What is Liquid Modernity?

Liquid modernity and postmodernity

It is much questioned whether the term liquid modernity comes from the same meaning as postmodernity. However, Bauman abandons postmodern terminology which, according to him, has ceased to be an understanding and has become an important current of thought, with authors calling themselves postmodernists. what is liquid modernity

The author works with the idea that society does not live postmodernity. The new social and institutional formations give rise to a liquid modernity, which surpassed the solid modernity of the first half of the 20th century. Which, as a main consequence, left behind the  rational and bureaucratic concept  of behaviors and institutions. what is liquid modernity

The man of this liquid modernity is considered fluid, with great adaptation flexibility and various behavioral, intellectual and sentimental changes, following the pace of transformation of the new society. what is liquid modernity

Bauman uses the term liquid to make an analogy with the most changing state of matter.

The author qualifies the modern era as solid because the processes, society and relationships did not fit perfectly in any environment, suffering difficulties to adapt to the new.

See also the meaning of  postmodernity  .

Zygmunt Bauman – (1925 – 2017)

The 5 main points of liquid currency according to Bauman: what is liquid modernity

  • Emancipation  : it is the fact that people become active agents and questioners of society and if on the one hand there is a greater search for freedom, on the other there is also a greater individual responsibility;
  • Individuality  : Bauman believed that identity has been shaped by consumption and that the individual has made decisions and acted for himself, without considering attributes such as cooperation and solidarity; what is liquid modernity
  • Time-space  : the author emphasized that technology serves as an agent of fragmentation of this concept. According to him, the space gets bigger with faster and more efficient machines and more and more things can fit in the same period of time, since the events are simultaneous, which consequently also expands the space. Bauman also comes to address that the urgency to go somewhere is less, since there are virtual spaces (social networks) in which we can go anywhere whenever we want;
  • Employment  : in liquid modernity, unemployment is structural in prosperous societies, since professional relationships are unstable and ephemeral. Progress comes from self-confidence and the development of short-term strategies and actions;
  • Community  : there is a weakening of the concept of community, since today’s society establishes its links in the form of a network, through connections that are made and broken based on contextual interests. what is liquid modernity

In addition, it is worth noting the great adaptability of the liquid society. Therefore, social identity is multiple, it does not conform to the labels of religion, nationality and even profession.

The transformation of solid currency into liquid currency and its differences

Solid modernity lasted until part of the 20th century and is understood by Bauman as a period in which society lived in a notion of community, valuing the connection and identification between people. This whole idea brought a concept of durability and a sense of security.

Even in this period, the principles changed at a slow and totally predictable pace, allowing us to clearly see where processes and behaviors were heading and where they would go. Thus, modern society had a sense of control over the world, be it technology or the economy, for example. what is liquid modernity

The two main characteristics of this solid society are the organization of human activities and institutions, in parallel with the bureaucratic line.

That is, the bureaucracy permeated the activities and institutions to make the organization, so practical reasoning is used   to solve everyday problems.

However, global economic instability and globalization contributed to the loss of the idea of ​​control over world processes.

All these changes have brought uncertainties about the ability of society to adapt to new social standards, which are constantly changing and liquefying.

In this transition from the solid to the liquid world, Bauman highlights the great transition of social forms: whether at work, in family, in love, in friendship or even in one’s own identity.

This transition from solid to liquid presupposes that the events materialized in modernity have become radicalized in the contemporary world. what is liquid modernity

See also the meaning of  the Industrial Revolution  .

Net ratios what is liquid modernity

Liquid modernity generates instability for everything that surrounds us, including human relationships and coexistence, as well as family groups, friends, among others.

What Bauman emphasizes in his literary work is that relationships have lost the stability and consistency that existed in solid modernity, becoming exchanges for different purposes.

Bauman made a deeper analysis of affective relationships in his literary work “Liquid Love”, where he addresses the structures of relationships in liquid modernity.

In one of his interviews for a Brazilian media outlet, Bauman gave the following answer when asked about the meaning of Liquid Love:

Liquid love is love “until the second warning,” love from the standard of consumer goods: keep them as long as they bring you satisfaction and replace them with others that promise even more satisfaction. Love with a spectrum of immediate elimination, and therefore also of permanent anxiety, floating above it. In its “liquid” form, love tries to replace quality with quantity, but it can never be done, as its practitioners sooner or later realize. It is good to remember that love is not a “found object” but the product of long and often difficult effort and goodwill. what is liquid modernity

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