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Liquid Life

by Zygmunt Bauman

'Liquid life’ is the kind of life commonly lived in our contemporary, liquid-modern society. Liquid life cannot stay on course, as liquid-modern society cannot keep its shape for long. Liquid life is a precarious life, lived under conditions of constant uncertainty.

The most acute and stubborn worries that haunt this liquid life are the fears of being caught napping, of failing to catch up with fast moving events, of overlooking the ‘use by’ dates and being saddled with worthless possessions, of missing the moment calling for a change of tack and being left behind. Liquid life is also shot through by a contradiction: it ought to be a (possibly unending) series of new beginnings, yet precisely for that reason it is full of worries about swift and painless endings, without which new beginnings would be unthinkable. Among the arts of liquid-modern living and the skills needed to practice them, getting rid of things takes precedence over their acquisition.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: PhilosophySociology

Reading time: 45 hours


Esther Perel
Therapist, Author and Speaker

His description of nomadism gave me a whole new path of thinking, because he looks at nomadism as this trade of our liquid life, where we flow through life like a tourist, where we change places and jobs and spouses and values, including our religious and our professional affiliations. What he highlights is how we’ve dismantled the traditional structures and networks that used to give us support, and now we live in a precarious life under conditions of constant uncertainty, where the burdens of the self have never been heavier.