists between the poles of freedom versus coercin, cholee versus determinism, anxiety versus security, individuality versus community, morality versus ethics, responsibility versus indifference, autonomy versus conformity/heteronomy, equality versus dependency, etc. This is Bauman's special sociological dialectic whereby he attempts to show us how to transcend these diametrically opposite poles without ending at either extreme (see Jacobsen 2004a:210-212). As Peter Beilharz remarked, "sociology in Bauman's work connects us as subjects, but does so through the pursuit of the smallest personal detall as well as the largest most compelling social issues" (Beilharz 2001:15). His is, however, a perspective that without neglecting the micro features and impacts of

29

social transbrmation still retains its primary focus on the macro dynamics that rclentlessly forc history on its way unless they can be brought back under human control. We need, in Mills's terminology, to turn 'drift', the apparently disorderly and directionless, yet often deliberately guided and controlled, movement of the world, into 'thrust', the intentional and wilful aspiration to pick up the reins and make a difference. Bauman does not claim that this is easily done but he is convinced that it can and mus be done. Mills identified three tasks to be performed and three questons to be asked in order to uphold this prcmise of the sociological imagination: (1) What is the structure of this particular society as a whole?, (2) Where does this society stand in human history?, and (3) What varieties of men and women now prevail in this society and this perod? In his work, Bauman addresses all these questions by analysing the structure of contemporary society and its impact on a multitude of different aspects of life. Moreover, he has analysed in detail how modernity developed from premodernity and how postmodernity or liquid modernity are developments stemming from and embedded within a prior period of solid modernity - without, however, stressing any historical necessity or teleology in such a development. Finally, Bauman has also taken a keen interest in describing the varieties of people inhabiting contemporary society, as well as historically preceding societies, by proposing his well-known and colourful metaphors of the 'vagabond', 'tourist', 'pilgrim', 'pariah', 'parven', 'nomad', 'stranger', and 'flneur' (see Bauman 1993, 1995). By using such illustrative metaphors, Bauman shows that what he is interested in is not the individual plight of identifiable people as such but the collective destiny that has befallen certain groups of people in society - the downtrodden, marginalised, ostracised, deprived and apparently dispensable 'human waste' and useless 'outcasts' (Bauman 2003b). As Pieter Nijhoff (1998:97) noted, by "transforming social constructs ('modernity', 'society', 'sociology') into personages with hands and feet", Bauman is able to 'anthropomorphise' the reified collective representations and makes them more human and more lifelike. Bauman advcales sociology that is rlevant and sensitive to the problems faced by human beings in the world. Despite stating several times throughout his books that he works from the perspective of a-sociological hermeneutics' (Blackshaw 2002:2), Bauman is not a fetishist of methodology or research methods. On the contrary, Bauman upholds a very pragmatic and problem-oriented perspective on methods and methodology. This is clear from the essay 'Modern Times, Modern Marxism': "As far as research methods are concerned, their merits and shortcomings can be reasonably judged solely in the light of the volume and competence of the information they lead to. The 30

choice of cognitive met of problems one think 1967b:406). Thus, Baun gist. He struggles with t their everyday lives, and impact, to change things
Sociology cannot corr them in a more comple pose of human bettenr ciology can provide m< sent enables a hold upe of shaping the future ()

This is the job sociology cal circumstances or inh that confronts the status q It is a job that is nev: turning point in the histor tellectual endeavour whic subjective and objective, ; form. It must strive to re-i humanity and efficiency and whose divorce the le must restore to reason its only itineraries, but destii does not describe destina! our current points of depa follow the path we are pi same and is expressed as '
Sociology is needed mor perts, the job of restorir jective experience, has b than ever to be performe spokesmen and practitioi If all experts deal with p resolution, sociology is o it struggles to resolve 2000:211; original emphi

: macro dynamics that rought back under hu'drilV. !hc apparently lided and controlled, id will'ul aspiration to not claim that this is one. questions to be asked unin: (1) What is the '.ere does this society and women now prein addresses all these iety and its iinpact on as analysed in detail \ postmodernity or . embedded within a ing any historical neman has also taken a ng contemporary soising his well-known grim'. 'pariah', 'par93. 1995). By using is interested in is not ie collective destiny 4 downtrodden, mar." 'human waste' and 1998:97) noted, by ociology') into perx>morphise' the reiin and more lifelike. ave to the problems -al times throughout ,. -gical hermeneutics' \iology or research ac and problem-ori-iear from the essay -. roethods are conu\ked solely in the tbev lead to. The

choice of cognitive methods always is, or should be, secondary to the choice of problems one thinks importan! enough to be investigated" (Bauman 1967b:406). Thus, Bauman is first and ibremost a problem-orientcd sociologist. He struggles with the same problems that ordinary human beings do in their everyday lives, and he does so in order to make a difference, to have an impact, to change things to the better:
Sociology cannot correct the shortcomings of the world, but it can help us to understand them in a more complete manner and in so doing. enable us to act upon them for the purpose of human betterment. In this time of globalization we need the knowledge that sociology can provide more than ever before. After all, to understand ourselves in the present enables a hold upon curren! conditions and relations without which there is no hope of shaping the future (Bauman & May 2001:116).

This is the job sociology should perform, especially when unfortunate historical circumstances or inhuman structural tendencies require critical thinking that confronts the status quo. It is a job that is never accomplished and is never trivial: "In this critical turning point in the history of civilization, sociology, the one rea of human intellectual endeavour which can bridge the gap between cultural and natural, subjective and objective, art and science, has a crucially important role to perform. It must strive to re-marry masses and reason, human Ufe and rationality, humanity and efficiency - the couples whom modern civilization separated and whose divorce the learned priests of this civilization have sanctified. It must restore to reason its denied right and its lost willingness to discuss not only itineraries, but destinations as well" (Bauman 1972:202). But Bauman does not describe destinations or itineraries in his work; instead he analyzes our current points of departure and where we will in all likelihood end if we follow the path we are presently on. His sociological vocation remains the same and is expressed as 'enlightenment aimed at human understanding':
Sociology is needed more today than ever before. The job in which sociologists are experts, the job of restoring to view the lost link between objective affiliation and subjective experience, has become more vital and indispensable than ever, while less likely than ever to be performed without their professional help, since its performance by the spokesmen and practitioners of other fields of expertise has become utterly improbable. If all experts deal with practica! problems and all expert knowledge is focused on their resolution, sociology is one branch of expert knowledge for which the practical problem it struggles to resolve is enlightenment aimed at human understanding^ (Bauman 2000:211; original emphasis).

31

Such an enlightened sociology aimed at human understanding must be valueoriented and morally committed, and Bauman is sure that, "there is no choice between 'engaged' and 'neutral' ways of doing sociology. A non-committal sociology is an impossibility" (Bauman 2000:216). Thus, Bauman's ambition is to debunk common sense and to denaturalise the taken for granted world that captures the free play of imagination and underpins the status quo. He has always been well aware of the reception such an iconoclastic position would encounter among colleagues, decision-makers, power-holders and conservative forces in society:
Such an iconoclastic attitude cannot but arouse a most ferocious resistance. If accepted, it will surely put in doubt the virtue of commonsense, frequently identified with wisdorn, and detract from the strength and attractiveness of commonsensical beliefs. It will 'denaturalize' what commonsensically passes for nature, make the inevitable a matter of choice, transform the super-human necessity into an object of moral responsibility, and forc men into questioning what has unreflectively, and often conveniently, been accepted as brute, immutable facts. It will tear to shreds the comfortingly tight protective shield which leaves so little within the reach of human decisin and responsibility. It may well render unbearable the same human condition which commonsense tries hard - and successfully - to make tolerable ... The death knell to the allegedly invulnerable routne-commonsense compact sounds when the habitual split is suddenly seen in the light of another possibility. Then, and only then, does the natural begin to be perceived as artificial, the habitual as enforced, the normal as unbearable (Bauman 1976b:75-76,93).

The Utopian of Hop

Bauman's iconoclastic sociology seeks to sound the death knell to the inevitable, the natural, the habitual and the 'normal', so that men and women may participate in the critical transcendence and disclosure of the artifciality of a stubborn reality. Here we once again see the exemplification of Bauman being a stranger in sociology, as the whippersnapper and naughty boy in H. C. Andersen's fairytale revealing to the anaesthetised yet astonished crowd that the emperoris actually naked. Iconoclasm is part and parcel of the stranger status and as Robert Merton remarked in the description of the 'Outsider Doctrine', "it is through the iconoclasm that comes with changing group affiliations that we can destroy the Idol of the Cave, abandon delusory doctrines of our own group, and enlarge our prospects for reaching the truth" (Merton 1972:31). Or as Bauman said of the professional responsibility of the sociologist: "If the professional thinker has an immediate obligation at all, it is to keep a cool head in the face of the idols prevailing at the time, and if necessary to swim against the stream"' (Bauman 1972:203).

With his faith in humanii Bauman can be identifie that Bauman's ethical pe more utopian blueprint o ing-beside' or 'being-wr also his potical visin, taking priority over prob age of man' is also coloui the human being, in ] 1976b:112). Withoutsucl stead of life as destiny. Bauman's utopianism Jeffrey C. Alexander (20( man submission. Instead, man variety and always 1 nation. Consequently the and the future cannot be { Jacobsen 2004b). Bauma similar to Ernst Bloch's 'upright carriage', 'Novi pointing anead' and the s to the domain where 'the also seek its thought', so linking the vita contempl to the utopian possibiliti striving. Bauman also adi inition of human being as 'something which still m fore, there is a peculiar ut tics, culture, humanity a: work. Bauman's utopianism i predicting events, like so minology, Bauman is an does neither wants to or in prvate communicatioi are what stock exchange;

32

ng must be value'there is no choicc non-committal sonian's ambition is :ranted world that ;atus quo. He has ic position would crs and conserva-

The Utopian of Hope


With his faith in humanity and his commitment to the pursuit of possibilies, Bauman can be identified as a 'utopian of hope'. Stefan Morawski claimed that Bauman's ethical position can be described as utopian: "Can there be a more utopian blueprint of humankind than 'being-for' taking priority over 'being-beside' or 'being-with'?" (Morawski 1998:35). Not only his moral, but also his political visin, may seem utopian with its insistence on possibility taking priority overprobability (Bauman 1976a, 1976b). His fundamental 'image of man' is also coloured by this utopian tendency and before anything else, the human being, in Bauman's sociology, is 'he-who-hopes' (Bauman 1976b: 112). Without such hope, humanity is doomed to Uve out life as fate instead of life as destiny. Bauman's utopianism is opposed to the so-called 'totalising utopias' which Jeffrey C. Alexander (2001) suggests strive for conformity, uniformity and human submission. Instead, Bauman's utopias defend plurality, diversity and human variety and always leave room for difference, dissidence and insubordination. Consequently they are also 'infinite' in that they insist that human life and the future cannot be put into frozen formulae and cannot be predicted (see Jacobsen 2004b). Bauman's utopia is tacit, infinite, active and open in a vein similar to Ernst Bloch's (1986) idiosyncratic utopian Marxist insistence on 'upright carriage', 'Novum', 'daydreams', 'explosive possibility', 'intention pointing anead' and the striving towards a future horizon that opens up a path to the domain where 'thought must not only seek its reality, but reality must also seek its thought', so does Bauman's work in its continuous insistence on linking the vita contemplative with the vita activa, thought with action, point to the utopian possibilities inherent in human existence and its intentional striving. Bauman also admits how he was "deeply impressed by [Bloch's] definition of human being as 'intention pointing ahead', and of 'human nature' as 'something which still must be found'" (Bauman & Tester 2001:49). Therefore, there is a peculiar utopian element in his understanding of morality, politics, culture, humanity as well as many other topics he touches upon in his work. Bauman's utopianism is not preoccupied with predetermining the future or predicting events, like so many classical or modernist utopias. In his own terminology, Bauman is an 'interpreter' not a 'legislator' (Bauman 1987a). He does neither wants to or believes in predicting or determining the future, and in prvate communication with Tim May he revealed: "In my view 'futures' are what stock exchanges are to gamble on, not the sociologist to determine"
33

:sistance. If accepted, > identified with wisnsical beliefs. It will inevitable a matterof ral esponsibility, and eniently. been accepy tight protective shiresponsibility. It may -ense tries hard - and A invulnerable routi:\\n in the light of v perceived as artifi476b:75-76, 93).

knell to the inmen and women n the artificiality ing a stranger in Vndersen's fairyie emperor is ac:us and as Robert e", "it is through that we can deown group, and >. Or as Bauman the professional head in the face iinst the stream"

..t

(Bauman in May 1998:127). He is not interested in narrowing down the options open lo pecple, Ihepossibilities and potentials that they may wish to realise whenever time seems ripe. May observed that: "What Zygmimt Bauman seems to be doing is taking contemporary trends and then extrapolating in order that we might glimpse the consequences of the direction in which we might be heading" (May 1998:127). The word to notice here is the 'might' instead of 'must' or 'will' - Bauman is not a social forecaster, sociological soothsayer or futurologist who claims to hold any privileged position regarding looking into the unknown. His books seek to show people how things are, good and bad, how they can be and how they will be if we do not change our ways. Thus, Bauman can be regarded as a utopian of hope, who through his sociological practice with its morally committed core wishes to actvate people and show them the possibilities and alternatives available to them. In an interview with Madeleine Bunting, Bauman pondered: "Why do I write books? Why do I think? Why should I be passionate? Because things could be different, they couid be made better. My role is to alert people to dangers, to do something" (Bauman in Bunting 2003:20). In the subsequent three pars of this book - respectively dealing with the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s - our questions in the conversations based on email correspondence with Zygmunt Bauman are highlighted in italics and his responses to those questions are reproduced in normal fonts. The conversations included in each of the three parts represent the only time to date that Bauman has reflected substantially on this early part of his work. The second par of each section consists of a chronologically annotated bibliography with comprised reviews and comments that are intended to provide the reader with an insight into the main themes and concerns of these pieces so that future readers might be able to find a point of departure that they fnd congenial and appropriate in their own work on Bauman or the topics he has analysed. The included annotations are not merely of biographical interest for people with a specific interest in the life and intellectual development of Zygmunt Bauman but also of historcal interest because many of the texts touch upon events and episodes during decades marked by rapid social, economic and political transformation in the West as well as in the East. In this respect Bauman, due to his own personal triis and tribulations described above, deals with both sides of the European divide not to mention its collapse towards the end of the 1980s. In many ways his work represent the essence of European history, West and East, throughout the latter part of the 20th century.

The En a Soci

34

owing down the op:hey may vvish to reat Zygmunt Bauman . extrapolating in orection in which we are is the 'might' inxaster, sociological ged position regard;iple how things are, e do not change our 0 through his socioactivate people and lem. In an interview rite books? Why do Id be different, they s, to do something" ly dealing with the ons based on email 1 italics and his re. The conversations 0 date that Bauman The second part of ography with comthe reader with an so that future read1 congenial and apis analysed. The int for people with a ' Zygmunt Bauman ch upon events and and political transBauman, due to his with both sides of ; end of the 1980s. i history, West and

Part I:

The End of the Beginning of a Sociological Imagination

1960s Conversation
We would like to begin with a simple question. This book focases on yoiir early English language work, for the most part the essays that were published while yon were still based in Poland. Quite simply, why was so much Polish sociology published in English (for example the Polish Sociological Bulletin was an English language publicacin) ? Every sociologist who thinks and writes in a 'non-global' language has been confronted with the question of publishing in English. It has been a question of to-be-or-not-to-be in a profession that has been global since its inception. or is it any wonder that, in most non-English speaking countries, local sociologists lean over backwards to put together a periodical that makes their works available, and hopefully known, to the speakers of the global-language. In addition to the 'Catch 22' quandary in which all aspiring authors are everywhere cast (you won't find a publisher unless you have made yourself a ame, but you will not make a ame unless you find a publisher), a foreign-language writer can hardly count on English publishers, because they are reluctant to invest money in translating the works of unknowns who are also blighted with unpronounceable ames. I could tell a lot of stories about this. I have tried hard but mostly unsuccessfully to convince quite a few publishers to take a risk with some of the remarkable oeuvres of my Polish colleagues. But I doubt whether Polish sociologists are any more keen or successfl than others in getting their work published in English. The most profound and precious, and particularly the most original, works of the greatest Polish sociologists, including my masters, are still waiting in vain to be made available to a global readership - a situation more harmful to the latter than to thefrst,by the way, since Poland is a large country with its own wide, avid, critical and grateful readership, and almost all Polish sociologists are fluent in English. As to myself, the list of my Polish-language publications of the period covered by your bibliography is not just longer, but it ncludes the positions which were central to my preoccupations of the time and which, retrospectively, also appear to be the turning-points of my intellectual itinerary (works like On the Need ofa Sociology ofthe Party, Essay on Bureaucracy, On the Profession of Sociologist, or Visions of Human Worlds). Those positions derived their inspiration and whatever meaning and significance they had from triis and tribulations that were interna! and specific to Poland. They were too
37

deeply and tightly enmeshed in Poland's own (and at that time still mosly subterranean) struggles, lo be of any interest, or indeed to be comprehensible. to native English readers. Yon say that, umongst others especially two Polish-language publications, On the Profession of Socioiogist and Visions of Human Worlds, were essential to the emergence of your position. Couldyou say something about what they argued? What does the profession of sociologist require, and what are the 'visions' of the human world to which you referred? A word of warning is in order: Contrary to a common opinin which social scientists tend to endorse, much of our thinking, and perhaps the most seminal part of it, is not 'targeted', not a 'purposeful activity'. From my own experience, at least, I am rather inclined to endorse Adorno's resigned conclusin that we think just because we can't not. The 'objective' of mental efforts usually comes as an afterthought, a codicil that is added later. I would be cavalier with the truth were I to say that I undertook the works you've mentioned with the intention of elaborating a position. The 'in order to' at the time I wrote them up was not the same 'in order to' as the one which later ruminations, and your question, have retrospectively imputed. Trying hard to recall the 'motivational causes' thatprompted and guided my search, or rather to fill blank spots in memory while calling imagination to help, I believe I need to start from remembering the situational setting. After a few years of exile sociology was let back into the post-Stalinistera through the back door. No identity card was issued, no clear status accorded, let alone assured. Sociology lived ir, a sort of 'suspended animation' that could be terminated at any moment on any pretext, or without one. It was without doubt an unpleasant situation to be in, and yet with the benefit of hindsight I suspect that such a state of guilt without a charge, of under-definition unconstrained by any canon, unhampered by a 'paradigm', was in a way a blessing, even if in a very unprepossessing disguise. It spurred critical self-scrutiny that drew into focus the 'self-evidences', and so offered a closer look at a host of unspoken assumptions which under more enjoyable circumstances gladly would have been left in the shade and in silence. We went on asking ourselves about the fundamentis about which our 'Western' colleagues did not much worry (not in the fifties lived under the protective wings of Parsonian self-confidence!) and were genuinely puzzled when challenged to make explicit and analyse." In Poland, I was just one among many aspiring sociologists who had first to find the address at which the new home was located and to sean its interior to 38

make it fit for decent, spired by (indeed, wei The first piece repo mation about whateve live in company. and v tion under which choi words, sociology colk living 'in society'. Th 'essentially contested' for taking sides more tention was the main l sociological professioi ber's Beruf. When wo that I was trying to res (or the 'socialist camp of the political regime un-manageable. It did on that occasion. I jus ence was but an extre: that in the plight of soc then that it was precise to perceive a universal To start with, Polish which other, non- or le about, underhand and leave too many foot- what they wished soc: they would tolrate) w obedient more docile vinced immune to doi wished the 'really exis theory, in the uncondit tionality' their un-sha amend and enhance 'ir guiding human behavi havioural choices wer< tended effects would b evant or effectively m in its 'behavioural scie

time still mostly subK- comprehensible, to

iage publications, On 'Ids, were essential lo > abou wha they arma what are the 'vi-

opinion which social aps the most seminal rom my own experiresigned conclusin f mental efforls usu. I would be cavalier u've mentioned with at the time I wrote iter ruminations, and ipted and guided my lling imagination to ional setting. After a inist era through the :orded, let alone asthat could be termias without doubt an hindsight I suspect m unconstrained by lessing, even if in a itiny that drew into a host of unspoken gladly would have Durselves about the )t much worry (not n self-confidence!) icit and analyse. sts who had first to sean its interior to

make it fit for decent, sensible living. The two pieces you ask about were inspired by (indeed, were a logical consequence of) that preoccupation. The first piece reponed the search for location. Sociology collects the intbrmation about whaever follows from the fact that humans are not loners but live in company and willy-nilly influence each other's choices and the condition under which choices are made, as well as their plausible range. In other words, sociology collects the information about the difference that is made by living 'in society'. That much was commonly agreed. The rest, though, was 'essentially contested' and called for taking sides. Some of the contests called for taking sides more imperatively and urgently than others. One such contention was the main theme of the essay that was dcdicated to unpacking the sociological profession, a somewhat updated and domesticated versin of Weber's Beruf. When working on it, I thought, mistakenly as it later transpired, that I was trying to resolve a thoroughly local and hopefully temporary, Polish (or the 'socialist camp's') dilemma, which arse from the authoritarian nature of the political regime and from its bid to manage everything and eliminate the un-manageable. It did not occur to me that a life-long position would emerge on that occasion. I just did not realize at the time that the local Polish experience was but an extreme and particularly festering specimen of a contention that in the plight of sociology was neither incidental or local. I did not realise then that it was precisely the extremity of the Polish case that made it possible to perceive a universal dilemma more ctearly than elsewhere. To start with, Polish state authorities were quite outspoken about matters in which other, non- or less-authoritarian, powers preferred to move in a roundabout, underhand and a rather inconspicuous fashion, while careful not to leave too many foot- and finger-prints. The Polish rulers left little doubt that what they wished sociologists to do (and the only sociological undertaking they would tolrate) was to help them make the obstreperous obedient and the obedient more docile yet, to convince the unconvinced and make the convinced immune to doubts. In short (to resort to Weber's terms again) they wished the 'really existing' Herrschaft to rebound, just as its ideal type did in theory, in the unconditional Disziplin of the subjects. Having made 'valu rationality' their un-shared prerogative, they intended to use sociologists to amend and enhance 'instrumental rationality'. They wished to know the rules guiding human behaviour, in order to maniplate the setting in which the behavioural choices were made - so that only such choices as agreed with intended effects would be taken, while other choices either would be made irrelevant or effectively marginalised. They most gladly accommodated sociology in its 'behavioural science' versin, a versin made to the measure of panopti39

cal power and the Tordist factory', and at the time the dominant and still gathering tendency in Western, and particularly American, sociology. I du not pretend that I understood all that when the essay on the profession of sociologist, focused as it was on the apparently local and hopefully transient worry, gestated. But what I did articlate and clarify for myself in the course of writing helped me later in grasping the nature of the contradictory pressures under which all sociological work, under any kind of regime, is conducted and the fundamental choices no sociologist, wherever placed, can avoid. I believe now that it was then that the visin of sociology as an essentially critical activity took shape in my mind (a model that was more fully articulated only ten years later in the extended essay Towards a Critical Sociology that was written in parallel with Socialism: The Active Utopia). That was the only lasting beneft and saving grace of the effort invested in the writing. Otherwise, the essay was fatally misconceived. It reads now mostly as a testimony of the shameful naivety of its author. The essay was an invitation to the rulers to join in a discussion, and an attempt to explain that they would beneft from openng themselves to argument. Something along the line of 'what good government needs, is a watchful and imaginative opposition', couched in terms that the rulers would (so I hoped...) understand and find acceptable. The idea, of course, was stillborn, only I was not aware of that at the time. I believed that the inanities of the country's rulers and the ineptitudes of the 'system' they called into life were more like 'unanticipated consequences' than delibrate moves, and arse from errors of judgment, not from design. I thought that the rulers might be talked to and persuaded to listen, engage in a debate, argued with, and in the end - who knows? - con verted to a different, better model of the state and a strategy of running it. A hiccup of the 'enlightened despot' dream, I suppose. Well, the rulers made no mistake. They just behaved trae to form. It was I who was mistaken, grossly and totally. In the quasi-totalitarian quasi-Soviet regime, sociology as I saw it could only be an alien body and treated as the enemy's fifth column. And the rulers understood it before I did. It took me a few more years to catch up with their wisdom. The core of the Visions book - a sort of an inventory of the house contents was provided by three extended studies: o Talcott Parsons, C. Wright Mills and Antonio Gramsci. In the first study, I attempted to reconstruct the visin of society as seen from the managers' offices and a model of sociology made to the measure of managerial reason and management tasks (Parsons' work was a most conspicuous and authoritative exemplification of both). In the second, following Mills's suggestions and example, I tried to develop an alternative programme, as well as a strategy of resistance to the advances of the 'adminis40

tered society'. I guess and Mus, preparad a 1 Critical Sociology boc resented most spectac sociology bent on enh; third study, a distance course of the time (lik quired and the broad o continuous and infinii countervailing social p tween themselves the sights from which the wards emerged. Or at 1 All in all, I'd descril ators'. They were ext clumsy and awkward. thought where their ci speak, worked themsel portance. In this lie the You have said befare l par in rebuilding Poli the humiliation of pov lowed to play such a re

Allowed it was not, but such a role, though not; ciology (which was re numbness during the St than in other countries dependent standpoints dependent thought was even fewer and farther ry that was officially sh insistently marginalisec it had to stand up again ers spawned in profusic of sociology exemplifn tious part of Polish inte"

,minnnl and slill gath>ciology. ,say on tlic proession nd'hopcTully tnmsient nyscll'in UK- course of jntradictovy prcssures egime. is conducted laced. can avoid. I be- an essentul) critical fully artK-ub.ted onlv al S.v'.Vv-v ihat was f the otYor. mvested m <ed. U rea> now nostThe essjv vvas an mvi~ ipt to expan iat they >mething oni me line iaginative orcvsion'. mdersranc no nd acnot aware >x tbir & tne s and the rscenos of icipated cccsecuecces \ent. ncc fr.xT, -jsgn. I ;d to lisien i^f m a onvertec rr oirseni v hicvur ce=K -=1:K k e qas:;- it -^ ^^ beh thar rs ' of ae
an it

tered society'. I guess that between themselves those two studies, of Parsons and Mills, prepared a framework for the opposition, explored in the Towards a Critica! Sociology book, between the 'science of unfreedom' of the kind representad most spectacularly by what 1 dubbed 'Durksonian' sociology, and a sociology bent on enhancing the range of freedom. Finally, in the course of the third study, a distance from the concepts most common in the sociological discourse of the time (like system, totality, structure, determination etc.) was acquired and the broad outlines were drawn of the concept of 'social reality' as a continuous and infinite, open-ended interplay between human pursuits and countervailing social pressures experienced as 'constraints'. I suppose that between themselves the studies of Mills and of Gramsci offered me basic insights from which the programme of 'sociological hermeneutics' soon afterwards emerged. Or at least so it seems to me after these years. All in all, I'd describe the two works you've mentioned as 'vanishing mediators'. They were extremely helpful, indeed indispensable, even if coarse, clumsy and awkward. Their role was to ease me (or push me?) into a realm of thought where their continued services were no longer needed. They, so to speak, worked themselves out of a job, and by doing that they proved their importance. In this lie their sol, though formidable, merit. You have said befare that you took up sociology because yon wanted to play a par in rebuilding Poland in terms ofjustice, equality and an overcoming of the humiliation of poverty (see Bauman & Tester 2001). Was sociology allowed to play such a role in Poland in the 1950s and 1960s? Allowed it was not, but it struggled to gain such a role and in the end it did play such a role, though not at all how I na'ively and gullibly expected it to. Polish sociology (which was resurrected and recovering its public voice after a brief numbness during the Stalinist period, which was considerably shorter in Poland than in other countries under Soviet influence) offered one of the very few independen! standpoints and narratives that was available in a country where independent thought was fast becoming a rarity, and its chances of being heard even fewer and farther between. Sociology whispered an alternative to the story that was officially shouted, and so it became an element, however slight and insistently marginalised, of plurality in a forcefully 'homogenised' society. And it had to stand up against the new injustices and inequalities that the new powers spawned in profusin in the course of extirpating the od ones. The labours of sociology exemplified the resolution of the most thoughtful and conscientious part of Polish intellectuals to cooperate with the new powers in their good
41

of hsr-

deeds, in lifting the country from its centuries-long backwardness, while at the same time watching carefully and vigilantly the hands of the power-holders. //; the English-language materia! that was published before 1968, it looks as if it took some timeforyour own raice to emerge. Some oftlie very earlicst English-language pieces seem to be alinost managerial thanks to their emphasis on statistics, graphs and so on. The present-day reader has to look very hard to find any critical dimensin. It took a while for these essays to reflect he concerns ofa more obviously crtica! sociology. Do these pieces accurately reflect your thernes and concerns, and the changes that they underwent? 'Managerial vein'... Stanislaw Ossowski and Julin Hochfeld, the two teachers to whom I owe most of what I learned at Warsaw University, were deeply suspicious of the cognitive valu, and even more of the cultural impact, of the prevalent managerially oriented model of a thoroughly quantified and statistics-obsessed sociology. I guess that suspicion is an irremovable and indelible part of their bequest, to which as much as I could I tried to remain faithful from the start, and nave carried on trying throughout my own work. At the same time, though, Ossowski and Hochfeld were only too aware that selling to the communist managers the kind of sociology that they preferred - a critical and 'humanist' kind of sociology - would be a tall order, if not a lost cause and waste of time. If any argument stood a chance of reaching the Polish rulers' ears, it could only be a plea that emphasised the services that the sort of sociology imported from the U.S.A. promised to render to the managers. Sociology could only be 'sold' to the powers-that-be as a handmaiden of management, as a heads-counting enterprise and a briefing for those who sought conformity to their orders and were bent on making society obedient and pliant. Such a setting was conducive tp schizophrenic responses. Ossowski's thoughtful yet tormented book on the peculiarities of social sciences was a vivid testimony of that. In other words, the two accents which you rightly spotted were not successive, but simultaneous. They coexisted, since they had to coexist, in an uneasy alliance rent with mutual suspicions. Your critical sociology was part of the intellectual ferment that was going on under the dull surface of Gomulka 's 'little stabilisation'. Reading histories of this period creates the impression that sociology was a key player in a very broad oppositional culture that included intellectuals, journalists, filmntakers, and novelists. Could you say something about the circles in which your critical sociology circulated and participated? 42

The milieu you are ask degrees of opposition, ; go in manifesting theii best serve the purpose. member a little play 77, Mroz'ek, in which a 1beckoned to two haples meekly followed suca order, all the time furio tive virtues of their res{ but sober admission tha strategic querelle. But you are right in p together and complemei the fre of independent t to reconcile their progra tre' which all the scattei sations') of opposition ' the situation because the the issues that were curn of people with the highe around a few persons o the poet Antoni Stonirr domitable 'professional always ready for the fra In all though the 'resis plex, to be given justice about it, but the multi-vo

During the period rough youth and education. W

Alongside other things hands of power meant ters had changed or we more solidary) in the re man', feeling at one w trustworthy and trustfu from humiliating docili

. ardness. \vhilo at the .he power-holders. >re 1968. i Uvksasif lie veiy tw/iV>' tr$iks w their cn-.-'husis has lo look v t -ry i un essays te /r/.cvr he pieces accur:i".y /vv iindenveiu.

:hfeld, the t\\ tachuversity. \verc eeply :ultural impa-"- ot the quantified are srasnovable and -.-dible ied to remair. ruidmil ny own \vork A* the 0 aware that >e!:nc to preferred - i cr.dcal if not a lost ri-s and ng the Polis riiers" s that the sor: o: s le managers. aiden of ma .no sought cccrrnsty t and pliant. esponses. Os^5 > > social scierci- vs a nts which y- r^ny ixisted, sinc; re-. *j ions.
tent ihat veja Jc/Zf -^ '. Reading hiz:*-^ ^ 1 key playe~ ^ -" ^^^ turnalisf.. jn ; in which \o

The mieu you are asking about was far from unified. There were all possible degrees of opposition. and people differed as lo how far they were prepared to go in manifesting their resistance, as well as in what kind of conduct would best serve the purpose. Not that the differences mattered much in the end. I remember a little play The Hand, by the outstanding Polish dramatist Slawomir Mroz'ek, in which a huge hand stretched from the wings of the stage and beckoned to two hapless little men to take off their clothes, bit by bit. One man meekly followed successive orders, the other loudly protested against each order, all the time fuously quarrelling between themselves about the respective virtues of their responses. Both men ended up naked. I remember our sad but sober admission that the play flawlessly assessed the practica! valu of our strategic querelle. But you are right in principie. The various acts of resistance somehow added together and complemented each other in keeping the spirit of dissent alive and the fire of independen! thought smouldering, even if the actors found it difficult to reconcile their programmes and their tactics. All the same, there was no 'centre' which all the scattered and diffuse, and often ephemeral, circles ('condensations') of opposition would have recognised as such. This was all the more the situation because the dividing lines were constantly redrawn, depending on the issues that were currently on the agenda. However in the I960s a 'hard core' of people with the highest and a seldom questioned moral authority crystallised around a few persons of outstanding courage and determination - writers like the poet Antoni Slonimski, academics like Leszek Kolakowski, or just indomitable 'professional revolutionaries' like Jan Jzef Lipski, a man who was always ready for the fray and always in the frontline of the battle. In all though the 'resistance movement' was too diverse, too protean and complex, to be given justice in a short conversation like ours. Much has been written about it, but the multi-volume monograph that it deserves remains to be written. During the period roughly 1963-1968 your work often focused on questions of youth and education. Why? Alongside other things and perhaps more than anything else, watching4he hands of power meant finding out whether and how life-attitudes and characters had changed or were changing (to the better, of course - more ethical, more solidary) in the result of the 'socialist transformations'. After all, a 'new man', feeling at one wrth the community of citizens, friendly and confident, trustworthy and trustful, free from fears, from suspicion towards others and from humiliating docility, was allegedly the ultimate purpose of those trans43

formations and the test of their success or failure. And where was the answer to be found, if not in the younger generation. born and giown in the new postiransformation social setting? Looking back, I suspect that the outcome of our research into the altitudes of Polish youth marked, perhaps not the frst, but certainly the most profound, of my disenchantments. What I found was not what I and other 'believers' like me had hoped to fnd. What I found was a mixture of downright conservative and parochial, petty bourgeois life ideis, with alarming symptoms of an emerging cult of shrewdness, craftiness and 'getting by'. There was little trace of socialist vales. The new social setting was not working. Most certainly, it did not turn out to be the school of humanity whose prospect attracted so many, myself including, to the idea of socialism. The task was now to fnd out what stopped it from becoming such a school. After your exile, you must have been subjected to a number of pressures from the West to become a 'dissident' who would blow the whistle on the truth ofactually existing socialism. Butyou neverdid this. You published some essays on Polish communism, but they are marked by a dialectic of sociological critique and the maintenance of socialist commitment. Did it ever feel like your work was in danger ofbeing 'filed away'as 'dissident'? After leaving Poland I was inundated with offers to join all sorts of 'sovietologist' establishmens, and with invitations to write for their journals. I was one of the 'Warsaw six' - the 'dissident' professors of Warsaw University who were demoled and expelled on 25 March 1968 on the accusation of fomenting student riots - and the case was widely publicised in trie Western press. I refused the offers. I had no intention of living the second half of my life off the frst (as things looked then, I could live quietly and happily ever after out of my 'dissident past'). I wanted to remain what I was, a socologist, and re-establishing myself in that role in new surroundings was to me a matter of personal honesty and self-respecl. Most importantly, were I to have succumbed to the seductive offers and recycled myself into a 'sovietologist', I certainly would have found myself out of place among the hosts (and-very soon have been found to be out of place by them), as much as I found myself (and was found) to be out of place in 'really existing socialism'. Being 'anti-communist' was certainly not enough to make us feel comfortable in each other's company. You arrived at Leeds in 1971. How congenial were British intellectual - and specifically sociological - debates to your concems? You arrived in the days

ofstudent radicalism. discussed in Poland, . Beware similarities. astray. From my new bellion, some full of n exhilrating stories of nival, a Woodstock a\s

E. P. Thompson, wl his devastating newsp; together with the othej pectations. At the time ist revolution was just, 'sociological deductio: and gone as far as it \. T who indeed, instead of British 'New Left', m< was the 'collateral cas must admit, though, the and could not make my cent witness to the testi I remember that Pen the empirical and shunr of an excess of theory, tea (soon afterwards the brace the worst variety Their differences notwit unclean realities of hum istic' (a rather morbid, n tual). Years later, Richa sentment of that time, v> more about money and 1 Is there anything that yo Myself, warts and all. O

44

~ere \vas the answer :5->Ti in the ne\ postan into the attitudes ; me most prolound. :er 'believers' like -"iright conservative ~g symptoms of an There was little trace z. Most certainly. it rrospect attracted so : *'as now to fmd out

of student radicalism: Did all ofthis seein lo be continuous with what you had discussed in Poland, or did it all seem like middle-closs self-indulgence? Beware similarities. They are treacherous. They easily misdirect and lead astray. From my new English friends, fresh from the battlefields of student rebellion, some full of nostalgia and some blowing on their burnt fingers, I heard exhilarating stories of a protracted, joyful an.d thoroughly enjoyable youth carnival, a Woodstock avant le letter. It struck me right away that when Warsaw students took to the streets no one laughed. E. P. Thompson, who was then the gur of the British 'intellectual left', in his devastating newspaper review of my Between Class and lite, accused me, together with the other exiled 'dissidents', of betraying the Western Left's expectations. At the time Thompson believed that the British proletarian-socialist revolution was just around the next crner, while in the book I presented my 'sociological deduction' that the British labour movement had ran its course and gone as far as it was capable of going, a prognosis that time was to corrobrate. Thompson's ir was directed mostly against Leszek Kolakowski, who indeed, instead of offering the hoped for shot in the arm to the emergent British 'New Left', moved promptly to the right of the political spectrum. I was the 'collateral casualty', so to speak, of Thompson's main frustration. I must admit, though, that his judgment was not completely erroneous. I did not, and could not make myself, share in the illusions of the 'New Left'. I was a recent witness to the testing of those illusions, and to their failure of the test. I remember that Perry Anderson castigated E. P. Thompson for sticking to the empirical and shunning theory. For me, however, both antagonists suffered of an excess of theory, and of a kind of theory that was clearly not my cup of tea (soon afterwards the majority of the 'New Left' was enthusiastically to embrace the worst variety of the excess in the form of Althusserian dogmatism). Their differences notwithstanding, they were too detached from the messy and unclean realities of human life. They seemed to me to be equally 'intellectualistic' (a rather morbid, most incapacitating disease that may befall the intellectual). Years later, Richard Rorty poignantly articulated for me my vague resentment of that time, when he called on the intellectuals of the Left to speak more about money and less about stigma, complexes and political correctness. Is there anything that you continu to carry with you from the early essays?

^-cer of pressures froni ~:sr, on the truth ofac~i^sned some essays on -{ciological critique ' erfeel like your work

'. ail sorts of 'sovietolo journals. I was one of University who were son of fomenting stu estera press. I refused :ny life off the first (as afier out of my 'dissi and re-estabh'shing sr of personal honesty imfaed to the seductive ~.y would have found e faeen found to be out .md) to be out of place certainly not enough

^h iniellectual and :u arrived in the days

Myself, warts and all. Or at least, this is what I would wish to be true.

1960s Annotated Bibiography


(1962): "Vales and Standards of Success of the Warsaw Youth". The Polish Sociological Bulletin, 2 (l-2):77-90.
The Communist period in Poland was not meant simply to consist in a new type of political power. It was also intended by its protagonists to be a type of social system that would establish solidarity and provide the solution to the problems of material want in a country that had recently proved itself to be deeply divided ethnically and remarkably unable to develop itself. The Communists were going to pave the way to this utopia by taking the men and women who had been delivered to them by the past and by transforming them into something new. As Bauman says in conversation in this book, these new model citizens of Communist Poland were going to be "friendly and confident, trustworthy and trustful, free from fears, from suspicion towards others and from humiliating docility". Amongst other things, this paper implicitly asks a very simple question: Are these new model people to be found? Today, that seems to be a fairly straightforward and obvious question, but in Poland in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was much more explosive. The paper focuses on Warsaw youth precisely because, if the question is going to be given a positive answer, it is going to be found here. First, Warsaw was being rapidly rebuilt after the devastation of the Nazi occupation, and its population was growing as attempts were made to urbanise a previously rural population. Second, youth was a group that had little or no positive memory of a Poland before Communism and, therefore, they had been always schooled and educated in the ways of socialism. Bauman's sociology emerged in the period of relative stability and of disciplinary and ideolgica! stabilisation that followed the disturbances of the Polish October of 1956. The context of his early work - and therefore of this paper - was an investigation into how it was that hopes of a free Poland could have so quickly dissipated, and where future hopes might be found. After all: "People needed salvation badly, and whatever colour or shape salvation was to take, it could only comefrom society. Of that society, sociology was to tell the truth" (Bauman & Tester 2001:18). Consequently, this paper looks in three directions. First, it looks to Warsaw youth in order to see if the Communist citizen exists. Second, it looks to Warsaw-youth in order to tell the sociological truth about the likelihood of them being the agents of salvation. Third, it asks what salvation means for that group. If an
46

ideal typical Bauman p Baurnan reports on an < of positivistic sociolog of a split between the f critical message. The { viewers of the Polish B tive sample of Warsaw the paper is a fairly stra ing to read. However \h t man reports that on the model socialist citizen c and with the subordina characteristic for the ye clare an exceptionally i esting work and family were unimportant for "wealth, an interesting 1 ly defining the details oJ youth knew what they \e agents of social salvatioi it comes to their own tro sists in inchoate aspirati logical truth that is revea tainly prove to be an unf them. Beneath the surfa< socialism heralds the ne1 is also realistic enough t< salvation with youth. Th the application of the ne

(1962): "Social Strt Works". The Polish


Dennis Smith has comme by Bauman in The Polish ganization, he felt that "h

hy
e Warsaw Youth".
1 to consist in a new onists to be a type of e the solution to the / proved itself to be lop itself. The Comtaking the men and y transforming them his book, these new ''friendly and conficion towards others his paper implicitly to be found? Today, ion, but in Poland in 'e. The paper focusgoing to be given a v was being rapidly its population was y rural population. lemory of a Poland schooled and edu;ed in the period of ;ation that followed of his early work w it was that hopes vhere future hopes dly, and whatever om society. Of that 2001:18). Conseo Warsaw youth in s to Warsaw youth of them being the r that group. If an

ideal typical Bauman paperas imagined, it is not anything like this piece. Here, Bauman reports on an empirical research project and he uses the paraphernalia of positivistic sociology: graphs, diagrams and statistics. There is something of a split between the paper's almost managerial mode of presentation and its critical message. The paper reports "on interviews carried out by 103 interviewers of the Polish Radio Public Opinin Research Centre on a representative sample of Warsaw youth of male sex, aged 18-24" (p. 77). To this extent the paper is a fairly straightforward research report and it is not terribly engaging to read. However what it is obviously seeking to do is offer an alternative truth to that which was stressed by the state and the Party. In particular, Bauman reports that on the basis of this study it is impossible to conclude that the model socialist citizen exists. That citizen should be concerned with solidarity and with the subordination of personal ambitions to social goals, but, "it is characteristic for the young people being exarnined, taken as a whole, to declare an exceptionally intensive acceptance of two vales: the need for interesting work and family happiness" (p. 84). Broader questions of public issues were unimportant for Warsaw youth. The dominant aspirations were for "wealth, an interesting life, independence, to see much in life, without actually defining the details of the particular status" (p. 88). In other words, Warsaw youth knew what they wanted, but they had little idea of what it meant. The message of this paper is clear: the young men of Warsaw are unlikely to be the agents of social salvation since they are not socially engaged. Moreover, when it comes to their own troubles and ambitions, for Warsaw youth salvation consists in inchoate aspirations rather than anything tangible. In short, the sociological truth that is revealed by this study is that Warsaw youth will almost certainly prove to be an unfertile ground for any hopes that others seek to plant in them. Beneath the surface then, this paper is a critique of the contention that socialism heralds the new man of solidarity and social engagement, and yet it is also realistic enough to avoid falling into any trap of the kind that identified salvation with youth. The paper is an exercising in defla'ng presumptions by the application of the needle of sociology.

(1962): "Social Structure of the Party Organization in Industrial Works". The Polish Sociological Bulletin, 3-4 (5-6):50-64.
Dennis Smith has commented that when he found a couple of papers published by Bauman in The Polish Sociological Bulletin on Warsaw youth and Party organization, he felt that "both pieces were written in a very impersonal manner
47

... The articles themselves were precise, careful and as dry as dust" (Smith ! 999:62). It is not too hard o see Smith's poir.t, bul as with the paper on Warsaw youth, there is also something devioas going on in this discussion of the Party in an industrial works. In this paper Bauman is asking the saine question that he asked of Warsaw youth: who are the agents of social salvation? In this study, the focus of attention shifts to the Party, the industrialised workers and, significantly, intellectuals in the role of technicians. Bauman starts by quoting the Rules of the Polish United Workers' Party, which state that the Party in an industrial plant has the job of making sure that production targets are achieved by a properly organised and efficient labour forc. But what Bauman uncovers is that the Party militants and the workers are occupying two different moral universos, and possess two quite different personality types. According to Bauman, Party militants are 'extroverted' and they possess a personality that is oriented towards commitment to the goals of the Party. However their militancy decreases once these extroverts reach the age of about forty. Meanwhile, the introverted personality is more typical of the workers who are concerned simply to do their job and get on with life without too much external interference. Bauman arges that as the number of extroverts in an industrial plant declines, the number of introverts increases. He is saying that in time, loyalty to the Party and positive commitment to its ideology will decrease in Poland, leaving only sullen acceptance and apathy. But there is another layer of meanng to this paper, a layer that becomes clear if it is considered in the context of what Bauman remembers as having been his major sociological problem. He wanted to understand why the promises of the Polish October had proven to be so fleeting and so quickly lost: "I knew our hopes had been dashed, and was eager to find out what went wrong and where our mistake lay" (Bauman & Tester 2001:24). Now, according to Solomon John Rawin, an especially 'remarkable development' after 1956 was "the process of accommodation between the intelligentsia and the regime, and the virtual restoration of the intelligentsia to its traditional position of ascendancy in the Polish social structure" (Rawin 1968:353). To put this in to the terms of Bauman's later sociology of intellectuals, one of the problems that was raised by 1956 was that of the relationship of the intellectuals with institutionalised power (this is one of the key issues that is explored in Bauman's Legislators and Interpreten). Bauman's paper implies that the intellectuals in the industrial works are not going to be the agents of social salvation because there is a coming together of the interests of the intellectuals as technical managers with those of the Party militants. In the terms of Bauman's later work, the intellectuals as industrial technicians easily and gladly played the role of legislators. According to Rawin, this is a 48

specificay Polish pl termining factor in o bourgeois ideology gy". He went on to c gentsia within the So< pecially within the in repudiation of inters cialism, is essentially modern organization' paper is an early inst; ais and it also points math of October 195 man's answer is uneq likely agent of social:

(1964): "Econon The Case of Po (2):203-216.

Bauman's Marxism, a the role of humanity ai opposed to any positio cessity about social ch visionism. In this pape used as the point of d temporary Poland. Th Poland after the Seco state. Although pre-w example, its electricity Denmark, and steel pr and Spain), neverthele to find a trace of straig rural life and, without Poland with a "traditio the system of social continuously re-create cial status" (p. 205). Whereas orthodox the

;\v as dust" (Smith A t t h he paper onWar;his discussion of the v.nc ilu.' same question ,vtal salvation? In this s-.nalised woikers and, :-.-an stans by quoting th.u the Party in an . '.u^ts are achieved . \ Batimn uncovers c -.\\ diterent moral :MV>. According to s> a ivn-onality that is -,-,\o\c-r their militan.vi KTty. Meanwhile, - x \v~o are concerned -.o:-. vrernal interfer<.- industrial plant deruc i- ame. loyalty to . jecsase in Poland, -VCK- layer of meanTSCSC a the context of ooccal problem. He r^xr iic proven to be rx?sr. asfaed. and was ;a; iv" iBauman & .u, a: eioecially 're_vv.-GErodarion beiSOTCOc of the intel:.>;iC >xal structure" :- - ;a'e- ociology of - v^ rae of the relan ;oeotb.ekey i'-r>i.'eT7 - Bauman's C.-.E 3.x going to be -f tis inter-r^isrr sdmicians -_ - v-s^. mis is a

specifically Polish phenomenon and i reflects the historical fact that, "the determining factor in orienting the inteiligentsia toward socialism was the antibourgeois ideology and anti-entrepreneurial bias in the inteiligentsia ideology". He went on to contend that "the main element in the 'fit' of the inteiligentsia within the Socialist order is the elitist pattern of social organization, especially within the industrial system. The premise of social solidarity and the repudiation of interest conflicts, inherent in the conceptual framework of socialism, is essentially a translation of the elitist perspective into the terms of modern organization" (Rawin 1968:376). In short, this superficially soporifc paper is an early instalment in Bauman's long- standing interest in intellectuals and it also points towards an answer to a question thrown up by the aftermath of October 1956: Is the industrial plant the site of social salvation? Bauman's answer is unequivocal: no, no social group in industrial production is a likely agent of social salvation.

(1964): "Economic Growth, Social Structure, lite Formation: The Case of Poland". International Social Science Journal, 1 (2):203-216.
Bauman's Marxism, and for that matter his entire sociolgica! work, stresses the role of humanity as the agent of praxis in the world. Bauman's work stands opposed to any position that identifies an inevitability of laws of historical necessity about social change. This is one of the crucial aspects of his Marxist revisionism. In this paper it is possible to see that philosophical position being used as the -point of departure for a sociological analysis of changes in contemporary Poland. The context of this paper is the rapid industrialization of Poland after the Second World War, and under the aegis of the Communist state. Although pre-war Poland was not a classical undeveloped country (for example, its electricity production was greater than that of Hungary, Romana, Denmark, and steel production was higher than in Sweden, Australia, Hungary and Spain), nevertheless it was a largely rural economy. And here it is possible to^find a trace of straight Marxism in Bauman: Marx condemned the idiocy of rural life and, without going that far, 'Bauman associates the rural economy of Poland with a "traditional mentality ... solidly entrenched in and nourished by the system of social relations almost unmodified for many generations and continuously re-created, since inheritance almost exclusively determined social status" (p. 205). It was this world that rapid industrialization melted. Whereas orthodox theorizing would have contended that industrialization and

49

capitalism necessarily follow on from pre-industrial production and feudalism, Bauman arges that "there was nothing about pre-industrial society which made ils develcpment into an industrial one inevitable". According to Bauman industrialization was the result of a contingent "convergence of many factors" and "it occurred once in history and in one relatively small part of the globe" (p. 204). This is a theme that returns in Bauman's later development of a theory of modemity, when he links it specifically to Western Europe. What all of this means is that Poland was industrialised only as a result of 'organized and planned action' (p. 205). The agent of that organised and planned action was, of course, the Communist Party, although Bauman never mentions it by ame. Instead he talks about "adherents of central economic planning based on centralization of ownership ofbasic means of production" (p. 207). From this observation Bauman goes on to consider the implications of this planned action . for the social structure in Poland. But it would seem that one of his main concerns was to try to work out why the urbanised and industrialised peasantry were relatively disinterested in the arguments about freedom and liberty that were attracting dissident intellectuals. Bauman's explanation is fairly straightforward: however terrible life might have been in the new towns, still it was much better for the peasants become proletarians than it had been on the land: "The majority of former peasants and artisans in Poland perceived the change in their social status as a real advancement; they exchanged a shabby and shaky living in an apparently independent, but in fact severely exploited 'enterprise'... for a stable and safe existence in civilized and attractive urban conditions". Bauman went on: "At least by the young people leaving the land of their forefathers and becoming factory workers, this was undoubtedly considered as upward mobility" (p. 208). Or, put another way, the newly industrialised workers would have responded to calis that they become the agents of social salvation with absolute incredulity; they had already been saved and could remember the conditions from which they had been delivered. Indeed, Bauman implied that there was no common cause between intellectuals and industrial workers. He spoke about the continuation of the "tradition of relative separation of the socially differentiated milieu" (p. 209). The workers do not aspire towards social mobility because they had already experienced it, while the children of the od political lites could only achieve mobility through engagement with the managerial and technical demands of the newly industrialised Poland. They were no longer needed as propagandists for industrialization and social change because that train had by now been set in motion. All that remained was recognition that now "administrative and managerial issues took precedence. over the tasks of propaganda" (p. 216). Conse50

quently, their social talk of freedom and 1

(1965): "Social i ish Sociological


"This paper is an att favour or hamper de-* innovational (creativ very curious short pk Stanislaw Ossowski < social structure. But per is that it is writte There is little sense ti cultural issues, rathei a theoretical basis fe Hochfeld). To this ex going on and, indeed leaps into life. BaumE is possible to divide a ther homogeneous or situation in which hu straightforward mech here) and in which th neous societies that ii that "this society is c privileges and depriv which these classes ; classes". Or these hel case there are many s< tively autonomous an erarchy" (p. 55). In h< personality structures new members into ce damentally conservat multi-dimensional he exists... to co-ordinai pendencies of the ind

-:o;iion and feudalism. zc^rrial society whk'h .- A-cording to Baunian nr-ce of many factors" r-l part of the globo --zr'.elopmentoatheo--: Europe. NVhat al! of rrilt of 'organi/ed and . ^.iplanned action * as. r.-rmentions it by nar.ic. .; --nning based on cn-" -. 207). Froni this obrj- :f this planned .u^r.on -^ ene of his mam .vn; ircustrialised pe>sr-^">' : -eedom and Ubeo nat -.j-inon is fairly scsiduzz sew towns. sll u a> c n had been on the ~;ind: i23C perceived the crage enchanged a shat> jai ir. everely exploiee -enc sj aitractive urbs .xnreccie leaving the am o: i - & undoubtedly COE - **&. the nevK j aiready been savec a: baen deliverei Bo ; berreen intelfecnae E o the "tradiwn ar i

quently, their social character would also be one that would look askance at talk of freedom and liberty.

(1965): "Social Structure and Innovational Personality". The Polish Sociological Bulletin, 1:54-59.
"This paper is an attempt in formulating the socio-cultural conditions which favour or hamper development of the two opposite models of personality: (A) innovational (creative), (B) traditional (conservativa)" (p. 54). So begins this very curious short piece. At one level this article demnstrales the influence of Stanislaw Ossowski on Bauman, in that it is an attempt to relate personality to social structure. But what is much more immediately noticeable about the paper is that it is written in a very dry, seemingly abstractly theoretical manner. There is little sense that this piece has any connection with pressing social and cultural issues, rather it seems to be about nothing more than the provisin of a theoretical basis for subsequent empirical work (in the manner of Julin Hochfeld). To his extent it is impossible not to suspect that something else is going on and, indeed, as soon as this paper i s read between the lines it rather leaps into life. Bauman ties personality to social structure by contending that it is possible to divide all known societies into one of two categories; they are either homogeneous or heterogeneous. Homogeneous societies are typifed by a situation in which human needs are satisfied at the level of individual action or straightforward mechanical co-operation (there are traces of Emile Durkheim here) and in which there is a single system of vales. But it is really heterogeneous societies that interest Bauman. They can be mono-cultural to the extent that "this society is divided into classes differing, in their rights and duties, privileges and deprivations, but there exists one single pattern according to which these classes are differentiated and individuis ascribed to particular classes". Or these heterogeneous societies can be multi-dimensional: "In this case there are many seprate and inter-crossing systems of differentiation relatively autonomous and not co-ordinated by any conscious pattern of valu hierarchy" (p. 55). In homogeneous and mono-cultural heterogeneous societies, personality structres are similar in that they are both concerned to socialise new members into clear valu systems. Here then, personality structure is fundamentally conservative. The situation is completely different in the case of multi-dimensional heterogeneous -societies. Here "no unique cultural pattern exists ... to co-ordinate and bestow meaning on the totality of multivarious dependencies of the individual's needs satisfying process and on the diversifed

i otd

achie^ B

-ndstrative casmda" (p. ---

51

determinants of the individual behaviour" (p. 56). In this siuation then, the individual exists in a multiplicity of social roles, each of which has its own valu system that mighl be coherent in itself but is not necessarily compatible with the vales of any other role. As such, the individual is confrontad with confusin over vales and is required to make active choices: "In these conditions human acts cease to be parts of any single and all-embracing cultural system ... Thus the human behaviour is atomized into seprate situations instead of being systematic. Pattern of choice is substituted for pattern of behaviour in the role of the behavioural guide" (p. 55). The implications of this situation are illustrated when Bauman writes that "each particular act of behaviour has different meanings in various co-existing and reciprocally relativizing ... cultural systems. Each act is morally, emotionally and catexically ambiguous" (p. 56). The individual is forced to make choices but without ever being able to turn to a court of appeal that will say that some choices were good and others bad: "Thus the human behaviour in a multi-dimensional society ... becomes a sequence of choices. Each situation bears now a cluster of alternative solutions. Predominance of some solutions over others is now being obtained ... by diffuse aggregate or expected rewards and punishments administered by any autonomous social forces" (p. 57). One of the fascinating possibilities latent within that quotation is that it anticipates in a quite remarkable way Bauman's discussion of liquid modernity). To be an actor in a multi-dimensional hetcrogeneous society then is necessarily to be possessed of an innovative personality. And what that personality in no small part innvales is precisely itself. Bauman said that the only restraints that confront the innovational personality are those that "are superimposed by the external action of the higher levis of the social organization - but they are not built into the individual motivational structure. Thus the human behaviour's inevitable attribute is constant tensin between inner culturally determined drives and external structurally determined brakes" (p. 58). Now what makes all of this come to life is the context in which it was written. As Bauman's early work had shown there was an emerging social structure in Poland that was creating a climate in which personality structures were becoming remarkably conservative. And yet Bauman's work was also quite clcar that Poland was a multi-dimensional hterogeneous society (or at least, Poland fitted that category very closely). In the paper on economic growth and lite formation (discussed above), Bauman had commented that thanks to rapid industrialization Polish society was without universal vales: "Manifold valu standards intertwine here in highly unexpected ways" (p. 211). Consequently, contemporary Poland expressed a contradiction; its social structure ought to genrate innovational personality types
52

and yet it was typjfj paper on social stru drum. The contradic tion' (that is to say, t vation. In short, the sponsible makers of which men and worr tions and structural r being what they COL fold. First, and impli sclerosis in Polish so experience that its el not responsible for pointed to a paralysif granted that the great sive and unhampered ety" (p. 59).

(1966): "Two N Bulletin, 2:58-74

This is another odd p some assumptions ab The bulk of the pape ceptualization of ma these particular ques simply parachuted in in the last couple of p rations ('comments' tuals as an avant-gard style of this paper is tion. In the frst of th tween mass culture a ment he attributes to mass Communication tion of where the 'm this matter by linkin ing the debate abou

is siuiation thon. the inof which has its own necessarily compatible jual is contivnted \vith hoics: "In these condiembracing cultural syslarate siuiations instead pattem ot" behaviour in ionsot this situacin are ,ct o behaviour has difv relativizing .. - culturxically ambipous" tp. hout ever heing able to ?s \vere good and others alsociety ...becomesa ster of altemaive soluno\ beine c-bcuned ... iments admirasered by cinarg possipilies late renurkaWe vuy Bau: in 2 muln-vfeineiswoal ;ed o: an iniwnve pernnovates is prsasely itnt tis innovsooal permal secn o: ns big^r .t inte tbe in^^^2- n>o?\-ira>i5 artrireie is cccive< all o:

and yet it was typified by the exact opposite, conservative personalities. This paper on social structure and personality provides the answer to that conundrum. The contradiction is the result of the 'higher levis of social organization' (that is to say, the state apparatus) putting a brake on the chances of innovation. In short, the state was preventing men and women from being the responsible makers of their own choices, and it was also creating a situation in which men and women were forced to live in a tensin between their motivations and structural restraints. The state was preventing men and women from being what they could be. The consequences of mis tensin would be twofold. First, and implicit to the argument of this paper, there would be a moral sclerosis in Polish society because innovative personality would learn through experience that its choices were not freo and, therefore, that in the end one is not responsible for one's own choices. Second, and explicitly, Bauman pointed to a paralysis of social innovation in Poland since "it can be taken for granted that the greater the number of innovative personalities, the more intensive and unhampered is the dynamics and developmental potential of the society" (p. 59).

(1966): "Two Notes on Mass Culture". The Polish Sodological Bulletin, 2:58-14.
This is another odd paper, which is either sliced out of a larger work or making some assumptions about the meanings that will be brought to it by readers. The bulk of the paper is made up of two unlinked discussions about the conceptualization of mass culture. The reasons why Bauman concntrales on these particular questions about mass culture are not explained; the reader is simply parachuted into a discussion and finds it already in progress. But then, in the last couple of pages, Bauman brings them together to make some declarations ('comments' is too weak a word) about the cultural role of the intellectuals as an avant-garde. It ought also to be added that the prose (or translation) style of this paper is not terribly helpful from the point of view of communication. In the first of the two notes Bauman pays attention to the relationship between mass culture and social infrastructure. He begins by mocking the argument he attributes to American sociologists that mass culture is the result of mass Communications. Bauman's point is that this thesis rather begs the question of where the 'mass' comes from in the first place, and he seeks to resolve this matter by linking the 'mass' to the social infrastructure. Bauman is shifting the debate about culture away from technologies of communication and
53

making it entirely sociological. As Bauman put the matter: "For culture to become 'mass', it is not enough to set up a televisin station. Sometning must irst happen to social structure. Mass culture is in a way a superstructura resting upon what we shall tentatively cali "mass social structure'" (p. 59). A page or so later this comment is hardened up a little, "for a culture to acquire a 'mass' character ... the social conditions of the members of the society - and, consequently, also the criteria determining the functional utility of elements of culture - must become standardized" (p. 60). He identifies three tendencies towards mass standardization. First there is dependence on the market and especially the industrialised market which 'standardizes things' (p. 62), which directs the same commodities to all, and thus flattens taste hierarchies: "From the very outset of the industrial revolution the development of industry has consisted - from the point of view of the market - in a serialization and universalization of the production of commodities which had previously, on account of their rarity, been accessible only to the privileged. and which for this reason had enjoyed a special prestige and had been particularly coveted" (p. 62). He speculates that this process explains the allure of the 'rare' and 'unique' in contemporary markets; they are ways of re-establishing hierarchies (it might be added that the 'new' and 'fashionable' also achieve that end; there are traces of Werner Sombart and Georg Simmel here, and perhaps even of Thorstein Veblen). The second tendency towards mass standardization comes from dependence on organization. Here, Bauman's point is that in contemporary social life, individuis must secure a place in an organizational structure if they are going to be able to have any confidence in their ability to satisfy needs. There is a universalization of experience: "To satisfy his needs, to acquire goods indispensable for it, man must win a position in an organization. This becomes for everybody, whatever his or her profession, the supreme instrumental valu. Organizations differ one from another, and so do the positions in the organizations, but the need for some position in some organization is common to everyone" (p. 63). What this means is that there are no exceptions from the rule; all is massifed, all the same. Third, mass culture is a superstructura! consequence of dependence on technology. Here, the hint is that technology takes innovative and creative potential away from men and women by making them helpless: "Technical equipment makes all our actions considerably easier, but at the same time renders us helpless when faced by the adversities of fate, however trivial" (p. 64). In this first note on culture, Bauman concludes that "man becomes dependent on the market, on organization and on technology because he cannot by-pass them on the road from the expenditure of his creative energy to the acquisition of the goods indispensable for its 54

regeneration. Thus, it the fundamental reas< the life situations of f are still diverse" (p. 6 meaning of the distir quently, this is a note different approaches t of one cultural activit; reflect immanent qua about superiority ha\e

but in its infrastructur and anticipates Fierre Bach is invariably idc that some forms of m states that "any stater purely sociological: ti dealing with fish occi of people who listen t that was where this p but in the last couple way in to this particul it might actually requi does for them to listel hand for the productio that he can democratis rior/inferior dichotom; tus and membership t necessary to learn to pop music. From this anee of the divisin of of the divisin of cult concludes with the prc away, then all men anc iment' that is free cult ply the culture of an is of the entire society"

UT: "For culture to be.uion. Something must \ superstructura rest!ctmv"'(p. 59).Apage a culture to acquire a rs of the society - and, . utility of elements of es three tendencies to-n the market and espenes/ ip. 62). which diste merarchies: "From prr-en; of industry has .;. sruization and unihac previously, on accec. and which for this unailaily coveted" (p. ure o the 'rare' and :sn-Mi>hing hierarchies acueve that end; there .'. aac perhaps even of <cXt>rdization comes ni i> ti.it in contemponal structure if I? ibiliry to satisfy j- ais needs, to acorganization. the supreme iner. .EX so do the posic ir eme organization ra: aere are no excep^ casi culture is a suv. Her, the hint is that rrrc men and women I CKT acons considus ced by the ade ce oture. Bauman ?_ x .Tganization and -_TL: rym ihe expendi> ripensable for its

regeneration. Thus, it is in the growing similarity of these roads that 1 perceive the fundamental reason for the increasing preponderance of these features in the life situations of people which are common and general over those which are still diverse" (p. 65). The second of the two notes on culture focuses on the meaning of the distinction between the 'superior' and the 'inferior'. Consequently, this is a note about cultural valu. After running through a range of different approaches to the problem, Bauman concludes that the identification of one cultural activity or product as 'superior' in relation to any otherdoes not reect immanent qualities of that former activity or product: "If statements about superiority have any objective sense, this must be sought not in the structure of the cultural commodities being classified, and not even in culture, but in its infrastructure" (p. 70). In a comment that recalls Friedrich Nietzsche and anticipates Fierre Bourdieu's sociology of taste, Bauman mentions that Bach is invariably identified as of higher cultural valu than pop music, and that some forms of manners are identified as more refined than others, and he states that "any statement about superiority ... can only have a sense that is purely sociological: that people who listen to Bach and use two forks when dealing with fish occupy in the structure of society a position superior to that of people who listen to Johnny Hallyday and eat fish with a knife" (p. 70). If that was where this paper ended it could be filed away and largely forgotten, but in the last couple of pages Bauman starts to talk about intellectuals. His way in to this particular problem is through the comment that for intellectuals it might actually require far greater effort for them to enjoy pop music than it does for them to listen to Bach. Here, Bauman is using pop music as a shor hand for the productions of mass culture. Bauman seems to make this point so that he can democratise the meanings of culture and mus free it from the superior/inferior dichotomy. He arges that since the intelligentsia achieves its status and membership through education, through learning, and that since it is necessary to learn to appreciate Bach, so the intelligentsia can learn to enjoy pop music. From this follow "two intertwined consequences: the disappearance of the divisin of people into superior and inferior, and the disappearance of the divisin of cultural vales into superior and inferior" (p. 71). Bauman concludes with the proposition that as soon as these classifcations are cleared away, then all men and women might be able to engage in the 'creative experiment' that is free cultural creation: "An lite or avant-garde culture is not simply the culture of an isolated group: it is the raw material for the future culture of the entire society" (p. 74).

55

(1966): "Moglichkeithen und metodologische Klippen soziologischer Forschungen". Deutsche Zeitschrift fr Philosophie, 14 (1): 32-44.
Originally published in Polish, this is one of the few pieces appearing by Bauman in Germn translation in these years. The following quotations are therefore translated from Germn into English. The rdele generally presents an analysis of the interrelationship between sociological methodology and Socialist practice and how Socialism, after many unfruitful years of discussions about the actual relevance of sociology, can benefit from a revitalised sociology and awareness of certain methodological obstacles to understanding. As Bauman initially states that "the real need of the Socialist project against necessity or deprivation demands this [sociological] research. An empirical sociology for the people, creating its own existence under the guidance of the Party and State, is acutely necessary not only as a source dealing with information about the current social situation and its developmental tendencies but also as a collection of practical illustrations for the rational management of the societal process" (p. 32). Thus, it is here clear that Bauman sees sociology as an important contribution in order 'for the people' to understand its own existence but also as a tool in the hands of the powerful in order to understand, control and predict social Ufe. We here already see the contours of the distinction between 'sociology as rationalisation' and 'sociology as manipulation, which Bauman ten years later developed in more detail in Towards a Critical Sociology. Moreover, we see a potential hint at a schism between the people and the powerful guiding the former. Bauman goes on to show how sociology practiced on a Marxist foundation can contribute to independent research on social life and need not limit itself to rely on the materials gathered by other social sciences such as economy, history or law studies. He moreover illustrates how sociology, in its ambition to be able to support the rational control of people, and to understand and even predict their behaviour, must especially be able to understand the intricate connections between a multitude of different factors: "Every science nvestigates the connections and the interplay between certain variables ... One needs to know the determinante of the human behaviour, the interconnections between the consequences of the situation and the inner motives of personality, in order to determine the elementary effects of the 'historical condition' in order to obtain the desired and planned creation of history" (p. 33). Therefore, he goes on to claim that "a link of great importance exists between 'historical conditions' and 'social processes', namely human ingenuity ... When one analyses the demands for sociological research based on its 56

subject-matter, ihen of this 'no-man's lai or 'no-man's land" < tive, historical or s 'public issues' in C lieves to be the spec pecially when socit planning of human strange considering decades to dwell on ology. However, in certain methodologi based on his own p cialist Poland that I marksistowskiej teo, ety)from 1964. Prin bated: (l)methods c ity of one's sample. no universal methoc conundrum of the h utilisation of under about the scientifc Bauman commence: view techniques an through this extract whole. Bauman hert survey or interview pie questions relatin the problem of the c the conditions to wh - the relationship b knowledge and beha dom materialises as be eliminated, the la such aspects as the tude' of the responde being in the world.' ence' - that the resea responden! are equi

Klippen soziologisPhilosophie, 14 (1): ees appearing by Bau; quotations are theregenerally presents an inethodology and Soil years of discussions i a revitalised socioloto understanding. As ist project against nech. An empirical socie guidance of the Parding with Information tendencies but also as agement of the socieis sociology as an imind its own existence 0 understand, control of the distinction bemanipulation, which <rds a Critical Sociolen the people and the how sociology pracsnt research on social hered by other social eover illustrates how lal control of people, especially be able to of different factors: play between certain luman behaviour, the on and the inner moeffects of the 'histor1 creation of history" ^at importance exists mely human ingenuesearch based on its

subject-matter, then these demands are exactly concerned with investigations of this 'no-man's land'" (p. 33). It is this specific link, the intermediar}' sphere or 'no-man's land' stretching between the individual situation and the collective, historical or structural conditions, or between 'personal troubles' and 'public issues' in C. Wright Mills's famous terminology, which Bauman believes to be the specific locus of sociological investigation and attention - especially when society, like in the Socialist regimes, insists on the rational planning of human cohabitation. The airn of the article thus seems relatively strange considering Bauman's continuous rejection throughout the last three decades to dwell on and deal with questions of research methods and methodology. However, in this early piece Bauman's errand is to refer and discuss certain methodological reflections on the practically applied research methods based on his own personal experiences and those of other colleagues in Socialist Poland that Bauman had elaborated in more detail in the book Zarys marksistowskiej teorii spoleczenstwa (Outline of the Marxist Theory of Society) from 1964. Primarily two central topics related to research designs are debated: (1) methods of questioning, and (2) how to determine the representativity of one's sample. Initially Bauman importantly emphasises "that there are no universal methods" and that "the accuracy with which they reproduce the conundrum of the human condition is the only determining criterion for the utilisation of understanding" (p. 34). After expressing severe reservations about the scientific valu and accuracy of observation studies (pp. 34-35), Bauman commences with a relatively simple delineation of survey and interview techniques and how to ask people about their social conditions and through this extract knowledge extraplate about the nature of society as a whole. Bauman hre lists two classical and central problems relating to such survey or interview methods relying on extracting information by asking people questions relating to their experiences of their own prvate existence: (1) the problem of the competence of the respondent vis--vis the knowledge of the conditions to which the questions relate, and (2) the problem of exactitude - the relationship between the adequacy of the answers given and the actual knowledge and behaviour of the respondent. Whereas the former problem seldom materialises as an actual problem in the research process and easily can be eliminated, the latter is much more consequential and frequent. It relates to such aspects as the 'personality structure', 'motivational structure' or 'attitude' of the respondent - in other words to the psychic dimensin of his or her being in the world. The problem here concerns the classical notion of 'inference' - that the researcher may be lead to believe that the answers given by the respondent are equivalen! to how the person in question would actually re57

spond in a concrete situation. And this is, as Bauman indcales, the problem of predicting human behaviour in 'natural' or 'actual' circumstances from the answers included in quesfionnaires or interview situations. By doing so. the researcher commits a fallacy by suggesting an identity between 'research laboratory' and 'real life'. From this fallacy result the aforementioned two major problems: (1) that of exactitude; the fac that the respondent is a person who occupies several different and diverging roles in social and cultural life means that any one-dimensional and unilinear inference from answer to action cannot be expected also because of the intermediary and mediating role played by the relationship between researcher and respondent, the milieu of the conducted interview and the topic of the interview; and (2) the problem of competence, that is concerned with the problem relating to the fact that people may be asked to answer questions relating to hypothetical or actual situations in which they are actually either moved by internal motivations of which they are unconscious and unaware or by externa! forces and pressures, such as coercin or threats, of which they have no controlling ability. In either case the response given should not be interpreted as a direct indicator of what the interviewed individual would actually do if he or she were out there in real life situations. Thus, there is no one-way connection between professed attitude and actual action allowing for exact prediction of human behaviour based on interviews or surveys. Furthermore, Bauman discusses the element of normatve pressure contained e ven in the simplest of survey questions such as: 'How often do you go to the theatre?'. Even here answers cannot be taken as exact representation of the actual frequency of the visits to the theatre because the respondent may feel the desire or urge to state higher frequency than is actually the case because of the normative pressures implicitly involved, especially if the person belongs to a group bf people, e.g. the intellectuals, for whom frequent visits to the theatre are regarded as a norm or are expected. From Bauman's exposition these two problems pose serious challenges for anyone trying to understand social life through survey or interview techniques. Subsequently, Bauman concntrales on his critique relating to the representatvity of research findings in the phase of data processing and interpretation. Here he critically examines Ihe 'pluralist-behaviourist' tendency to reduce the social whole or totality to the sum of the individual parts and mus goes on to criticise quite a lot of the ongoing research into voting behaviour especially in the U.S.A. but presumably also in the Socialist countries. He emphatically states that "a 'totality' does not just amount to a mass of individuis but is also a special syslem constituted by their inner connections and dependencies ... Individual behaviour is nol only dependen! on personal peculiarities but also on the external conditions through 58

which these individuis ture of society of the pe the operation of a socief pending development quency of individual pee connections between the whole" (p. 40). He goes shock other scientists anc if presented with the ide dom sample of its cells gestions that the analysis could commence from d selection of its seprate voice' that permeates thi. analysis neglects social : future occurrences. This enees because it boils do soup of aggregated attiti whether the merciless cri cal research technique in sion in later years to con Bauman concludes the pi cal social research: "My seem banal for the experi in place ... The only inte some of the difficulties a ods without paying any a still in anonymous thirdemphasise that "the read because of his criticism ai ods of any valu whatso would be more misleadin out deficiencis and ever for the researcher ... A ra ments but when it comes powerful tool just as the than an axe for shaving" investgate the human co mination, simple yet freq

icates, the problem of nstances froin the an. By doing so, the retween 'research labomentioned two major ident is a person who nd cultural life means iswer to action cannot ing role played by the lieu of the conducted >blem of competence, t that people may be lal situations in which of which they are un:s, such as coercin or her case the response mt the interviewed inin real life situations. id attitude and actual r based on interviews of normative pressure is: 'How often do you s exact representation e the respondent may actually the case bepecially if the person hom frequent visits to Bauman's exposition trying to understand quently, Bauman con>f research findings in ritically examines the hole or totality to the uite a lot of the ongoS.A. but presumably t "a 'totality' does not system constituted by behaviour is not only :al conditions through

which these individuis are connected with others and especially on the structure of society of the persons concerned. This means that the investigation of the operation of a society - and even more the possibility of predicting its impending development - not only demands a description of the statistical frequency of individual peculiarities but moreover also requires an analysis of the connections between these individuis such as an analysis of the structure as a whole" (p. 40). He goes on to suggest that the neglect of such a fallacy would shock other scientists and that "the biologist would respond with astonishment if presented with the idea that an organism could be described through a random sample of its cells just as the engineer would be ver}' surprised by suggestions that the analysis of the entire mechanical structure of a machine tool could commence from dissembling the machine and haphazardly analysing a selection of its seprate units" (p. 41). The entire notion of 'one man, one voice' that permeates this type of sociological snapshots entailed in statistical analysis neglects social structure and its impact on individual behaviour and future occurrences. This understanding is also ignorant of individual differences because it bous down everybody's expressed altitudes to an anonymous soup of aggregated altitudes. After reading the piece, one is left to wonder whether the merciless critique aimed against almost any type of methodological research technique in this piece is the reason behind Bauman's own aversin in later years to conduct empirical social research altogether? However, Bauman concludes the piece by stating that he is not at all opposed to empirical social research: "My intention was rather to state a few warnings that may seem banal for the experienced Marxist research but nevertheless appear to be in place ... The only intention of the author in this article has been to present some of the difficulties and problems relating to the analysed research methods without paying any attention to their beneficial aspects" (p. 43). Bauman, still in anonymous third-person usage, in euphemistical manner contines to emphasise that "the reader might have gotten the impression that the author because of his criticism and scrutiny of these methods deprives the same methods of any valu whatsoever and therefore throws them overboard. Nothing would be more misleading man such a conclusin. There are no methods without deficiencies and every method causes certain methodological difficulties for the researcher ... A razorblade as well as an axe are equally precise instruments but when it comes to deforestation the axe is much better. The axe is a powerful tool just as the razorblade but it is much better to use a razorblade than an axe for shaving" (p. 43). Bauman-'s main point is that when trying to investgate the human condition in all its complexity, contingency and determination, simple yet frequently applied research methods focusing on the in59

dividual while neglecting social structure are relatively deficient but also that it is indeed important to investgate and analyse the social problems in order to understand the Socialist development.

(1966): "Three Remarks on Contemporary Educational Problems". The Polish Sociological Bulletin, 1:76-89. Also published as: (1967): "Some Problems of Conemporary Education". International Social Science Journal, 19 (3):325-337.
Of the two English-language versions of this paper, the 1967 translation is by far the most accessible; the prose style is much ighter and the typography much better than the one in The Polish Sociological Bulletin. Therefore, ail quotations from this paper are from the 1967 versin. This paper is somewhat deceptive, because the title implies an almost policy focus as well as a turn on Bauman's work towards processes of education. Yet at the very beginning of the paper Bauman makes it clear that neither implication holds good: "Toe author of the remarks which follow is neither an educationalist by training or a sociologist whose work lies in the field of educational sociology" (p. 325). Instead, Bauman states, he carne to write this paper because questions about education emerged in the course of his investigation of contemporary Poland. In other words, this paper might not be a contribution to educational sociology, but it is a contribution to sociology of education, and therefore it raises broad social and cultural questions as opposed to specific issues about educational straegy, process or policy. Bauman says that what became clear to him in his study of Poland were three 'reas in which it is possible to identify a link between education and pressing social problems. The first problem that Bauman identifies is that of the 'missing social function of youth'. He tends to confate youth with adolescence and defines adolescence as the stage in the life cycle when the biological maturity of the human body has outstripped the social and cultural roles that are considered appropriate to a given age group. Bauman explains that because of environmental and dietary improvements, the period of adolescence is lengthening in industrial societies: "In modern industrial societies the period of adolescence has become greatly prolonged and the speed with which this change has taken place, compared with the low rate of structural change and cultural adaptation typical of past centuries, has been so rapid, if measured by cultural-historical yardsticks, that our civilization, caught by surprise, has been unable to keep up with it and to provide cultural institutions, functionally relevant to the new social problem" (p. 326). There might 60

well be a hidden critic man is identifyirig a g are too rooted in tra< women, but what is de an increasingly Ipng 5 solutely no social or ci but nevertheless nece: lems of its own: "Part by an emphasis on 'rij in production is associ then is a time of righi youth become socialisi unprepared o accept ti the dominant social s< young people enter intt "society grants progres pendent on their parer pushing further and ft make young people re parents fully responsib why young people con youth in a condition o they are prevented frorj Bauman identifies the Here, his argument is t ucation stresses the im such as moral codes, d larly important to note determinants are becor behaviour. The role o background by the inc them" (p. 330). Bauma temporary Poland, be "mould a new type of r destny than those type less "socialist societies civilization, and bear a in socialist societies, to coming more importar

/ defcient but also that ial problems in order to

Educational Prob-

.9. Also published as: ducation". Interna 1967 translation is by er and the typography Sulletin. Therefore, all Tiis paper is somewhat ;us as well as a turn on the very beginning of n holds good: "The aunalist by training or a ociology" (p. 325). Inise questions about edntemporary Poland. In educational sociology, lerefore it raises broad ;ues about educational ime clear to him in his i to identify a link beproblem that Bauman '. He tends to confate stage in the life cycle stripped the social and ge group. Bauman exv'ements, the period of lodern industrial socilonged and the speed the low rate of strucaries, has been so rapar civilization, caught ovide cultural institu(p. 326). There might

well be a hidden critique of actually existing socialism here, in so far as Bauman is identifying a general trend in which social and cultural arrangements are too rooted in tradition to be able to keep up with changing men and women, but what is definitely the case is that he is arguing that adolescence is an increasingly long stage of the life cycle in which young people have absolutely no social or cultural role; they are too young to engage in production, but nevertheless necessarily engage in consumption. And that crales problems of its own: "Participation in the redistribution of goods is accompanied by an emphasis on 'rights' in the defnition of social role, while participation in production is associated with an emphasis on 'duty'" (p. 327). Adolescence then is a time of rights without dudes, and its increasing length means that youth become socialised into mis situation to such an extent that they are quite unprepared to accept the constraints and restraints of duty. Bauman arges that the dominant social solution to this dilemma is to defer the moment when young people enter into the sphere of duties, but that in turn merely means that "society grants progressively to older age groups the right to be completely dependent on their parents for financial support, and services, and that we are pushing further and further up the age scale the moment when we begin to make young people responsible for their own deeds, and cease to hold their parents fully responsible for them" (pp. 328-329). For Bauman this explains why young people confront the duties of adult life as a problem; society keeps youth in a condition of socially and culturally arrested development in which they are prevented from assuming responsibility for their own actions. Second, Bauman identifes the problem of 'extra-cultural determinants of behaviour'. Here, his argument is that a problem emerges in industrial society because education stresses the irnportance of cultural determinants on life (determinants such as moral codes, discipline, qualifications and so forth), but "it is particularly important to note that in modern technical civilizations ... the structural determinants are becoming more and more influential upon individual human behaviour. The role of internalized behavioural patterns is pushed into the background by the increased pressure of external necessities in conflict with them" (p. 330). Bauman is quite explicit that this problem can be found in contemporary Poland, because while actually existing socialism is trying to "mould a new type of man who will be more noble, more worthy of the human destiny than those types of personality produced by other systems", nevertheless "socialist societies, like all other modem societies, are based on technical civilization, and bear all the attributes peculiar to such civilizations. Therefore in socialist societies, too, it may be said that the structural determinants are becoming more important in moulding human behaviour" (p. 331). Or put an61

other way, the aggression, apathy and escapism that is produced in young people by the conflict between the vales of education and capitalism are going to be duplicated in the conditions of actually existing socialism because of the conilict between the education of the 'new man' and socialist production. The world made no sense according to the truths that had been propagated by education. According to Bauman this conflict explains the sociolgica! discovery that Polish youth leave school highly optimistic and committed, but quickly become indifferent and apalhetic as soon as they confront the exigencies of 'the non-school environment': "The ideis of young people who had already left school and were employed ... were ... minimalistic, egocentric, defensive; the impression one had was that these ... young people were anxious above all to carve out for themselves from an uncertain, incomprehensible and, most important, uncontrolled world outside, a small prvate world, consisting of matters and things which were certain and which they themselves could control" (p. 331) The construction of the 'new man' of socialist commitment had led only to the dream of a thoroughly privatised and individual!sed life. For Bauman this meant that education must stop promoting ideis in abstraction from the wider world of 'technical civilization' and, instead, it ought to be extended to soften the blow of the gap between school and work: "In Poland, which is a planning country, not only must the educator be a planner, but the planner must also be an educator" (p. 334). The third problem with education was that of 'emotional security'. With this tem Bauman retums to the theme of the multi-dimensional heterogeneous society. He arges that such societies are characterised by 'the growing specialization and environmental isolation of occupations' to such an extent that individuis "rapidly conclude that there is no such thing as a general principie which would enable them to predict with any precisin the behaviour of all the people with whom they come into contact in one situation or another". Bauman suggests that it is possible to observe different people behaving in different ways in the same situations, and that individuis are forced to concede that they are like this too. As such, it is impossible to look at vales, self or others and to "combine them into a coherent system free of inner contradictions. This leads most frequently to a relativistic approach to known rules and pattems, and to the conviction that no norms or patterns are absolute" (p. 334). Driving the point home Bauman says: "Man today is faced not only with a diversity of situations that are independent of each other and not associated in one common system, but also with a diversity of views as to what kind of behaviour is proper in each situation. This intensifes still more his feeling of relativity, the inconclusiveness of all precepts and prohibitions" (p. 335). The result is a condition of deep emotional insecurity precise62

]y because there is notl measure of confidence anxiety. Bauman meni appeal of religin (p. 3; more often leads the ir hilistic altitudes to all n. but also the valu of an) right, or noble actions f is possible to identify ii cialism. Bauman links 5 plies that these are preci ate 'new men' who will the paradox was one w men and women. He ad plicity and diversity, an< iour". Bauman wanteda which "the young perso by chance influences, fe individual decisions anc providence or historical actions" (p. 337).

(1966): "The Limil 45-162. Also publi; Planning'", in Gro The Guidance of I Hu.

This paper started life as ative Administration Gi States, in July 1964. To t ' the extent to which it sh vided into East and We fact, contrary to the facts a product of that situati and to its conference in style central planning a Bauman, actually existi

roduced in young peo:apitalism are going to .ialism because of the -ialis production. The en propagated by edu-iociological discovery immitted, but quickly ront the er.igencies of ople who had already egocentric, defensive; ver anxious above all icnsible and, most im"ld, consisting of rnat\selves could control" commitment had led lualised ufe. For Bautls in abstraction from ; ought to be extended 'In Poland, which is a nner, but the planner ith education was that s to the theme of the mt such societies are jnmental isolation of conclude that there is : them to predict with i they come into conis possible to observe ituations, and that in. As such, it is imposTI into a coherent sys:ly to a relativistic apthat no norms or patean says: "Man today ependent of each othh a diversity of views . This intensies still precepts and prohibial insecurity precise-

ly because there is nothing external in which it might be possible to vest any measure of confidence and certainty, and so individuis are bedevilled with anxiely. Bauman mentions in passing that this is the source of the continued appeal of religin (p. 335) although the discovery of the relativity of all ideis more often leads the individual to "disillusionment by adopting cynical, nihilistic attitudes to all rules and principies, by denying not only absolute truths, but also the valu of any criteria at all fordistinguishing right actions from less right, or noble actions from less noble" (p. 336). Reading between the lines, it is possible to identify in this paper a dialectical critique of the chances of socialism. Bauman links socialism to industrial technical societies and then implies that these are precisely the worst kinds of societies in which to try to crate 'new men' who will be noble and do the right thing. Bauman's answer to the paradox was one which reflects his deep-seated confidence and trust in men and women. He advocated an education system which promotes "multiplicity and diversity, and henee it must recognize relativity in codes of behaviour". Bauman wanted an education system which would lead to a situation in which "the young person must be prepared, by an enlightened teacher, and not by chance influences, for the fact that his life will consist of a whole series of individual decisions and choices, and that no one and nothing, either divine providence or historical necessity, can relieve him of the responsibility for his actions" (p. 337).

(1966): "The Limitations of 'Perfect Planning'". Co-existence, 5: 45-162. Also published as: (1967): "The Limitations of 'Perfect Planning'", in Gross, Bertram M. (ed.): Action Under Planning: The Guidance of Economic Development. New York: McGrawHill.
This paper started life as a paper to a conference that was held at the Comparative Administration Group's Research Seminar at Minnowbrook, United States, in July 1964. To this extent one of the interesting aspects of the paper is the extent to which it shows that the od Cold War myth that the world was divided into East and West without any cultural traffic between them was, in fact, contrary to the facts. There were links between scholars, and this paper is a product of that situation. Bauman's contribution to the work of the Group, and to its conference in the United States, was lo offer an analysis of Sovietstyle central planning as a distinctive mode of administration. According to Bauman, actually existing socialism practised the principie of 'perfect plan63

ning' and, in so doing, the system made a number of assumptions about the environment in which it was operating. Planning was 'perfect' a!l the time it was guided by a single agent tha operated according to one - and only one "factor determining the totality of social action" (p. 146). First, for planning to be perfect the system had to be self-sufficient in resources, and these resources had to be manageable according to the goal of the construction of socialism. An attempt to meet this need of perfect planning was the establishment in 1949 of Comecon (the Council for Mutual Economic Aid) as an agency which was intended to manage cross-national planning to enable the Soviet Union and its satellites to achieve economic self-sufficiency (one intended result of this strategy was a turning away from economic activity with the West and, unintentionally, an exacerbation of the attractiveness of Western commodities for Eastern consumers). Second, perfect planning demanded 'perfect information'. The managers of the plan needed to have complete information about the availability of resources and the extent to which they could be freely manipulated. Third, the plan required that "the planning agent be capable of making decisions which are not only realistic but also most effective in ternas of the overall systemic goals" (p. 147). Here then, the planners had to ignore personal interests and uphold only the 'interests of the system'; they had to be possessed of the executive power to choose between competing interests in relation to the needs of the system. Thus, these competing interests had to be made comparable: "The alternative among which selection is to be made must be reducible to a common denominator, commensurable, exhaustible by a simple and universal quantifying and quantifiable measure" (p. 147). This meant that perfect planning was incompatible with the forces at play in multi-dimensional, heterogeneous, Polish sbciety, a problem that was exacerbated by the fourth assumption of planning: social homogeneity, "in the sense that there are no events which are at the same time beneficial for one part of the system and harmful for another; in other terms, that the system does not consists of parts which have mutually competing interests" (p. 147). Finally, and perhaps precisely because of the extent to which it was out of kilter with the society that had been made by rapid industrialization (that is, with the society that planning made and needed), perfect planning required 'perfect hierarchic control'. Perfect planning required that the commands of the planners were translated in an immediate and undistorted way into the action of men and women and that "there ought to be no place for any autonomous sources of power of influence" (p. 147). Apart from being a discussion of the problems of perfect planning, this paper is also another dimensin of Bauman's analysis of the contradictions of contemporary Polish society. In particular, a theme that comes across 64

from this paper is one ti sions of Party structure theme of the decline of ues, and of its gradual s performativity. It seem< motivated by an attemp and poverty, whereas th tablish the world as a ra systemic demands. Wh trying to express a faith agers uphold nothing m

(1967): "Polish Yo
In this paper Bauman ta them to try to develop ; ment of the young. The similar question: Why the kinds of political ac cialism whilst, indeed, be blunt: why is youth < ological definition of yt lates this particular gro phase during which in< ready existing social w the life and behaviour adaptation of the indivi* this definition then, yoi ization is handed over, there is a tensin betwi behaviour' that young Bauman contends that situation that "the youtl conditions than the old der the impact of new ; eral orientations, image important points from' of the adult population'

assumptions about the perfect' all the time it ) one and only one ). First, for planning to es, and these resources struction of socialism. s the establishment in id) as an agency which able the Soviet Union one intended result of with the West and, unistern commodities for ded 'perfect informainformation about the mld be freely manipube capable of making ective in terms of the , had to ignore person:'; they had to be poseting interests in relaterests had to be made 0 be made must be rehaustible by a simple 147). This meant that y in multi-dimensioncerbated by the fourth :nse that there are no art of the system and 9 not consists of parts ally, and perhaps pre with the society that ; society that planning ;rarchic control'. Per, were translated in an and women and that f power of influence" 1 of perfect planning, /sis of the contradicme that comes across

from this paper is one that connects with issues that were raised in his discussions of Party structure, lite formation and innovationai pcrsonality. It is he theme of the decline of political activism on the basis of commitment to vales, and of its gradual subordination to technical and managerial questions of performativity. It seems that for Bauman the od political lites were at least motivated by an attempt to make a world ft for humans and free from injustice and poverty, whereas the technicians and managers are more concerned to establish the world as a rational system that oprales according purely to its own systemic demands. Whatever their failings, the od political lites were at least trying to express a faith in human activism, whereas the technicians and managers uphold nothing more than a thoroughly mechanistic 'image of man'.

(1967): "Polish Youth and Politics". Polish Round Table, 1:69-77.


In this paper Bauman takes up themes from his other pieces on youth and uses them to try to develop an understanding of the political horizons and engagement of the young. The paper seems to be looking in two ways, but asking a similar question: Why is youth taken as a social group refusing to engage in the kinds of political action stressed by the opposition to actually existing socialism whilst, indeed, also failing to engage actively with the system? Or to be blunt: why is youth disappointing everyone? The paper begins with a sociological definition of youth. Typically Bauman develops a definition which relates this particular group to the wider social structure. Youth is defined as "a phase during which individuis are being allocated into the mesh of the already existing social web", w'here "the cultural institutions which condition the life and behaviour of youth are aimed predominantly, if not entirely, at adaptation of the individuis for the sake of stabilizing the system" (p. 69). By this definition then, youth can be defined as a life cycle stage in which socializacin is handed over, from the family and to social institutions. However, there is a tensin between the 'already existing social web' and the 'life and behaviour' that young people bring to them. In a somewhat Simmelian vein, Bauman contends that this tensin is an inevitable consequence of the social situation that "the youth, however, are being brought up in somewhat different conditions than the older generations. Their personalities are being formed under the impact of new and unprecedented experiences. That is why their general orientations, images of success in life and role experences differ in many important points from what is generally accepted among the appropriate parts of the adult population" (p. 70). As such, to the extent that youth is a group in

65

a society that is changing (andgiven that Bauman's sociology always assumes social change). liien it is also a group that will, first, experience institutions and established reiationships as constraining and. second. always stand to be attacked by more established social groups because of their refusal simply to accept their allocation to the pre-existing 'social web'. In a society that is experiencing rapid social change, youth will always be radical in that, for social structural reasons, they will not be able readily and easily to accept the established world that surrounds them. The question that interests Bauman is v/hether or not that radicalism leads to political action. He arges that the answer to that question hinges upon three factors: first, whether there are channels of political action that are "sufficiently broad, dispersed and differentiated to be approachable to most of those who wish to"; second, the extent to which political activity is identified as providing "ampie opportunities of relatively rapid and far-reaching promotion in culturally important and prestige-bestowing hierarchies and/or in increasing access to the highly valued social goods'"; third, whether a given group of youth considers that it has been denied a social status or cultural goods to which it was entitled, and to which it believes that "modifying the socio-political system as wel] as the distribution of prestige and other important goods" is the only way of remedying this invidious situation (p. 72). Bauman proposes that these three conditions are met only very rarely, not least because youth as a group nvariably has more local concenis on its mind: "Let us remember that, in 'normal' times and conditions, youth, culturally forced to be preoccupied with intricate tasks of role-selection and role-adaptation, can pay only little if any attention to he problems not directly relevant to these tasks" (p. 72). Consequently, youth are eitherpolitically inactive or inclined to reduce political questions to the level of personal instrumentality, where instrumentality is defined by the extent to which an action will assist in securing a desired social role. In that latter way, the meaning of politics is both broadened and made shallow. Politics is reduced to personal troubles. According to Bauman, and here it is impossibie not to detect a hint of nostalgia given his own biography, there has only been one period n Polish history when youth engaged in political action for non-instrumental reasons: "This took place immediately after the war ... Threatened in the very basis of its existence by the Germn occupation, cut off from literally all life opportunities, frustrated in all its normative and comparative life expectancies, the Polish youth grown up during the war or immediately before it could achieve its life goals ... by no means but poh'tical struggle" (p. 73). But the problem was that he passions that were unleashed by the Communist dream of the active reconstitution of Poland were quickly (and necessarily) institutionalised
66

and thereby taken aw the far-reaching, bold ty succeeded. howevi and in supplying it w ternal tensions" (p. 74 other essays on the se there is a social struc stand over and agains logical reflection of th man was committed, a and political activism' talgia, and concluded I ical activism. Either it ed. With the structura nowadays Job and fam of view of politics, m sphere. The question t icalism is therefore to not previously suspect be that youth might no have stopped being rad

(1967): "In Mem Yearbook, 1:203-2

Julin Hochfeld died i to return to the Unive teacher. Bauman mak bodied, and which it i gy is "to make the hum cording to Bauman, H fore us all', between c ing principies of our o or passive acceptance choice is put in those to humanity and assoc man thought" (p. 204) World War he was in

ciology always assumes experience institutions >ind, always stand to be 1" their refusal simply to . In a society that is exadical in that, for social sily to accept the estab.it interests Bauman is . He arges that the anwhether there are chanersed and differentiated >nd, the extent to which Dortunities of relatively nt and prestige-bestow' valued social goods'"; las been denied a social o which it believes that distribution of prestige ng this invidious situaions are met only very as more local concerns and conditions, youth, s of role-selection and e problems not directly : either politically inacvel of personal instruent to which an action r way, the meaning of is reduced to personal e not to detect a hint of n one period in Polish i-instrumental reasons: led in the very basis of terally all life opportulife expectancies, the jefore it could achieve . 73). But the problem lunist dream of the acarily) institutionalised

and thereby taken away from youth: "Radicalism of the socialist government. the far-reaching, bold, even audacious political program of the communist party succeeded, however gradually, in channelling the radicalism of the youth and in supplying it with reliable patterns of behavioural expression for its internal tensions" (p. 74). Here, Bauman is returning to the theme ofsome of his other essays on the social structure of actually existing socialism in Poland: there is a social structuration of activism in which those structures come to stand over and against the chance of action in the future. This is also a sociological reflectin of the central point of the Marxist revisionism to which Bauman was committed, and which he helped develop in Poland. So what of youth and political activism? Bauman managed to steer away from the trap of nostalgia, and concluded that it is possible to identify two altitudes towards political activism. Either it is pursued for personal instiumental ends or it is avoided. With the structuration of Poland "most of the young Polish people are nowadays job and family-oriented" (p. 75). Or put another way, from the point of view of politics, most of them are now concerned only with the personal sphere. The question that is left dangling is whether this means that youth radicalism is therefore to be found elsewhere, in places and actions where it was not previously suspected. Bauman's implicit but hopeful conclusin seems to be that youth might not be political, but it does not therefore follow that they have stopped being radical.

(1967): "In Memory of Julin Hochfeld". Polish Round Table Yearbook, 1:203-204.
Julin Hochfeld died in 1966, shortly after leaving UNESCO in Pars in order to return to the University of Warsaw. This is Bauman's obituary for his od teacher. Bauman makes it clear that one of the qualities that Hochfeld embodied, and which it is possible to learn from him, is that the stake of sociology is "to make the human world more suitable for human beings" (p. 204). According to Bauman, Hochfeld put into clear sight the 'basic choice that lies before us all', between commitment, self-knowledge and clarity about the guiding principies of our own work so that the world might be made more human, or passive acceptance of the demands of management and power. Once the choice is put in those terms, the decisin is clear; we must choose commitment to humanity and associate ourselves with "the great-humanistic tradition of human thought" (p. 204). Hochfeld was born in August 1911. Before the Second World War he was involved in socialist organizations, and during the war he
67

tbught with the Second Corps of the Polish Army. He returned to Poland in 1945 and immediatcly in volved himself once again in politics, as a member of the Polish Sociaiist Party. He was eiected on a number of occasions to constituent assemblies. His intellectual work was carried out at the University of Warsaw, and in 1951 he was the first director of the Department of Historical Materialism. That is where Bauman arrived in 1953. (Hochfeld's biographical details can be found in Adamek 1984). Bauman understood Hochfeld's intellectual work as being informed by three methodological principies. First, political phenomena ought to be treated as elements of a social structure; second, such phenomena ought to be analyzed in terms of their connection to other aspects of the social structure; third, attention ought to be paid to the influence of those other aspects of the phenomenon in question (p. 203). Hochfeld himself applied these principies to a study of the British Labour movement (Hochfeld 1957; the British Labour Party was, of course, one of Bauman's early concerns too), and it is not unreasonable to identify these methodological principies as underpinning Bauman's work on Polish society in the 1960s. As Bauman has commented, little of Hochfeld's work has been translated into English (Bauman & Tester 2001:22). But some traces can be found. Hochfeld wrote a brief yet excellent obituary to C. Wright Mills in which he demonstrated sympathy for Mills's ethic: "He ... places on the scholar the responsibility of being on the side of the weak, the oppressed, the exploited, as against the power lite" (Hochfeld 1962:5). Meanwhile, in a posthumously published paper on 'The Concept of Class Interest' Hochfeld attempted to rescue the concept from abstraction or ideology and, instead, reconfigured it as a theoretical category that might be empirically operable (Hochfeld 1967). However, if this might make it seem that Hochfeld was a rather textually-tied Marxist, it is clear from another paper that, for hirn, Marxism was worth this much attention precisely because it opened up the possibility of the human making of the human world. Hochfeld might well have been a very committed Marxist, but it does not thereby follow that he accepted the orthodoxies of state Marxism. This point comes across very clearly towards the end of a paper on Two Models of the Humanization of Labour' (Hochfeld 1961). Hochfeld explores the argument that aspects of Marxism might no longer be relevant for twentieth century industrial society, and he suggests that those who accept that argument out of hand and who condemn Marxism as utopianism are immensely narrow minded. He rehearses his condemnation of these people in terms that one can almost expect to fmd in Bauman: "Perhaps success is in store only for those who have mastered the techniques of adapting themselves and others to the growing demands for rational action and who have left the shaping of condi68

tions to which people n technical progress or t everything that exceed: goes beyond 'the king The contempt lies in th is opposing it with the c knowledge of factors c of great social structure of searching for attainn lives and generales mai those lacking the nece sceptics who have acc grammes for the humai and going beyond pur and the managed" (Ho never give up being crit the 'what is' from the f Bauman's sociological

(1967): "Image of ological Remarks)


This paper is vitally im sociological work. Loo part of the 1960s, Zdzis individual appears to be experience that is inevit resembles Marx's theo ness; with its empha (Walaszek 1977:346)..! doing, indeed shows th; and creative in the woi work is predicated upoi tellectual image of inve our" (p. 12). Behind all the world from which -a Bauman's cognitive a work based? Bauman i<

returned to Poland in olitics, as a member of r of occasions to conul at the University of partment of Historical ochfeld's biographical tood Hochfeld's intelil principies. First, po>cial structure; second, :onnection to other aslaid to the influence of 03). Hochfeld himself movement (Hochfeld uman's early concerns lological principies as 960s. As Bauman has ed into English (Bauiochfeld wrote a brief monstrated sympathy dbility of being on the tinst the power lite" ilished paper on The the concept from abioretical category that er, if this might make ;t, it is clear from anittention precisely beof the human world. rxist, but it does not Marxism. This point i 'Two Models of the xplores the argument twentieth century inthat argument out of : immensely narrow in terms that one can i store only far those /es and others to the he shaping of condi-

tions to which people must adapt themselves either to the impersonal course of technical progress or to those currently exercising social auhority. Perhaps everything that exceeds ihe limits of improving man's 'animal existence" and goes beyond 'the kingdom of necessity' is an illusion" (Hochfeld 1961:15). The contempt lies in the two uses of the word 'perhaps', and clearly Hochfeld is opposing it with the counter claim, 'perhaps not'. After all, "our fairly vague knowledge of factors capable of modifying current trends in the development of great social structures does not permit us to deny co'mpletely the possibility of searching for attainments the lack of which weighs heavily on many human lives and generales many phenomena of anomie". Hochfeld continued: "Only those lacking the necessary amount of scepticism will hasten to applaud the sceptics who have acclaimed too promptly as illusory and utopian all programmes for the humanizatio of labour exceeding man's 'animal existence' and going beyond pur manipulation in the relations between the managers and the managed" (Hochfeld 1967:15). In other words, Hochfeld is saying: never give up being critcal, never give up hoping, and never give up opposing the 'what is' from the point of view of the 'what might become'. This is also Bauman's sociological spirit.

(1967): "Image of Man in the Modern Sociology (Some Methodological Remarks)". The Polish Sociological Bulletin, 1:12-21.
This paper is vitally important to understanding the foundations of Bauman's sociological work. Looking back on some of Bauman's work from the early part of the 1960s, Zdzislawa Walaszek wrote of Bauman that "his image of an individual appears to be a fiction, an identity existing independently of human experience that is inevitably structured by role expectations. His epistemology resembles Marx's theory that the world is objectified in practical consciousness; with its emphasis on man's obligation to make his own world" (Walaszek 1977:346). .In this paper Bauman explores the 'fiction' and, in so doing, indeed shows that he is committed to a view of human being as active and creative in the world. In this paper Bauman arges that all sociological work is predicated upon what he called a 'cognitive a prori' which is "an intellectual image of investigated world which is prior to any research endeavour" (p. 12). Behind all sociological work then, there is an assumption about the world from which all understanding is deduced. What then was Zygmunt Bauman's cognitive a proril Upon what assumptions was his sociological work based? Bauman identified in contemporary sociology two different im69

ages of man, which push in quite contrary directions. The mechanistic image either seeks to genrate probabilistic knowledge through the analysis of how human behaviour responds to external stimuli, or to develop a systemic knowledge that identifies the foundations of societal equilibrium so that disturbances to that condition might be specified and managed all the more efficiently. Whereas this mechanistic image identifies human action as a response to external stimuli, Bauman advocated instead an 'activistic' image in which it is presumed that "human acts are not only 'reactions', but also 'procreations'. If we remove i rom the human act all what is possibly determined by the valu of 'input' variables still something will be left". Bauman identifed this residue as that which "distinguishes any human being from any machine and is responsible for the fact that the human behaviour is only partly predictable" (p. 14). Consequently, whenever action is predictable, as it is when it is routinised and managed, some damage mus nave been done to what it is that makes human being different from anything else in the world. From this it is no surprise when Bauman's cognitive a priori emerges as identification with "the less managerial, even anti-managerial, more traditional, humanistic variation of sociology", and as one that "aims at making the human behaviour less predictable by activating inner, motivational sources of decisin - supplying the human beings with ampler knowledge of their situation and so enlarging the sphere of their freedom of choice" (p. 15). For Bauman then, to be human is to be unpredictable, and in unpredictability lies freedom. His sociological work was - and largely remains - organised around this deeply ironic cognitive a priori that quite obviously embraces ambiguity (or, as Bauman was later to have it, ambivalence) over and above the clear-cut. However Bauman's adopcin of this cognitive a priori cannot be justified in any non-circular fashion. Perhaps this is what Walaszek was thinking of when she called it a 'fiction'. As Bauman said of any and every cognitive a priori: "The pre-empirical image of man is not so much a regrettable 'bias' as indispensable pre-condition of any research. One cannot do without it" (p. 13). The image of man that is presumed in any sociological work is not the voice with which that work speaks; more strongly it is the very ability of that work to speak. Bauman tried to arge that there are in fact criteria upon which the a priori image of man might be justified as something more than a fiction. First, the images of man that are presumed by the sociological work "may be more or less empirically relevant, that means they can serve better or worse their basic function of orderng and explaining available research data and inspiring cognitively fruitful questions". Second, Bauman identified a criterion of particularity. He suggested that the validity of a cognitive a priori could be judged to the extent that it
70

transcends the particu. cultural, class, national of man that are availab less approvable ethical tradict given moral idee all three of these justifi ing. The first justifica! realm of research data but that would lead to duced from facts (in wh sophical gloss that oug Second, the argument t universality presuppose class, nation, ethnicity c are themselves theoretic extent that they are pre-; ciple of justification by vices in the study of ma gramme, and this progn the very moment the irr by ethical approval fails are themselves deduced age of man, that they p difficulty multiplies wh< contradict given moral identification of such a man's first defence (emp or relevance of the emp or necessarily refutes, activistic image of man that it would, and that c But Bauman's immedia fore his work is unscie clear about his ultmate ity. In 1967, Bauman id are those, like himself, try to select carefully, t there are "those who di urated with 'philosoph

ic mechanistic image i the analysis o how develop a systemic lilibrium so that dis:ed all the more effi; action as a response tic' image in which it t also 'procreations'. .-nnined by the valu dcntified this residue machine and is reanly predictable" (p. \vhen it is routinised i u is that makes hu; this it is no surprise ann with "the less .lanistic variation of behaviour less presin - supplying the and so enlarging the en. to be human is to is sociological work .y ironic cognitive a 3auman was later to ver Bauman's adoplon-circular fashion. lledit a 'fiction'. As ;-empirical image of nre-condition of any o man that is pre.h that work speaks; auman tried to arge _se of man might be ^e> of man that are Mpirically relevant, 3oa of ordering and ively fraitful ques.sr.ty. He suggested :c the extent that it

transcends the particular interests of "human groups discriminated by their cultural, class, national and similar peculiarities". Third, the competing images of man that are available to socioiogy and sociolgica! work "may be more or less approvable ethically, that means they can sponsor and coiroborate or contradict given moral ideology the scholar or his public subscribe to" (p. 13). Bul all three of these justifications fail because they are based on circular reasoning. The first justification fails because it presumes that there is an external realm of research data that is ontologically independent of the image of man, but that would lead to the conclusin that the cognitive a priori is either induced from facts (in which case it is not an a priori at all) or an optional philosophical gloss that ought to be subjected to the strictures of Occam's Razor. Second, the argument that an image of man can be justified on account of its universality presupposes the identification of criteria of particularity (such as class, nation, ethnicity or, although Bauman did not mention this, gender) that are themselves theoretically dependent and only empirically identifiable to the extent that they are pre-identified as relevant. Bauman himself denied the principie of justification by universality when he wrote that "methodological devices in the study of man are coined to match and fit a particular research programme, and this programme is determined in all its significant dimensions at the very moment the image of man is ... chosen" (p. 20). Third, justification by ethical approval fails because the criteria of ethical approval or disapproval are themselves deduced from the same cognitive a priori, from the same image of man, that they purportedly judge. This too is circular reasoning. This difficulty multiplies when Bauman says that the a priori may "corrobrate or contradict given moral ideology the scholar or his public subscribe to". The identification of such a 'moral ideology' is itself either circular, or like Bauman's first defence (empirical relevance), it fails because it presumes the a priori relevance of the empirical sphere that the conception of the cognitive a priori necessarily refutes. Bauman's sociological imagination focuses upon an activistic image of man because, in the last instance, Bauman made a chotee that it would, and that choice was itself immune to sociological justification. But Bauman's immediate rejoinder to any attack from the direction that therefore his work is unscientific would be that, unlike the attacker, at least he is clear about his ultimate vales, at least he is clear about the status of his activity. In 1967, Bauman identified two different kinds of sociologists. First there are those, like himself, who "are aware of their theoretical assumptions and so try to select carefully, taking into account all their implications", and second there are "those who disdain stubbornly or disbelieve that what they do is saturated with 'philosophical' notions and so are helpless and disarmecl while 71

facing the real choice" (p. 21). It is precisely because of the depth of Bauman's self-awareness of the foundations of his sociological work l!iat it is so immensely powerfu!.

(1967): "Modern Times, Modern Marxism". Social Research, 34 (3):399-415. Also published as: (1969): "Modern Times, Modern Marxism", in Berger, Peter L. (ed.): Marxism and Sociology: Views from Eastern Europe. New York: Appleton Century Crofts.
Bauman's work in the 1950s and 1960s occupied a very specific social structural position. It was an analysis of the institutional forms and implications of actually existing socialism in Poland, even as those institutions claimed a monopoly of the possession of the truth and, thereby, sought to exempt themselves from any kind of social enquiry. But thinkers such as Bauman, who sought to relate institutions to social structure, and who saw claims to truth as producs of social, cultural and political relationships could not but come to see ihe large-scale organizations of actually existing socialism itself as objects of legitimate analytical scrutiny. And, if they so sought neither could they retain a commitment to Marxism without developing a brand of Marxism which was radically divergent from that of the Party. In the historical circumstances of Poland in the 1950s, the result was the emergence of a Marxist revisionism or humanism, of which Bauman was one of the most prominent exponents. It sought to emphasise the role of action rather than necessity in the constitution of the world and, therefore, it inevitably meant that existing structures, institutions and rrangements were analyzed as restrictions on action. Furthermore, in so far as action was identified with the human making of the world in which humans would uve, so it also became the case that action was itself understood as an expression of human ethical responsibility. Everything which hindered that action, everything which said that history was made by some agency other than free humans, consequently became an offence to human dignity. This article is an expression of Bauman's interpretation of Marxism, It was eriginally published in English in 1967, and reprinted in a book of Eastern European Marxist revisionist writings which was edited by Peter Berger in 1969. The two versions of the paper are identical. All page references in this discussion are from the copy in the Berger collection. Like a lot of Bauman's other work from this period, this paper is looking in two directions. On the surface it is an outline of the case for Marxism as a form of analyzing social life that is uniquely able to avoid the reduction of the human person to 'economic man', 72

'social man' or any ot reality, from which all as such. pursuing ihe j environment" (p. 1). I Marxism lo economic paper is also a critique Poland. To this extent, man's Tiction' of the ac operationalise it as a pi argumenl for Marxism cial phenomena to the why it is that the kind c man action and praxis swer is that positivislic ny because, wilh its err. potheses to the type im cognitive and practica dominates contemporai integration our epoch i, man the main concern c "units, e.g., the human their positions in the o these organizations ch< highest probability of a> gesture towards the m< concerns of large-scale becomes increasingly c ganizations, so there wi and therefore humans managerial interests as the point of view of m overeme): "Organizad multiplicity of opportu mogeneous universum. alistic', relatively stable pragmatics are looked i communication channe with these organization, inance in intellectual v.

" the depth of Bauman's \\ork that it is so im-

Social Research, 34 ern Times, Modern .ind Sociology: Views entury Crofts.
-\c social strucms and implications of atutions claimed a momeht to exempt themsuch as Bauman, who i <a\ claims to truth as could not but come to ;ialism itself as objects : neither could they re-and of Marxism which iorical circumstances ' a Marxist revisionism rominent exponents. It -IY in the constitution una structures, institun action. Furthermore, ; of the world in which i was itself understood vtning which hindered nade bv some agency ace to human dignity. >i of Marxism. It was a book of Eastern EuPeter Berger in 1969. :erences in this discuscc of Bauman's other neos. On the surface it -g social life that is >-co "economic man',

'social man' or any other abstraction and instead captures "the only genuine reaiity, from which all of these models depart and to which they refer ... man as such, pursuing the process of living through and by his social and cultural enyironment" (p. 1). In this way Bauman explicitly rejects the reduction of Marxism to economic determinism (p. 2). But scratch slightly deeper and the paper is also a critique of the dominance of managerialism in contemporary Poland. To this extent, the paper can be understood as an attempt to put Bauman's 'fiction' of the activistic image of man onto a firmer Marxist footing and operationalise it as a principie of the critique of the social structure. Bauman's argument for Marxism begins with his characteristic manoeuvre of relating social phenomena to the social structure In this instance he begins by pondering why it is that the kind of Marxism that he embraces - the kind that stresses human action and praxis - is so often condemned as being 'unscientific'. His answer is that positivistic knowledge has come to occupy a position of hegemony because, with its emphasis on "qualification, atomization, limitation of hypotheses to the type immediately and experimentally verifiable" it reflects the cognitive and practical modes of the managerialism and organization that dominates contemporary social structure: "In terms of institutions of societal integration our epoch is one of large-scale organizations". According to Bauman the main concern of these organizations is with the manageability of their "units, e.g., the human beings who perform the roles ascribed to them due to their positions in the organizational structure. The main instrumental vales these organizations cherish are the set of manageable stimuli assuring the highest probability of achieving the expected response" (p. 3). There is a clear gesture towards the mechanistic image of man in that understanding of the concerns of large-scale organizations. Bauman arges that as social structure becomes increasingly characterised by - and dependen! upon - large-scale organizations, so mere will be an increasing emphasis on instrumental questions, and therefore humans will be seen as units to be manipulated according to managerial inerests as opposed to independen! agents of action (indeed, from the point of view of management, independen! activism is a problem to be overeme): "Organization itself is an attempt at limitation of the unbounded multiplicity of opportunities; an attempt at structuration of an amorphic, homogeneous universum. Organization is concerned with what is restricted, 'realistic', relatively stable. Factors which fall outside this domain of interest and pragmatics are looked upon at best as being like the unmanageable 'noise' in communication channels" (p. 4). Positivistic science is entirely compatible with these organizational concerns and, thereby, it achieves a position of dominance in intellectual work precisely because of its access to research grants
73

and power. Positivism gives the mangers of organization (thal is to say. tiie managers of human action), the kind of knowledge about stimuli that they desire, but in so doing 'man as such' is completely atomised into different social roles. Moreover, thanks to the media and cultural production in organised social structures, it is possible to identify "an unmistakable tendency toward putling personal problems into managerial terms. How to adapt myself to the harsh demands of life? How to become a person such as people like me to be? How to adjust my dreams and cravings to the environment I can neither change not even influence? These and the like are the dominant themes of the popular ideology, this diluted concoction of the managerial world-outlook, its inverse, parodistic brnd" (p. 6). Marxism is the chance of the emancipation of 'man as such' from the banal hell of managerialism. Whereas managerialism articlales only the institutional and organizational dimensions of social structure, "still, though the individual is stunned and silenced, there exists another 'functional prerequisite' of man in his anthropological frame of reference, prior to any kind of social demand, which views the society itself as a better or worse means to adjust the natural and cultural environment to human needs" (p. 6). Consequently, this 'anthropological frame of reference' (which is 'prior to any kind of social demand', just like Bauman's later postmodern ethics), is fundamentally critical. Marxism itself becomes critical theory in so far as it is a recovery of the insight that human action is concerned with humans living in and through the natural environment, and in so far as it challenges dominant large-scale institutions from the point of view of the understanding that they too can become 'like nature' (in Lukacsian terms, a 'second nature') and are therefore incompatible with human anthropology. For Bauman, Marxism is "a kind of knowledge which shows how to 'maniplate the human environment by enlarging the scope of information in human minds', instead of how to 'maniplate human behaviour by modifying the pattern of external situational pressures'. Now, this kind of knowledge makes human behaviour less, not more predictable. It functions in a manner exactly opposite to the knowledge created to suit the managerial world" (p. 7). From this it follows that where Marxism is connected with managerial concerns it is an offence to both the Marxian tradition and human being. Modem Marxism is that which emancipates the possibility of human action making modern times, even though that action will be condemned by the managers of large-scale institutions and require that men and women start seeing themselves as activisitc agents in the world rather than just self-instrumentalists.

(1968): "Marx a Science Informe

This is a fairly techn; tance of Marxism fe achieve that end it is culture. One of the in English at least) that said that what he tooJ tured and structuring, turing that attracted h is noticeable that Bau tic image of man; wh analysis of the practic arguing that therefore Bauman begins his Williams's Keywords the word 'culture' anc a production of the rr 'natural' humans). O something into which. terpretation of culture sible to distinguish be ing for the perfection this context, culture \

worth, are taken by B higher classes becomt man points out that w! some currency in Eur form in socialist sociei replaced with a valueEurope and that part c Europe" (p. 22). Althc nally resulted in the those others, Bauman teenth century as a mo of a recognition of a n< different cultures can

74

ni (that is to say. the i stimuli that they ded into diff erent social jtion in organised solendency toward putadapt myself to the people like me to be? mment I can neither minant themes of the ial world-outlook, its 'f the emancipation of icreas managerialism isions of social struc1, there exists another ame of reference, priy itself as a better or lent to human needs" ence' (which is 'prior >ostmodern ethics), is neory in so far as it is vvith humans living in challenges dominant derstanding that they :ond nature') and are iuman, Marxism is "a human environment astead of how to 'maf external situational \r less, not >ite to the knowledge it follows that where i offence to both the s that which emancines, even though that e institutions and re;tivisitc agents in the

(1968): "Marx and the Contemporary Theory of Culture". Social Science Information, 1 (3): 19-33.
This is a fairly technical paper in which Bauman seeks to establish the importance of Marxism for an analysis of contemporary culture. Bul in order to achieve that end it is first of all necessary to develop a working definition of culture. One of the interesting aspects of this paper is that it is the first time (in English at least) that Bauman talks about Claude Lvi-Strauss. Bauman has said that what he took from Lvi-Strauss was the thesis that social life is structured and structuring, and that it was the analysis of the processes of that structuring that attracted him to structuralist theorizing (Bauman 1992a:211). But it is noticeable that Bauman reads Lvi-Strauss through the prism of his activistic image of man; what is important is the way that Lvi-Strauss opens up an analysis of the practice of structuring without, however, falling into the trap of arguing that therefore human life is always and necessarily already structured. Bauman begins his argument in a way that almost pre-empts Raymond Williams's Keywords project. He provides an archaeology of the meanings of the word 'culture' and points to its roots in the Greek conception of culture as a production of the manipulation of natural resources (resources hat include 'natural' humans). Culture is not something that humans have, rather it is something into which, and by which, they grow. According to Bauman, this interpretation of culture contains within a hierarchy according to which it is possible to distinguish between the more and the less cultured: "The active striving for the perfection of the human being presupposes a 'breeding ideal'. In this context, culture very clearly becomes a partisan or evaluative category" (p. 20). The standards of the ideal, and therefore of the evaluations of cultural worth, are taken by Bauman to be traditionally linked to class, such that the higher classes become the epitome of culture and cultivation. However, Bauman points out that while this evaluative definition of culture might still have some currency in Europe (and he arges that it is maintained in a modified form in socialst societies; p. 21), it has been subjected to critique and has been replaced with a value-free definition which "grew out of an encounter between Europe and that part of the world which developed in relative isolation from Europe" (p. 22). Although the European encounter with other cultures originally resulted in the imposition by Europeans of the label 'primitive' upon those others, Bauman points to the work of Gustav Klemm in the mid nineteenth century as a moment when the export of hierarchy collapsed in the face of a recognition of a non-evaluative difference. Klemm released the thesis that different cultures cannot be judged as being 'better' or 'worse' according to
75

some universally applicable measure but, rather. they are merely different expressions of the universal propensity of humans to have culture. Bauman follows the irnplications of this thesis up to the 1960s, and he points out that it led lo the conclusin that if all cultures are merely different, then non-European cultures cannot possibly be spoken of according to European standards. The result was a situation in which the theoretical position "may be and is being used by those who would like to relieve their own and other people's consciences by stating that the miserable living standard of the 'primitive' peoples, when compared with European standards, is outweighed by other vales which are rated higher by these peoples than a full stomach and comfortable lodgings". Bauman's scorn and contempt for this kind of claim is made even clearer when he goes on to contend that "by a peculiar coincidence, the idea of 'equity' and alternativeness of cultures reached the peak of its popularity precisely at that time when the vast majority of the 'primitive' peoples accepted their European-iike pattern of life, and ceased to be satisfied with their poverty, which followed the final destruction of their traditional social structures by the world market" (p. 25). In other words, the others are said by the Europeans to be different all the time they do not answer back, and as misguided as soon as they do mobilise for themselves. Lvi-Strauss is introduced by Bauman as a means of overcoming the problems that are created by the asserton that cultures are irreducibly different and that this difference must be accepted to such an extent that critique founders in the face of celebration. The importance of Lvi-Strauss resides in the fact that he accepted the differences between cultures but nevertheless related them to universal human qualities. Lvi-Strauss refused to be seduced by surface appearances and, instead, looked for the 'ultmate fact' of human life, a fact that he found n the structures of human thinking. Lvi-Strauss overcomes the fragmentation of culture by identifying them all as structures of signs that are linked to the "intellectual structures which reproduce or project the alternatives of human existence". However, Bauman says, Lvi-Strauss takes the wrong turn in relating culture to structures of thought; what is needed instead is an approach that follows the lead of Marx. Marx saw the 'ultmate fact' of human existence, the 'fact' that -unifies despite surface differences, in "the existing human being, the active human being who creates and consumes goods and is actively engaged in organizing the world" (p. 28). Bauman discusses the principies of a Marxist approach to culture, and he says that "the most striking feature in the Marxian interpretation of cultural phenomena is the continual transformation of both the 'natural' and 'social' world, the process of constant mutual readjustment between man and he world he lives in. The centre of gravity in Marxian doctrine 76

is in the category o assumed by scme i culture becomes ti around them. And y as a kind of structur fectuated through th made more predicta This cultural organi; community become tem and by ascribii function" (p. 30). N that, as a structure, c cial environment in traces of Bauman's Marxism has proven mensions of social li deal with the cultura identified merely as come to stand over "modern society is a and social structure. pear to him as extern ciology of culture is manity.

(1968): "Semio Information, 7

This is another rath working towards a th sources to see what Lvi-Strauss, this on beit without any ref West. The paper is than is usually the graphs to try fo illus one way in which th discussion because h

merely different exulture. Bauman folpoints out that it led . then non-European pean standards. The nay be and is being other people's con1 of the 'primitive' eighed by other valomach and comfortnd of claim is made liar coincidence, the peak of its popularrimitive' peoples ace satisfied with their ditional social structhers are said by the r back, and as misStrauss is introduced je created by the ass difference must be e of celebration. The pted the differences sal human qualities. anees and, instead, 2 found in the strucmentation of culture d to the "intellectual f human existence". en in relating culture oach that follows the itence, the 'fact' that an being, the active ively engaged in orles of a Marxist apre in the Marxian inormation of both the aal readjustment bein Marxian doctrine

is in the category of 'praxis' and not in 'economic determinism', as is falsely assumed by some interpreters of this theory" (p. 29). By this approach then, culture becomes the process through which humans transform the world around them. And yet culture is also a slructure: "Culture can be conceived of as a kind of structurization, or arrangement, of the social environment. It is effectuated through the process of historical praxis by which the environment is made more predictable and, henee, more easily manipulated by man" (p. 30). This cultural organization takes place through and in terms of signs: "Ahuman community becomes a cultural community by employing a specific sign system and by ascribing to each sign a definite, universally accepted, control function" (p. 30). Needless to say however, this activity creates the problem that, as a structure, culture comes to restrict the human manipulador, of the social environment in the future (once again then, it is possible to identify the traces of Bauman's activistic image of man). Bauman's conclusin is that Marxism has proven itself to be exceptionally able to analyze the material dimensions of social life, but that it is also necessary for Marxism to be able to deal with the cultural dimensin. If Marxism does not do this, and if culture is identifed merely as a set of signs that was structured once but which has now come to stand over and above human praxis, then the result is clear to see "modern society is characterized by a succession o maladjustments in culture and social structure. The constraints to which a human being is subjected appear to him as external and unavoidable" (p. 32). The stake of the Marxist sociology of culture is nothing less than the return of the world to activistic humanity.

(1968): "Semiotics and the Function of Culture". Social Science Information, 1 (5):69-80.
This is another rather technical piece of work in which Bauman is clearly working towards a theory of culture, and drawing on the currently available resources to see what help they provide. Whereas the previous paper drew on Lvi-Strauss, this one includes a*technical application of semiotic theory, albeit without any reference to the semioticians who became influential in the West. The paper is written in a much more consciously theoretical language than is usually the case with Bauman, and he even develops formulae and graphs to try to illustrate his argument about semiotics and culture. But there is one way in which this paper is very typical Bauman; he engages in a technical discussion because he wants to see whether this material will cast light on so77

cial lii'e, nol for reasons of grand theorization. According to Bauman, culture can be defined as 'the specifically human fonn' of the processes by which the environment is ordered and made orderly. To this extent, culture consists in: firsl, 'assimilatory structuralization directed towards the external environment of human individuis': and second, 'the accommodative structure of the human organism'. In the ilrst case - assimilation - the concern is to order the external environment in such a way that it fits in with the systemic needs that are imposed upon it, while in the second case - accommodation - the concern is with the continuous restructuring of the environment so that it can meet changing needs and opportunities. As Bauman put it: "The common denominator of both vital processes .'.. is a continuous effort to shift from a relatively more uniform and amorphic stale to a more heterogeneous (e.g. more 'structured') state. The degree of 'structuralization' of a pattern can be measured by ascertaining the probability of some events and the improbability of some others" (p. 70). Building on these contentions, Bauman asserts that "viewed in semiotic perspective, the cultural function appears to consist in reducing the indeterminacy of the human worid" (p. 71). He identifies two ways in which this function is carried out: first, through structuralization which increases the predictability of the human environment and; second, "by information transfer, that is, by an interpretation of the signis from actual environmental structures" (p. 71). This is where semiotics comes into the picture; it is a means of the interpretation of those signis as signs. In a move that is typical of his sociological practice, Bauman relates the meanings of signs to social structure. In that spirit he identified two different kinds of signs. The first kind consists in those which are "primary in relation to their position in the social structure". Here, the sign is a principie of social differentiation, but there is a problem because if they become dispersed and too easily available, they lose their meaning and semiotic valu. An example of this problem might be the increasingly easy access to high-performance sports cars. Where the car as a sign was once primary in relation to the position of the sign possessor in the social structure (so that possession of that car was a sufficient sign of prestige), now anyone can possess certain kinds of cars and so they lose prestige and valu. Their meaning becomes semiotically ambivalent. And in a dynamic social situatron, that dispersal indeed happens relatively easily. Second, there are signs "which are secondary or derivative in relation to social position" (p. 74). Here, the manipulators of this kind of sign have to crate a direct linkage between sign and social structure to such an extent that alternative uses of the sign are impermissible. As an example Bauman mentions military uniforms: "Nobody can become an army officer just by buying an adequate uniform. Because of this 78

restriction, however, v ing the proper desigm signs are tied to the oc therefore they only co time that the social su ture does change, the ( floats free. Bauman 1 change therefore impli no single meaning. TI replaced with "a 'quiz and of signs cut off frc tial meaning, so that ti read that comment as modernity. It becomes the implications of thi like code', all conten) heights of mastery the dilettantism is an inev< when information has tural signs" (p. 77). TI of liquid modernity. B evitable, then "the soc pleteness of the social son responsible for det 'the individuation driv

(1968): "Macrosc Poland", in The Hague/Paris: Moi

Context makes this a r; UNESCO book which ried out in a range of c and concerns of Polish cal precept of relating "internal structure of when analysed in the 1 analysed in the framev

ig lo Bauman, culture i'ocesses by which the it, culture consists in: externa! environment e structure of the huern is to order the ex/stemic needs that are ilion - the concern is iiat it can meet changamon denominator of om a relatively more .g. more 'structured') e measured by ascerlility of some others" hat "viewed in semiin reducing the indeo ways in which this ich increases the preinformation transfer, environmental structure; it is a means of it is typical of his sois to social structure. he frst kind consists the social structure". here is a problem be.hey lose their meanit be the increasingly ar as a sign was once n the social structure estige). now anyone ige and valu. Their imic social situation, ere are signs "which p. 74). Here, the mage between sign and ' the sign are imperbrms: "Nobody can >rm. Because of this

restriction, however, we can assume with confidence that any individual bearing the proper designations is indeed an army officer" (p. 74). These kinds of signs are tied to the occupation ot'a specific position in the social structure and therefore they only continu to nave an unambiguous cultural meaning all the time that the social structure remains unchanged. As soon as the social structure does change, the connection of the sign to role disappears, and so the sign floats free. Bauman follows through on these insights to arge that social change therefore implies a 'proliferation of codes' (p. 76), in which signs have no single meaning. The possibility of a universal code of meanings has been replaced with "a 'quiz like culture' composed of crumbs of inconsistent codes and of signs cut off from their proper structures and thus deprived of their initial meaning, so that they can be treated one-dimensionally". It is hard not to read that comment as an anticipation of themes from discussions about postmodernity. It becomes even less avoidable when Bauman goes on to discuss the implications of this situation: "In spite of all the shortcomings of this 'quiz like code', all contemporaries in some way particpate in it, regardless of the heights of mastery they have achieved in their 'professional code'. Quiz-like dilettantism is an inevitable attribute of the proliferation of codes in an epoch when information has been prometed to the role of the most significan! of cultural signs" (p. 77). There even follows an anticipation of Bauman's analysis of liquid modernity. Bauman makes the point that if dilettantism becomes inevitable, then "the sociocreative power of signs, causing a permanent incompleteness of the social condition the human individual faces, makes each person responsible for determining his own social position". What Bauman called 'the individuation drive' becomes 'exploratory' (p. 77).

(1968): "Macrosociology and Social Research in Contemporary Poland", in The Social Sciences: Problems and Orientations. The Hague/Paris: Mouton/Unesco.
Context makes this a rather poignant piece of work. The paper is a chapter in a UNESCO book which outlines the sociological work that was then being carried out in a range of countries. Bauman provided a discussion of the context and concerns of Polish sociology. In the paper he takes up his main sociological precept of relating social phenomena to social structure. He says that the "internal structure of a particular social science is much better-understood when analysed in the frame of reference of its outer 'social space' than when analysed in the framework of an abstract 'flow from within"' (p. 169). Given 79

the time lags in publishing, there is no doubt that Bauman wrote this piece before the book was published in 1968, bul the irony is that consequently this discussion of Polish sociology appeared at more orless exactly the same time that Bauman was being removed from Polish academic life. He was expelled from the University of Warsaw on 25 March, 1968, after the state authorities seized the opportunity of a wave f student unrest to deal with revisionist intellectuals such as Bauman. In another terrible irony, or at least an irony given the concern of Bauman's work with the alienation, sense of insecurity and confusin that typified youth in the Poland that actually existing socialism had made, one of the official reasons for his expulsin from the University was 'the corruption of youth'. In this paper Bauman identifies five reasons for the growth and specific chcracter of sociology in post-war Poland. First, he points out that in the post-war period Poland experienced extremely rapid industrialization, and that the discipline came to fulfil a definite social role: "As a society moves from the traditional to the industrial stage of its development, social science is substituted for social ideology, and ethics in the role of the reference pattern defining social situations as human behaviour is determined much more by the external situational pressure, uncontrolled by the actor, than by the internalized cultural motivations" (p. 170). With this first point, Bauman is saying that in Poland sociology became important because it became a way in which men and women could relate their personal troubles to the public issues (the allusion to C. Wright Mills is quite delibrate; for more on links between Bauman and Mills, see Bauman & Tester 2001; Tester 2004). Second, Polish sociology also ftted in with the social engineering concerns of the new state in that it was seen as the source of data about the kinds of macro-social processes with which centralised planning was concemed. Third, Polish sociology was inclined quickly to become Marxist sociology because of the deep roots that Marxism had planted in Poland in the pre-war period. Bauman said that "the validity of the Marxist tradition was to a great extent responsible for the stress laid upon the theoretical and macro-social part of sociological inquiry" (p. 171). Fourth, Polish sociology was shaped by a public expectation that the intellectual, and specifically the sociologist, be the bearer of truth irrespective of external pressures (this is a theme which Bauman emphasised in his Inaugural Lecture at the University of Leeds). Bauman wrote that "in the circumstances created by the ... crisis of vales, sociology is looked upon by the broad public not as an occupation or even a branch of science, but as a vocation or mission; as the vocation of those men and women who are morally responsible for discovering truth and making it available to all people, for correcting what is considered to be wrong in current social organization, for mak80

ing human life easi meant that the soci trolled in her or his placed a trust in the is properly justified sociologist is sound ing fully the public veloped in its speci linked with the mov ishOctoberof 1956 the very beginning \l

gate goals and mear tions"(p. 172). Ifal to use Bauman's owi sociology to explain sociology was invesi gist tended to be ider tent that sociology ce organizations that el. edge. It was almost i isting socialism ever there is another way sociology played ou around 1998-2005 h books tackling cont and identity. The ac es the possibility tha catin was, precisely matter - and who w liquid modernity. By mark of Bauman's co of a desperate recogn it is necessary to try

.n wrote this piece behat consequently this exactly the same time lite. He was expelled :r the state authorities al with revisionist init least an irony given of insecurity and conxisting socialism had n the University was :s five reasons for the oland. First, he points mely rapid industrialsocial role: "As a sof its development, soin the role of the refaviour is determined lled by the actor, than this first point, Baut because it became a 1 troubles to the pubate; for more on links lester 2004). Second, ; concerns of the new :inds of macro-social d. Third, Polish soci' because of the deep period. Bauman said ;xtent responsible for rt of sociological ina public expectation e bearer of truth irreuman emphasised in an wrote that "in the iy is looked upon by science, but as a voaen who are morally .o all people, for corganization, for mak-

ing human lite easier, safer and happier" (p. 171). According to Bauman this meant that the sociologisi in Poland was always in the public gaze and controlled in her or his professional life and work by public demands. The public placed a trust in the sociologists, and asked for "convincing proofs that its trust is properly justified and unmistakeably addressed, that the knowledge of the sociologist is sound, deserving and earning honestly its popularity and repaying fully the public interest invested in it" (p. 172). Fifth, Polish sociology developed in its specific way because, according to Bauman, it was intimately linked with the movements for social reform that were crystallised in the Polish October of 1956: "Due to this not accidental coincidence, sociology from the very beginning was looked upon by public opinin as a heretofore lacking tool of social perfection, as a kind of 'social ideology' which ought to promlgate goals and means for the general rebuilding of crucial societal organizations" (p. 172). If all of these themes are pulled together, it becomes possible to use Bauman's own understanding of the character and significance of Polish sociology to explain why the Polish state expelled sociologists. Quite simply, sociology was invested with such a great social significance, and the sociologist tended to be identified as a personification of moral virtues, to such an extent that sociology could not fail to be dangerous from the point of view of any organizations that claimed to be the rightful possessor and site of all knowledge. It was almost inevitable that the Polish state in the times of actually existing socialism eventually would come to expel its critica! sociologists. But there is another way in which the distinctly Polish view of the importance of sociology played out in Bauman's own biography. In the period between around 1998-2005 he published a considerable number of relatively little books tackling contemporary buzzwords such' as community, globalization and identity. The account of sociology that is provided in this 1968 paper raises the possibility that what Bauman was trying to do with that flurry of publication was, precisely, to find or constitute a public for whom sociology would matter - and who would hold sociology to account - in the circumstances of liquid modernity. By this argument, the flurry of books therefore is either a mark of Bauman's commitment to the constitution of that public, or it is a sign of a desperate recognition of failure: the last book disappeared into the void, so it is necessary to try once again.

81

(1969): "The End of Polish Jewry - A Sociological Review". Bulletin on Soviet and EastEuropean Jewish Affairs, January:3-8.
In the little book Idenlity, Bauman wrote that "one can ... make a vocation, a mission, a consciously chosen destiny out of one's fate of no choice" (Bauman 2004a: 14). A fate is something that befalls us, which we do not choose and for which we are not responsible, while a destiny is something that is chosen, something that we do choose. With the argument that a destiny can be made out of a fate, Bauman is arguing that it is possible to transform what other have done to us, to turn the tables on those who would manage our subjectivity through the imposition of meanings upon us and, instead, adopt those meanings as principies of our own unpredictable and human subjectivity. This is precisely what Bauman has done with his Jewishness; it was an identity that was imposed upon him by the Polish authorities during an anti-Semitic campaign that they managed in 1967-1968, and he has transformed that categorization, precisely to use it as a challenge to anti-Semites and their ilk. Bauman has carried out an identical move with his status as an 'exile' (Tester 2004). Bauman has communicated a subjective sense that Jewishness was, in the first instance, a fate that was imposed upon him from outside. In a conversation with Richard Kilminster and lan Varcoe, he said: "On the whole, for most of my life and the greater part of it, Jewishness played a very small role, if at all. The first time it was brought to my awareness, was in 1968 - mis eruption of anti-Semitism" (Bauman 1992a:226). It is precisely this sense of being made aware of one's Jewishness that is the nub of the fate, but what Bauman has done is transform it into a destiny. It has become an integral part of who and what he is. As one sign of this, in the Identity book he remarks: "I suppose my Jewishness is confirmed by Israeli iniquities paining me still more man atrocities committed by other countries" (Bauman 2004a: 11). But the shift of Jewishness from fate to destiny does not happen like the changing of a pair of shoes, and neither should it be presumed to be painless. This extraordinary paper on 'The End of Polish Jewry' is a product of the time when, for Bauman, Jewishness was still a fate alone. It is the first piece to be published after his exile from Poland, and it is perhaps his most poignant piece of work. Irfthe paper Bauman is trying to use his sociological imagination to try to make sense of his own personal troubles. And that attempt in turn shows that the use of a sociological imagination is not at all a road to comfort. Bauman begins bluntly: the 1968 wave of anti-Semitism "set the seal on the fate of Polish Jewry, a community of rich cultural traditions going back some one thousand years". Bauman identifies 1968 with nothing less than a 'Final Solution' (p. 3). He 82

points out that this < manipulated by thos baser instincts of th "the leaders of a par the Jews remaining i all social and idelo; cant factor" (p. 3). n upon a group of whc ishness. Unlike prev rected not against a c customs and autonon their lives to being themselves as Poles man went on: "For s siderations identical' ident and entirely nal identify a profound s the taken for granted destroyed by power f and women had nev impossible to read th< ogy of ambivalence. Bauman has to ask is campaign. He was qu of Jews themselves. I tion of many of Polai sible to speak any 1< "within Polish society of Polish Jewry but < form part of the Polis wave of anti-Semitisn wards who was direct tion of the embittered rected towards the Je\

ministration, party of tives of the academic leadership to blame fe especially keen to den

gical Review". Bulirs, January:3-8. ... make a vocation, a >f no choice" (Bauman do not choose and for ething that is chosen, i destiny can be made sform what other have inage our subjectivity ad, adopt those meann subjectivity. This is it was an identity that an anti-Semitic camnsformed that categoand their ilk. Bauman 'exile' (Tester 2004). hness was, in the first de. In a conversation he whole, for most of ry small role, if at all. 968 - this eruption of , sense of being made )ut what Bauman has sgral part of who and marks: "Lsuppose my still more than atrociBut the shift of Jew:hanging of a pair of rhis extraordinary paie when, for Bauman, De published after his ce of work. In the pai to try to make sense lows that the use of a 5auman begins bluntate of Polish Jewry, a one thousand years". Solution' (p. 3). He

points out that this campaign was a shock to its victims, first because it was manipulated by those in power and, "conducted in the open and directed at the baser inslincts of the masses" and, second, because it had been initiated by "the leaders of a party emanating from a movement in which the majority of the Jews remaining in Poland, had placed their hops of a final eradication of all social and ideolgica! reaction, of which anti-Semitism had been a significant factor" (p. 3). The Party leadership had imposed an identity and a fate upon a group of who believed that what was important was their shared Polishness. Unlike previous waves of anti-Semitism in Poland, this one "was directed not against a comparatively isolated, seprate community with different customs and autonomous political system, but against people who had devoted their lives to being part and parcel of the Polish community and regarded themselves as Poles even when conscious of their Jewish background". Bauman went on: "For such people the acceptance in their daily conduct of considerations identical with the Polish national and political interest was self evident and entirely natural" (p. 3). It is hard not to read sentences like that and identify a profound sense of existential and subjective confusin in which all the taken for granted ways of acting, thinking and being in the world had been destroyed by power forcing men and women into categories which those men and women had never dreamt could apply to them. More narrowly, it is also impossible to read those sentences and not think forward to Bauman's sociology of ambivalence. However, within this particular text, the question that Bauman has to ask is one about why the Party had initiated this anti-Semitic campaign. He was quite clear that it had nothing to do with actions on the part of Jews themselves. Indeed Bauman arges that after the war and the emigration of many of Poland's remaining Jews in 1957-1958, it was scarcely possible to speak any longer of an identifiable Jewish community. By 1968, "within Polish society Jews were active only as individuis, representative not of Polish Jewry but of the seprate professional and regional bodies which form part of the Polish nation as a whole" (pp. 3-4). Consequently, the 1968 wave of anti-Semitism was not directed at Jews so much as at scapegoats, towards who was directed, "the whole accumulated aggressiveness and frustration of the embittered and disillusioned mass" (p. 4). The hostility that was directed towards the Jews meant that the social masses and, Bauman points out particularly, the middle classes ('consisting of officials of state and local administration, party officials, regular officers of the armed forces, and executives of the academic enterprises'), were given someone other than the Party leadership to blame for their disappointments and frustrations. The Party was especially keen to defuse the hostility that was building up in the middle class
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because of "the unique part it is playing in the Polish social and political sys!em, where its members are responsible for the day implementation of governmcnt decisions, thus being directly in charge of the everyday lives of the population at large" (p. 4). The leadership needed to keep the middle classes acquiescent because its members were the managers and technicians of the industrialised society that the Party was building. Bauman went on to discuss the social composition of Jews in Poland, but concluded with the outline of five different groups of Jews which would respond in different ways to their persecution. First, he identified the od comrades who had since youth invested all their hopes for equality and justice in Polish revolutionary and worker groups. Bauman said that they would stay in Poland even despite the hostility that was being directed towards them: "Ideolgica! and moral consideration play a much more important role among the factors deciding the conduct of the members of this group than do other considerations of a more material nature. They are determined above all to retain their pride" (p. 7). Second, the there was the group of older Jews who "were not so to speak professional communists" (as were the first group), who would only remain in Poland if they had no alternative; unlike the first group they would not remain out of principie. This group would only stay if they had neither the opportunity or the confdence to start life again elsewhere. Third, the "scientists, writers and journalists" who were now identified as Jewish but whose lives were inextricably entwined with Polish culture would have to confront a difficult problem. They would be in no doubt that, as Jews, they no longer had a place in Poland, and yet "the possibility of breaking their links with that culture, and separation from the creative milieus of which they are conscious of forming a part, and which provide them with conditions for their own creativity seems to them impossibly difficult and against their nature" (p. 7). Fourth, Bauman identified members of the older generation who were economically and professional independent; this group was aware that it was in possession of exportable skills and was thus typically seeking to get out of Poland as quickly as possible. The final group was that of young people. Bauman arges that many members of this highly educated group "were astonished to discover only after having been questioned by security organs ... that they are no longer described as students of the different faculties, but as Jews" (p. 8). Although the members of this group might presently be confused, nevertheless in them Bauman thought it possible to find some cause for hope. This group possessed a "sense of social consciousness [that] invests its endeavours with a readiness for personal sacrifice for the general good. It is well endowed with moral courage and not only moral courage, consistency as well as firm moral principies" (p. 8). But, in all, this paper is
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desperately melanct Bauman's intellectu; possibility of being those Poles who hac Bauman wrote: "So ment to Polish cultu rulers of Poland for i fully fledged citizen; in Poland, embittere free of walls and bar the end of the thousa

>cial and political sysnplementation of goveveryday lives of the :ep the rniddle classes I technicians of the inwent on to discuss the ith the outline of five nt ways to their persence youth invested all ry and worker groups. - the hostility that was consideration play a : conduct of the memmaterial nature. They and, the there was the )nal communists" (as f they had no alternaprinciple. This group le confidence to start 3urnalists" who were cably entwined with They would be in no 1, and yet "the possiion from the creative I which provide them Dossibly difficult and icmbers of the older apendent; this group id was thus typically lal group was that of his highly educated :n questioned by selents of the different )f this group might :ht it possible to fmd ocia! consciousness .acrifice for the genonly moral courage, in all, this paper is

desperately melancholy. The paper is very much the closing of a chapter in Bauman's intellectual and personal life. It is dominated by a sense of the impossibility of being Polish and Jewish, and of the costs that this entails. Of those Poles who had been taught by the anti-Semites that they were Jewish, Bauman wrote: "Some will leave the country bearing in their hearts attachment to Polish culture, Polish landscape, and a sense of resentment against the rulers of Poland for denying the Jews - as Jews - the right to be recognised as fully fledged citizens of their country. Others might go on living out their lives in Poland, embittered, suspicious and suspect, within their ghettoes this time free of walls and barbed wire, but full of similarly tired people. And this marks the end of the thousand year history of Polish Jewry" (p. 8).

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