Too Good For Sociology
 
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Sheffield Hallam University
Publication date: 2006-09-30
 
Polish Sociological Review 2006;155(3):293–306
 
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ABSTRACT
The point of this article is on the one hand to make sense of Bauman’s merely ghostly presence in sociology, and, on the other, to demonstrate why sociology itself (unlike Bauman) is incapable of achieving a sociological imagination made to the measure of a world that is modern in a different way than it was in the past. Before providing the justification for choosing Michel Foucault’s idea of the discursive formation as the basis for my critique, I mobilize some ideas from Jacques Derrida and Jacques Rancie`re to suggest that sociology’s Platonic ontology carries with it a ‘national’ discourse that is ‘contemporary only to itself’ and discuss what this implies for its relationship with the dead-living spectre of Zyg-geist Bauman. Thereafter, I critically discuss sociology’s mythological practice and its game-culture before offering an insight into the ways and means of Bauman’s liquid modern alternative which has its hauntological basis in the ‘the privileged space of incertitude’ found in literature. I conclude with the observation that what we have in Bauman is an authentic and ethically responsible thinker who despite imagining sociology as his natural intellectual home is really much too good for that place.
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