For the political class, poverty is commonly seen as a problemof law and order - a matter of how to deal with individuals, suchas unemployed youths, who fall foul of the law. But treatingpoverty as a criminal problem obscures the social roots ofinequality, which lie in the combination of a consumerist lifephilosophy propagated and instilled by a consumer-oriented economy,on the one hand, and the rapid shrinking of life chances availableto the poor, on the other. In our contemporary, liquid-modernworld, the poor are the collateral damage of a profit-driven,consumer-oriented society - ‘aliens inside' who are deprivedof the rights enjoyed by other members of the social order.
In this new book Zygmunt Bauman - one of the most original andinfluential social thinkers of our time - examines the selectiveaffinity between the growth of social inequality and the rise inthe volume of ‘collateral damage' and considers itsimplications and its costs.
About: The term ‘collateral damage' has recently been added to thevocabulary of military forces to refer to the unintendedconsequences of armed interventions, consequences that areunplanned but nevertheless damaging and often very costly in humanand personal terms.
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