Whilst theories of individualization are usually perceived as posing a severe challenge to the oft-disputed concept of class, the recent work of postmodernist-turnedliquid-modernist Zygmunt Bauman in this vein has generally escaped the attention of faithful class analysts keen to defend their object of study. Indeed, in places Bauman has been mobilised to critique the cognate ideas of Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens, despite the fact that the intellectual affinity between the three is patent and has been rightly flagged by others. This paper seeks to remedy the treatment of Bauman thus far by tracing his precise views on class as they have developed over his extended career and clarifying his current position on its decline in the face of the sweeping individualization brought by liquid modernity. It then provides a critique of his views by pulling out the contradictions and errors besetting them and, in the process, attempts to render less credible his claim that class is no longer a significant sociological tool.
|Translated title of the contribution||Not All that was Solid has Melted into Air (or Liquid): A Critique of Bauman on Individualization and Class in Liquid Modernity|
|Pages (from-to)||1 - 17|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||The Sociological Review|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2008|