Suffering in the Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman




Zygmunt Bauman, Sociology of suffering, Solid-modern suffering, Liquid-modern suffering, Solidarity, Morality


The topic of human suffering loomed large throughout the writings of Zygmunt Bauman. If anything, his work can be characterized as a ‘sociology of suffering’. From the early writings until his very last, suffering constituted a key concern in Bauman’s description of the transformation of society from a solid-modern to a liquid-modern outlook. In his work, there are certain shifts in who and what he regards as the embodiments or expressions of suffering, and there is thus a keen eye on the changing landscape of suffering, its causes and consequences, from past to present. But there is nevertheless always a continuous and vehement defence for those living at the outskirts or at the bottom of society. The article will also explore what Bauman suggest should be done about the presence of suffering, and the article will briefly discuss the viability of his ideas on a morality of proximity as a way to alleviate suffering.


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How to Cite

Jacobsen, M. H. (2021). Suffering in the Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman. Qualitative Studies, 6(1), 68–90.