Teoria socjologiczna jako narzędzie zmiany? Analiza performatywnego wymiaru myśli społecznej Zygmunta Baumana
A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OR A TOOL OF CHANGE? AN ANALYSIS OF THE PERFORMATIVE ASPECT IN THE SOCIAL THOUGHT OF ZYGMUNT BAUMAN
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One of the constitutive features of Zygmunt Bauman’s social thought is a criticism of value-free sociology. In Liquid Modernity he wrote that ‘There is no choice between an “engaged” and “neutral” way of doing sociology. A non-committal sociology is an impossibility.’ In his opinion, the view that a sociologist should not exert any influence on social reality testifies to a lack of responsibility for the condition of the contemporary world. In his sixty-year-long academic career he has been both analysing social reality and attempting to change it. One of the aims of this article is to present the evolution of Bauman’s engaged sociology over the course of his academic career as well as to demonstrate the tasks he has set for sociology and the ways in which he has tried to achieve them. The paper also presents the rhetorical devices used by Bauman to give his discourse performative characteristics. The paper discusses both the exoteric language of his publications and the rhetorical figures he applies, such as: fragmentation, metaphorisation, oppositions, and hyperbolisation. The last part of the article contains reflections on Bauman’s view that sociology should have a performative dimension, which has been interpreted as a form of ‘iconoclastic utopianism’.
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