Category Archives: Book summaries

From Pilgrim to Tourist – Or A Short History of Identity, Zygmunt Bauman

If the modern problem of identity was how to construct an identity, the postmodern problem of identity is how to avoid fixation and keep the options open. If the catchword of modernity was creation, the catchword of postmodernity is recycling. … Continue reading

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Giddens’ Structuration Theory – A Summary

  Social Structure is also only ever the outcomes of practices which have previously happened, and it makes practices possible (the duality of structure), and it is not separate from action. Giddens rejects Positivism because of its mistaken search for … Continue reading

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Summary of Liquid Modernity – Chapter Two – Individuality

I’m presently enjoying re-reading Bauman’s major works – I thought offering up my summaries might be useful to some students. I will eventually further summarise/ comment/ critique, but in the meantime.. the raw summary of chapter two of Liquid Modernity…. … Continue reading

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Zygmunt Bauman’s Consuming Life (2007) – A Summary of Chapter One

A summary of Zygmunt Bauman’s Consuming Life (2007) – Chapter One I use paraphrasing heavily below, so a lot of this is Bauman’s own words, just cut down a lot and also simplified in places. Love the guy’s literary style … Continue reading

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Stuff by Daniel Miller – A Summary

A summary of Stuff by the anthropologist Daniel Miller The premise of this book is that things make people as much as people make things. Following Bordieu, Miller argues that individuals learn to become members of society, not through formal … Continue reading

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The Myth of Meritocracy and the Structure of Luck

This recent Thinking Allowed podcast summarises a recently published book –Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank The key message of the book is that almost everyone who succeeds (in education, or business … Continue reading

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Erich Fromm’s ‘Fear of Freedom’- A Summary

A summary of Erich Fromm’s ‘Fear of Freedom’, first published in the UK in 1942 This book is an analysis of the ‘character structure of modern man’, a work in progress published because of the urgent needs of the times. … Continue reading

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Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid – A Summary and Criticism

In this blog post I summarise Dambisa Moyo’s views on the problems with Aid as a strategy for development – she is talking about Official Development Aid rather than Emergency relief aid. I’m mainly drawing from her writing at the … Continue reading

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Why Marx Was Right

Why Marx was Right refutes ten criticisms levelled at Marx and Marxism over the years by drawing on material from Marx and Engel’s original writings and by looking at how Marxism has evolved over the last century and a half. … Continue reading

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Erving Goffman and Judith Butler’s Perspectives on Identity

A summary of one chapter from Steph Lawler’s Book – ‘Identity: Sociological Perspectives’ – Masquerading as ourselves: Self-Impersonation and Social Life In this chapter Lawler deals with the work of Erving Goffman and Judith Butler – for both identity is … Continue reading

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