Zygmunt Bauman: Biography, Career, Age (1927 – 2017)

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Zygmunt Bauman (1927 – 2017) Biography, Liquid Modernity, Career, Age, (Poland)

Zygmunt Bauman
Zygmunt Bauman

Biography of Zygmunt Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman (1927-2017) was a Polish sociologist, thinker, teacher and writer, one of the most critical voices in contemporary society. He created the expression “Liquid Modernity” to classify the fluidity of the world where individuals no longer have a standard of reference.

Zygmunt Bauman (1927-2017) was born in Poznan, Poland, on November 19, 1925. Son of Jews, in 1939, along with his family, he escaped the invasion of Nazi troops in Poland and took refuge in the Soviet Union. Enlisted in the Polish army on the Soviet front. In 1940 he joined the Unified Workers Party – the Communist Party of Poland. In 1945 he joined the Military Intelligence Service, where he remained for three years.

Zygmunt Bauman Formation

With the end of World War II, Zygmunt returned to Warsaw. He combined his military career with university studies and militancy in the Communist Party. He studied sociology at the Warsaw Academy of Politics and Social Sciences. He married Janina Bauman, a Jewish woman from a prosperous family who survived the horrors of the Nazi invasion. Zygmunt lived with Janina (also a writer) until her death in 2009.

Bauman pursued a master’s degree at the University of Warsaw. In 1950, he left the Workers’ Party. In 1953 he was expelled from the Polish Army. In 1954 he completed his master’s degree and became an assistant professor of sociology at the same university. For many years he remained close to Marxist orthodoxy, but then he began to make severe criticisms of the communist government in Poland, suffering persecution for 15 years.

In March 1968, a series of protests by teachers, students and artists fighting the regime’s censorship culminated in the anti-Semitic purge that forced many Poles of Jewish origin to leave the country. Brauman and his wife were expelled from Poland. Exiled in Israel, he taught at Tel-Aviv University. In 1971, he was invited to teach sociology at the University of Leeds, England, where he also headed the University’s sociology department until his retirement in 1990.

For more than half a century, Zygmunt Bauman was one of the most influential observers of social and political reality. He is described as a pessimist, who joins the chorus of critics of postmodernity, in search of the causes of the perverse social process, in the world of ideas of anti-capitalist thought.

Zygmunt Bauman Liquid Modernity

Zygmunt created the term “liquid modernity” – the title of a book of his published in 2000 – to describe the transformations of the contemporary world, in which nothing is solid: everything is diluted in the air.

In his latest work, “Estranhos à Nossa Porta”, he observes the crisis of refugees who knock on Europe’s door.

Zygmunt Bauman passed away in Leeds, England, on January 9, 2017.

Works by Zygmunt Bauman

  • Thinking Sociologically (1990)
  • Modernity and Ambivalence (1991)
  • Lives in Fragments (1995)
  • The Discontents of Post-Modernity (1997)
  • Globalization (1998)
  • In Search of Politics (1999)
  • Net Modernity (2000)
  • Community (2001)
  • Liquid Love: On the Fragility of Human Ties (2003)
  • Wasted Lives (2003)
  • Net Life (2005)
  • Net Fear (2006)
  • Life for Consumption (2007)
  • Net Times (2007)
  • Moral Blindness (2014)
  • Does the Wealth of the Few Benefit Us All? (2015)
  • State of Crisis (2016)
  • Strangers at Our Door (2016)
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