Friday, December 09, 2011
Reading Bauman is a bit like listening to Leonard Cohen. He's either gloomy and predictable, or sad and beautiful, depending on your frame of mind, or mood. So when Christina passed me Education in Liquid Modernity, I wondered what listening to the honey-tongued purveyor of post-modern angst would tell me about my own state of mind. Well, I like his six features of contemporary life: the rapid changes of short shelf-life; the way power, politics and the state begin to peel apart; the noticeable decline of collectivity; short-termism and disposable planning; an anxiety about the future; and the shape-shifting individualism - always adaptable but always in fear of irrelevance or exclusion. But although I liked them, each one may not be quite as certain as it sounds against the strum of his intellectual chord shapes. Perhaps: 'it is better to think of knowledge consumption and production after the pattern of fast food' 316 (on-demand and just-in-time). Still Bauman's conclusions are slight. Of course, we know all about the student as consumer in a marketised system - but what else is there? Bring on Johnny Rotten for a bit more energy!
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