Zygmunt Bauman, arguably the world's most influential living sociologist, will discuss why good people commit evil at a public lecture at the University of Leeds this month.
Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds, is a giant of sociology and best-known for his works on globalisation, modernity, post modernity and consumerism.
The lecture takes place between 4.30 and 6.30 on 21st April in the Yorkshire Bank lecture theatre at Leeds University Business School and is free and open to the public.
He has written about the concept of 'liquid modernity' - where contemporary life has moved from a state where it is relatively 'solid'- with change occurring, but from one stable condition to another - to one where change is constant and unpredictable. This causes rapid, widespread displacement and uncertainty in society.
In his forthcoming lecture, 'What Makes Good People do Evil', Bauman will discuss acts of evil, ethical values and human solidarity in this age. He will look at how state sanctioned atrocities such as the Holocaust cannot be seen as a single event, but rather as beginning a process which results in these acts becoming easier to commit each time. He will also discuss how atrocity links to technology and economics, where humankind has the machinery of destruction, but may not be able to grasp the moral case for using it or not.
The lecture will take place as part of a four year Research Project titled Concentrationary Memories: The Politics of Representation, which is directed by Professors Griselda Pollock and Max Silverman of the University of Leeds and funded by the AHRC.
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