Four Steps Back: Returning... to the Future? (about the book of Z. Bauman’s “Retrotopia”)


Andreyev A.L.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS; Prof., National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute”, Moscow, Russia. sympathy_06@mail.ru

Gesheva E.G.

Associate Prof., National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute”, Moscow, Russia.

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009388-9
ID of the Article:


For citation:

Andreyev A.L., Gesheva E.G. Four Steps Back: Returning... to the Future? (about the book of Z. Bauman’s “Retrotopia”). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 5. P. 164-171




Abstract

The proposed article is a reflection on the trends in development of modern society, inspired by the new book “Retrotopia” by Zygmunt Bauman. The authors substantiates the validity of Bauman’s scientific approaches, noting that the current situation of global changes is so rapid that to understand them does not keep up with the ensuing global transformations. They also note peculiarities of Bauman’s approach to this problem reflected in the fact that he identified key trends in the development of a new social landscape formed by retrospective, nostalgic “departures” of public consciousness into neo-archaics. In this context, the article examines how some social approaches, apparently overcome, paradoxically resonate with new social phenomena. The “four steps back”, interpreted as main trends in the development of public consciousness, are analyzed by the authors of the article together with Bauman reflections on why, refusing to expect improvements from an uncertain and untrustworthy future, society attributes the values of stability and reliability to traditionalized values and norms. In order to argue with the well-known English sociologist, it is suggested that in times of crisis-laden changes, it is hardly possible to use old techniques and traditionalist practices to solve newly emerging problems.


Keywords
modernization; social inequality; defunctionalization of the state; liberal values; risks; narcissism; individualism; identity

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Content No 5, 2020