Mortality, Immortality and Other Life Strategies
Zygmunt Bauman's new book is a brilliant exploration, from asociological point of view, of the 'taboo' subject in modernsocieties: death and dying. The book develops a new theory of theways in which human mortality is reacted to, and dealt with, insocial institutions and culture. The hypothesis explored in thebook is that the necessity of human beings to live with theconstant awareness of death accounts for crucial aspects of thesocial organization of all known societies. Two different 'lifestrategies' are distinguished in respect of reactions to mortality.One, 'the modern strategy', deconstructs mortality by translatingthe insoluble issue of death into many specific problems of healthand disease which are 'soluble in principle'. The 'post-modernstrategy' is one of deconstructing immortality: life is transformedinto a constant rehearsal of 'reversible death', a substitution of'temporary disappearance' for the irrevocable termination of life. This profound and provocative book will appeal to a wide audience.It will also be of particular interest to students andprofessionals in the areas of sociology, anthropology, theology andphilosophy. Zygmunt Bauman is the author of a number of other books including the extremely successful Modernity and the Holocaust (Polity, 1989) which won the 1989 European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Theory, and Modernity and Ambivalence (Polity, 1991). He was also awarded the Theodor W. Adorno prize for 1998.
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