Based on a few stories in the last few days, I have again realized that sociology outside the United States may be quite different. While there is a dance performance in Quebec celebrating the life of a political scientist and sociologist, there is a new Polish documentary examining the life of sociologist Zygmunt Bauman:
“Love Europe World by Zygmunt Bauman”, a film about the world famous Polish-Jewish philosopher and sociologist had its premiere last week.
The documentary was commissioned by the National Audiovisual Institute as a part of the Cultural Program of the Polish EU Presidency in 2011 and directed by Krzysztof Rz?czy?ski.
In the four-parts film (Culture, Europe, The World, and Himself), Bauman reflects upon issues that are central to his work as a sociologist: culture and the times, in which we live.
“The ultimate result of the blossoming of culture, which we have undoubtedly witnessed in the passing years, is a feeling of having gone astray”, says Bauman in the film.
I imagine that European sociologists as public intellectuals might just be considered normal material for documentaries. People like Bauman, Giddens, and Habermas have been quite influential.
What if someone wanted to make a series on the lives of American sociologists? Think of the possibilities: George Herbert Mead, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton, Peter Berger, Robert Bellah, Robert Wuthnow, William Julius Wilson, and more. (I know I’m leaving a lot of big names out here.) Are there particularly notable paths sociologists took to reach the top of the discipline? Even so, perhaps there is a better question to consider before thinking too much about this: would anyone ever watch these?