One subject which captured the imagination of sociologists, philosophers, political scientists and writers on culture in the 1980s was postmodernism. Society was said to have moved into a new phase which left many of our old assumptions forlorn and impotent. Zygmunt Bauman was a leading contributor to the debate. In this book he sets out his essential ideas on the sociological and philosophical antecedents of postmodernity. He shows us how to use the concept without falling into the snares of introspective nihilism or mindless euphoria. Where other writers have bogged themselves down in abstract discussion, Bauman shows us how to use the concept concretely. His discussion of postmodernity and the collapse of communism is a model in this regard. This book should be of interest to students of sociology, politics, cultural studies, and philosophy.