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Zygmunt Bauman’s moral saint: reclaiming self in the sociology of morality

Hookway, N ORCID: 0000-0002-0187-4741 2017 , 'Zygmunt Bauman’s moral saint: reclaiming self in the sociology of morality' , Acta Sociologica, vol. 60, no. 4 , pp. 358-367 , doi: 10.1177/0001699316688947.

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Zygmunt Bauman’s sociology of morality signals an important new direction from the orthodoxy of Emile Durkheim’s ‘society’ realised ethics. The first part of this paper defends Bauman’s postmodern position as valuable in theorising the moral present, offering a sociological conception of the sources, strategies and experience of contemporary morality. The paper then shifts to a critique of Bauman’s social theory of ‘being for the other’, arguing that it misses the particular and embodied aspects of moral sociality and effaces the self in endless responsibility to the Other. It is suggested that a sociology of morality is needed which goes beyond Bauman’s moral saint and provides conceptual space to theorise the self and cultures of authenticity and self-fulfilment.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hookway, N
Keywords: Authenticity, Bauman, emotions, ethics, self, social theory, sociology of morality
Journal or Publication Title: Acta Sociologica
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
ISSN: 0001-6993
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/0001699316688947
Copyright Information:

Copyright The Author(s) 2017

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