The purpose of the paper is to analyze the issue of the relations between being consumers and being citizens in the consumer society. Many researchers point to deepening crisis of mature democracy and a decrease in social and civil participation, which entails most developed and developing countries, including Poland. The phenomenon present in a context of consumer society and its culture are often indicated among causes of this state. Based on the analysis of social changes in modern world, Zygmunt Bauman arrives at a conclusion that as an individualized entity, the consumer is an enemy of the citizen. The citizen and the consumer have different interests, hierarchies of values and ways of perceiving the world. The Zygmunt Bauman’s thesis is being analyzed in the paper on the basic of author’s research results. In the first part of the study, the typical characteristics of “model” members of a consumer society in the liquid modernity era are discussed (with reference to Bauman’s and other authors’ views). The way a consumer society affects the mentality of its members (the consumers) and their relations with groups, or larger communities (especially civil participation) is addressed. The second part is devoted to the issue of relations between being consumers and being citizens and is based on the research results of author’s research results. The relationships between consumer orientations of AMU students and chosen elements of their civic and social participation are discussed. Finally, the study is concluded with an attempt at explaining the results of research with reference to Bauman’s concept.
The article is devoted to the late Zygmunt Bauman (d. January 2017), a scholar who made an enormous impact on world humanities at the turn of the twentieth century. It briefly presents Bauman’s life and a number of the best known concepts from his works. The author first discusses Bauman’s attitude toward Marxist theory and explains his revision of it. He then introduces the main ideas of Bauman work Modernity and the Holocaust. The article ends with a review of Bauman’s reflections on globalisation and a discussion of his thesis concerning the crisis of the nation state.