Michael Matthews October 5, 2011
Ideology and Bauman
Zygmunt Bauman (Born in 1925, Poland- Uses of Poverty: The way we think)
He is a sociologist.
This is a philosophical article, a left wing intellectual. He is a professor.
He invokes Karl Marx.
What do you see when you see poor people? Often distended bellies are a sign of malnutrition.
Poverty and inequality are interrelated concepts
Distribution of wealth incomePity, compassion, guilt
Bauman says “The sight of the poor keeps the non-poor at bay and in step”
Sight: The visual experience, act of seeing, television, Tim Hortons
Poor: Who are the poor? “Othered”, Dehumanized and destitute. Have nothing to leave.
Non Poor: Who are the “non poor”? Consumers, Us, /have everything to lose.
At bay/ in step: obedient to the system, do the things that are required for us to be a part of society,
Uncritical, Consuming, “Heads Down”
Why is the sight important? By seeing images of poverty, it makes us fearful that we might become poor.
So, we keep buying and consuming society is perpetuated. Poverty serves us as a warning us, to earn as
much as we can, lest we become the poor. Bauman says this is