Critical HumanismA Manifesto for the 21st Century
Critical Humanism
A Manifesto for the 21st Century

We live in a mutilated world and our humanity seems irrevocably damaged. Many critics suggest we have reached the end of humanity. In this challenging book, Ken Plummer suggests that such claims may be premature; instead, what we need is a new transformative understanding of humanity.

<i>Critical Humanism</i> critically reflects upon and reimagines humanism for the twenty-first century. What is now required is a fresh, wide-ranging imaginary of an open, worldly, plural and caring humanity. It needs to take a critical stance towards older, often divisive ideas of what it means to be human, while reconnecting to a wider understanding of the rich diversity of life in the pluriverse.

In an age of post- and transhumanist turns, Plummer provides a personal, political and passionate call for thinkers, researchers and activists to <i>not</i> turn their backs on humanism. We need instead to create a vital new political imaginary of being human in a connected planet. We simply cannot afford to be anti-human or posthuman. Restoring our belief in humanity has never been more important for edging towards a better world for all.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • November 2021
  • 224 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509527946
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509527953
  • Open eBook $56.00
  • 9781509527984
Table of Contents
List of tables and figures




Re-thinking the World: Connected Humanity

    1   Critical Humanism


Dehumanizing the World: Disconnected Humanity

2     Damaging Humanity

3     Dividing Humanity

4     Traumatizing Humanity


Humanizing the World: Flourishing Humanity

5     Narrating Humanity

6     Valuing Humanity

7     Transforming Humanity


Transforming the World: A Politics of Humanity

8 A Manifesto for the 21st Century

Short Guide to Further Reding


About the Author
Ken Plummer is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex.
Show More


‘This book is an extraordinarily brave and enormously comprehensive attempt to re-energize an interest in the battered concept of humanism, fully realizing its author’s intention to provide “a vision of something better”.’
Laurie Taylor, University of York, and presenter of Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio Four

‘Plummer engages with an extraordinary range of different literatures and a lifetime of reflection to consider what it will take to be truly human in the twenty-first century. We should grapple seriously with his impassioned and challenging arguments.’
Rob Stones, Western Sydney University

‘Ken Plummer’s mission has been to expand the range and depth of decencies; here he seeks larger principles on which to ground mutual regard. This is a fundamental study – rooted in conscience, sociological learning and intimate generosity. Critical Humanism stirs the mind.’
Harvey Molotch, New York University, and University of California, Santa Barbara

Show More