Liquid Modernity & Late Capitalism: Two sides of the same coin?

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In Liquid Modernity, Bauman portrays Adorno and the rest of the early Frankfurt School as sociologists and thinkers belonging to the ‘heavy’ phase of modernity. In other words, they are deemed irrelevant to the discussion of current sociological time diagnoses and the purpose of critique under conditions of such liquid modernity. In this paper, I want to argue that this picture of Adorno is mistaken and extend the view proposed by Frederic Jameson that Adorno was not only the philosopher of 1990’s but is also very useful in the 2010’s. In fact, the critique of critical theory and emancipation as a crucial goal of such critique raised by Bauman in Liquid Modernity fails to acknowledge the complexity of Adorno’s theoretical apparatus. Adorno’s idea of pseudo-individualisation is laid out and compared to the critique Bauman points to with individualization processes in the liquid phase of modernity. The paper argues that there are great similarities but that Adorno (and the rest of the Early Frankfurt School) has a much more well founded philosophical layout of their critique of individualization.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventLiquid Modernity: Challenge and Critique - Hotel Viking, Sæby, Denmark
Duration: 11 Oct 201212 Oct 2012


SeminarLiquid Modernity
LocationHotel Viking

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