World and Waste, or the Law of Liquidity
This chapter explains Bauman's success in launching the notion of 'liquidity' gives a striking opportunity to reflect how the sociologists think, write and debate. Bauman observes how the liquidity of today's social arrangements does hamper the establishment of 'human bonds'. On the other hand, humanity seems also to be characterized as unpredictable, by something 'chaotic', and the dynamics made possible by these features are to be preserved against what Bauman sometimes calls 'ossification'. So the concept of 'liquidity' is to be related to a complex construct of notions, some of which - those regarding the difference between solid and liquid modernity. If the sociologists regard as solid a relationship that is subject to fixed principles and routines, there might be some trend towards 'liquidity'. If, on the other hand, the sociologists consider criteria such as the number of statutory players involved to be performed in the carrying out of some activity, what they observe has rather 'solid' features.