Description : A new afterword to this edition, "The Duty to Remember—But What?" tackles difficult issues of guilt and innocence on the individual and societal levels. Zygmunt Bauman explores the silences found in debates about the Holocaust, and asks what the historical facts of the Holocaust tell us about the hidden capacities of present-day life. He finds great danger in such phenomena as the seductiveness of martyrdom; going to extremes in the name of safety; the insidious effects of tragic memory; and efficient, "scientific" implementation of the death penalty. Bauman writes, "Once the problem of the guilt of the Holocaust perpetrators has been by and large settled . . . the one big remaining question is the innocence of all the rest—not the least the innocence of ourselves."Among the conditions that made the mass extermination of the Holocaust possible, according to Bauman, the most decisive factor was modernity itself. Bauman's provocative interpretation counters the tendency to reduce the Holocaust to an episode in Jewish history, or to one that cannot be repeated in the West precisely because of the progressive triumph of modern civilization. He demonstrates, rather, that we must understand the events of the Holocaust as deeply rooted in the very nature of modern society and in the central categories of modern social thought.
Description : In what has become a famous quotation, the philosopher Theodor Adorno commented that to write poetry "after Auschwitz" is barbaric. If the holocaust is an "event" that may legitimately be described as unspeakable, it is hard to see why poetry deserves more opprobrium than other ways of framing it, including what may broadly be called social theory. After all, if social theory were once guilty of ignoring the holocaust, it has also exhibited the barbarism of reason involved in transforming this "event" into social processes, conditions, systems, classificatory schemes and statistical tables. This collection of essays explores the character, impact and abiding legacy upon social theory of the Nazi holocaust. The premise which informs the contributions is that Zygmunt Bauman's claim that social theory has failed to address the holocaust remains true.
Description : Writing the Holocaust provides students and teachers with an accessibly written overview of the key themes and major theoretical developments which continue to inform the nature of historical writing on the Holocaust. Holocaust studies is at a paradox: while historians of the Holocaust defend it as a legitimate and well-defined area of research, they write against a complex political and ideological background that undermines any claim for it as a normative field of historical study. Writing the Holocaust offers a lucid enquiry into this complex field by demonstrating the impact of current theories from the humanities and social sciences upon the treatment of Holocaust studies.
Description : In Culture, Modernity and Revolution a group of distinguished sociologists and social philosophers reflect upon the major concerns of Zygmunt Bauman. Their essays not only honour the man, but provide important contributions to the three interlinked themes that could be said to form the guiding threads of Bauman's life work: power, culture and modernity. Culture, Modernity and Revolution is both a remarkable sociological commentary on the problems facing East-Central Europe and an exposition of some of the key, hitherto neglected, features of the modern cultural universe.
Description : The lessons drawn suggest that the Holocaust and modern genocide are not intrinsically related to modernity. Terror regimes, she argues, operate not through the state but from behind a state facade within a secret society. Economic crisis is given prominence in their explanation with the decisive explanatory factor argued to be the move from plans to substantive irrationality. Indeed it is the economic rationality of modern society, most particularly in respect to labour markets, which acts as the barrier to terror's rule.
Description : A comprehensive handbook covering the prolific and sophisticated historiography of the Holocaust of the last two decades. This book is the most up-to-date and wide-ranging assessment of the state of historical research on the Holocaust currently available, covering the 'Final Solution' as a European project, the decision-making process, perpetrator research, plunder and collaboration, regional studies, ghettos, camps, race science and antisemitic ideology, andrecent debates concerning modernity, organization theory, colonialism, genocide studies and cultural history. Beyond describing other historians' arguments, Stone provides critical analyses of the complex and wide-ranging literature in the field, discerning major themes and trendsand assessing the achievements and shortcomings of the various approaches. In so doing, this book illustrates that there can and should never be a single history of the Holocaust, and facilitates an understanding of the genocide of the Jews from a multiplicity of angles.
Description : This accessible and comprehensive overview of the main issues on the modernity-postmodernity controversy is the first clear-sighted book on the subject. It surveys modern social theory, from Kant to Weber with economy and masterly precision. And evaluates the work of the Frankfurt School, Arendy, Strauss, Luhmann, Habermas, Heller, Castoriadis and Touraine, before moving on to consider the approaches of the leading writers on postmodenrity: Lyotard, Vattimo, Derrida, Foucault and Jameson. The result is a new way of conceptualizing the modernity-postmodernity debate, and an exciting new approach to the roots of contemporary social theory.
Description : George Ritzer's McDonaldization thesis argued that contemporary life is succumbing to the standardization, flexibility and practicability of fast-food service. This book brings together specially commissioned papers by leading social and cultural analysts to engage in a critical appraisal of the thesis. The contributors discuss the roots of the thesis, the rationalization of late modern life, the effects of increasing cultural commodification, the continuing prominence of American cultural and economic imperialism and the impact of globalization on social and cultural life. The strengths and weaknesses of the McDonaldization thesis are clearly evaluated and the irrational consequences of rationalization are pinpointed and critically
Description : The secular mind had a grand plan, to establish an earthly paradise, a utopia of the here and now, a modern civilization governed by human reason, rationality, and the triumph of progress. Whilst ideals are one thing, the means to realize them is something else. Away from the hype, emancipating humanity from the ‘shackles’ of God and religion has proved no easy matter. Mapping the Secular Mind critically examines issues of reason, rationality, and secular materialism, to explore how these mental perceptions, or ways of mapping the world, have affected human interaction and sociological development.