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Last updated Mai. 29, 2007


English Abstracts 2000

English Abstracts 1999
Edition 1/2000

Stefan Breuer
Modern Fundamentalism

Genuine fundamentalism is a phenomenon combining both expectations of salvation and a rejection of the world which occurs in redemption religions. In modern fundamentalism, this total world rejection is weakened to rejection of the modern age based on functional differentiation and formal rationalisation, while hopes of salvation are shifted to this-worldly instances such as morality, art and eroticism. The ideal-types of moral, aesthetic and erotic fundamentalism are illustrated and interpreted in the light of Max Weber's typology of the "paths of salvation". Finally, the relations between modern fundamentalism and intellectualism are discussed from the perspective of a sociology of knowledge.
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Peter Noller
Globalization, Space and Society. Elements of a Modern Sociology of Space

This essay argues for a change of perspective on the social category of space. Globalization neither means the dissolution of space nor the mere spatial extension of social relations, but a far-reaching change in the relations between space and society. In a first step, I outline the change of social space relations brought about by globalization. The thesis is, that social community building becomes more and more detached from territorially and culturally given spatial areas. In a second step I discuss the consequences of this development for the conception of space in traditional sociology and the way they are dealt with in current debates. Finally, I present elements for conceptualizing a modern sociology of space, which have been neglected so far. The paper concludes by proposing a view of space as an integral part of the production of modern societies. Particularly under conditions of globalization the reference to the body as the center of social space practices becomes indispensable.
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Helmuth Berking
"Homes away from Home": On Tensions Between Diaspora and the Nation-State

Focussing on "diaspora" as a new/old global form of sociation of migrant populations, this article aims at describing the impact these locations might have on transforming the mode of producing collective identities in general and national subjects in particular. Contrary to widespread optimism that conceptualize diaspora as the strict opposite and as a promising alternative to the nation-state, one has to realize that nation-states themselves play a peculiar crucial role in producing, maintaining and policing those transnational spaces inhabited by diasporic groups. To describe both the institutional constraints of and on "diasporization" and using the US as a frame of reference, I will characterize three strategies of "ethnicization": a politics of ethnicity from above, tendencies of ethnic closure from below, and attempts at political mobilisation and inclusion from abroad. Finally, the question has to be asked whether we can identify a socio-spatial logic of sociation that opens a horizon beyond the dominant organization of societies as nation-states.
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Robert Kecskes
Social and Identificational Assimilation of Young Turkish People

Starting from the assumption that the group of young Turkish people living in Germany is extremely heterogeneous with regard to the degree of assimilation and integration, the article analyzes causal variables of their assimilation. In order to derive hypotheses, firstly I discuss concepts of assimilation and integration. Secondly, these hypotheses are tested on the empirical basis of 614 standardized interviews with young Turkish people at the age of 15 to 21. The results of the analysis show that the context variables "neighborhood" and "place of training" are crucial for the composition of networks.
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Hermann Strasser/Andrea Maria Dederichs
Restructuring Class Society: Elements of a Contemporary Theory of Social Inequality

This essay discusses possible correspondences between social-structural phenomena and class-structural invariants with the goal in mind to outline elements of a contemporary theory of social inequality ñ an inequality theory which provides a power sociological frame to cultural pluralization effects. Starting with the hypothesis of the changing mechanisms which structure social inequality, the authors opt for a model of a restructured society. By means of a modified habitus-field-theory of Pierre Bourdieu, this model is capable of explaining both the altered context of explanation and the significance of modern inequalities. Postindustrial class conflicts no longer take place between traditional classes. Rather, they rest upon closure strategies of various occupational groups and their organizations; moreover, they also result from the differential capacity to represent appropriate value orientations, to recognize legitimate standards, and to stage distinctive life styles.
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Wolfgang Merkel
The Third Ways of Social Democracy into the 21st Century

At the end of the twentieth century the politics and policies of New Labour under Tony Blair and Anthony Giddensís "Third way" have triggered a new "revisionist" debate within European social democracy. However, if one looks closer to the actual policies of the various social democratic led governments (Great Britan, Netherlands, Sweden, France) one has to distinguish between different Third ways. The experience of all social democratic governments shows ñ albeit to a different degree ñ a lack of programmatic ideas and actual political commitment to use the European Union as the new strategic space for their policies. However, the EU has to be discovered by social democracy in order to compensate for the loss of national sovereignty in policy making in times of globalization. The Third ways of social democracy into the 21st century lead through "Europe".
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Wolfgang Schluchter
Max Weber Following: A Theory of Agency and Structure

The current debate in social theory revolves around two distinctions: system theories versus theories of action (including theories of structure) on the one hand, mentalistically versus linguistically grounded theories of action on the other hand. Within this frame of reference Max Weberís interpretative sociology is regarded as a variation of a mentalistically grounded theory of action (and order), emphasizing purposive action and instrumental rationality. In this article I want to demonstrate that this characterization is wrong. Weberís approach is neither congruent with system theory or the theory of communicative action, nor with rational choice theory. To demonstrate this one has to revise the frame of reference mentioned above, which reveals a much more complex picture. Thus, it is still interesting to further develop Max Weberís approach.
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English Abstracts 1999
Issue 2/2000

Klaus Eder
The Transformation of National Public Spheres in Europe

There is already a public sphere in Europe. The public debate in Europe on issues such as the BSE-scandal, the corruption in the Commission or the regulation of migration and the treatment of migrants have led to forms of public resonance that cross national borders. To grasp this public space in Europe, an analytical model of the variable social location of this public space is proposed. Contrary to the national public space, this emerging European public space is no longer tied to the condition of a community of language, to a people speaking the same language ("Volk"). Such community is replaced by networks of political actors which are held together by an issue-specific community of discourse, no longer by a community of language. The structural options of this emerging public space in Europe are then summarized in an analytical model which has implications for the normative question of whether such a European public space can fulfill the function of democratizing the European Union.
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Peter Flora
Internal Structuration and the Drawing of External Frontiers. Europe and Its Nations. A Rokkanian Research Perspective

Starting from notions of border drawing and structuration, this essay takes up basic ideas from Stein Rokkanís work on state and nation building in Europe in order to utilize them in the analysis of the European unification process. It follows from this, that Europe as it emerged from the breakdown of the Western Roman Empire was marked by the opposition between ethnic particularistic and religious ecclesiastical border drawings and that Europeís outer borders and, by implication, its identity developed out of religious ecclesiastical antagonisms. With the weakening of universalistic forces Europe then becomes reconstructed as a system of nation states which internalize the Europe-wide cleavages and, in the process of democratization and the development of the welfare state, produce a specific national configuration of actors and institutions. The process of European unification, resulting as much from the self-destruction of Europe as it arises from the historical identity of the Europeans, constitutes an absolutely new form and phase of political system building in Europe. But instead of integrating the nation state and cultural heterogeneity as elements of the political reorganization of Europe, this was attempted by devaluating the nation state and building a Common Market. This opposition could possibly become a seed for a nationalism generated by the process of European unification.
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Peter A. Kraus
From Westphalia to Cosmopolis? Problems of Cultural Identity in European Politics

In recent debates, the problems of furthering the political integration of Europe have often been associated with the weak cultural foundations available for constructing a European "state". At least, this is an important starting point of "Westphalian" approaches to European integration, which contend that cultural heterogeneity inhibits the formation and articulation of a common political will among Europeans. "Cosmopolitan democrats", on the other hand, welcome the EU as a unique chance for constituting political community which is truly "civic". The paper will follow a different line of argumentation and argue that the regulation of cultural pluralism at the European level is characterized by the general contradictions underlying the EU's institutional development: The principle of intergovernmentalism stresses the role of nation-states and tends to reaffirm the weight of the corresponding national cultures. At the same time, however, European transnationalism offers possibilities for articulating cultural identities below and beyond the nation-state, contributing to some extent to the "denationalization" of political cultures. This is illustrated by examples taken from the area of European language policy. The last section of the paper deals with the potentials of subsidiarity for inducing "reflexive identity management".
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Michael Mann
Explaining Murderous Ethnic Cleansing. The Macro-Level

This essay outlines a macro-sociological approach to explain murderous ethnic cleansing. Firstly, the author rejects alternative approaches which focus either on the state or weak civil societies as the crucial factors of explanation and suggests a precise analysis of political actors and their constellations, in order to cover the historical diversity and complexity of this phenomenon. Secondly, against this background he develops a theoretical field of possibilities concerning the political constellations of ethnic groups. Multiculturalism and genozide are the extreme poles of this typology. Thirdly, the author develops a comparative historical strategy to explain the processes of ethnic cleansing. He shows that language, religion and territory (province) are the crucial factors which combine in the political formation of concrete ethnic actorsë constellations to cover the entire typological field of possibilities. The approach concentrates on conflicts about the political sovereignty of ethnic groups but it does not pretend to offer a full explanation, since this would afford additional micro-sociological strategies.
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Dieter Rucht
The Europeanization of Political Mobilization

EU policies are becoming increasingly important relative to those of national governments and parliaments in the member states. Is there a corresponding Europeanization of the political mobilization by parties, interest groups and social movements? This essay examines this question using both case studies and systematic quantitative data. Regarding mobilization by political parties and, in particular, voting behavior there are no clear signs that European matters have increased in importance. By contrast, EU-related lobbying activities of interest groups have grown considerably, but continue to reflect the imbalance between the well-resourced European umbrella organizations in industry, commerce and agriculture on the one hand, and the less powerful groups and networks of workers, women, environmentalists, consumers, and human and civil rights activists on the other hand. When it comes to protest politics, the data on Europeanization are inconclusive. Data derived from news agency reports, whose quality is hard to assess at present, suggest that in the aggregate the number and proportion of EU-related protests has increased, though not in all EU countries. Both detailed and reliable longitudinal data on all kinds of protest in Germany in the last few decades and more specific data on environmental protests from 1988 to 1997 do not indicate a trend towards Europeanization. This unexpected result and the nearly complete absence of protest activities in Brussels is explained by four sets of factors in the final section.
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Willfried Spohn
The European Unionís Eastern Enlargement and Changes in Collective Identities. A Comparison between Western and Eastern States

Using a historical-sociological approach, the article analyzes the Eastern enlargement of the European Union regarding the embedded collective identities in a Western and Eastern European comparison. It starts from the premise that the process of the Eastern enlargement has to be analyzed within the context of the reconstitution of a European civilization as a reconstruction of the historically structured socio-economic, political and cultural patterns of unevenness. Particularly, the cultural diversity and unevenness as represented in the interrelationships between the collective identities on the East-West axis plays a crucial role for the origin, course and future development of the Eastern enlargement. On the Western side, the comparative analysis of France, Germany, Great Britain and Sweden shows a common civilizing mission vis-à-vis Eastern Europe, though in varying forms with regard to the different national identities and political cultures. On the Eastern side, an ambivalent situation: emulative and defensive orientation vis-à-vis Western Europe and the European Union is characteristic, though again in nationally varying forms. This cultural unevenness between Western Europe and Eastern Europe ñ so my main thesis ñ will be crucial in determining the actual course of the Eastern enlargement of the European Union.
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English Abstracts 1998
Edition 3/2000

Christoph Deutschmann
Money as an 'Absolute Means'. On the Relevance of Simmelís Theory of Money.

According to a rising number of critical voices, the state of both sociological and mainstream economic theories on money must be considered as deficient. The paper suggests that a more promising approach could be developed by going back to Simmel, whose thinking was not yet dominated by todayës "division of labour" between sociology and economics. The centrepiece of Simmelís theory is his conceptualization of money as an "absolute means". The paper shows that Simmelís view is incompatible with the functionalist interpretations of money which today are dominating in economic sociology. At the same time it allows for a new and more accurate analytical perspective on the phenomena of "individualization" and "modernization", broadly discussed in current sociology. Moreover, Simmelís theory of money could be made fruitful for a new interpretation of contemporary problems of economic growth and innovation.
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Viviana A. Zelizer
Multiple Markets, Multiple Cultures.

Despite widespread views to the contrary, connectedness and diversity do not contradict each other, but appear as different aspects of the same large-scale processes. Like other areas of social life, economic relations contain extensive differentiation, which distinguish symbolically and morally contrasting social ties. The economy therefore intersects with other aspects of social life in combining morally-significant connectedness and differentiation. Multiplication of cultural forms does not in itself usually threaten solidarity; the threat arises mainly when it involves segmented, segregated, unequal circuits of communication and exchange. Examination of American experience with monetarization and material consumption substantiates these general principles.
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Steffen Sigmund
The Art of Giving: Founders between Commitment in Civil Society and Symbolic Recognition.

The Social Sciences havenít paid much attention to foundations so far, but recently they gained interest in this topic in debates on civil society. The ongoing discussion on a sphere detached from both, market and state provides for the particular basis of claims for strengthening civil society. The article analyzes foundations as a crucial dimension of civil societyís institutional infrastructure. Firstly, in a historical and systematic perspective, I outline the process, in which foundations were constituted as autonomous, secularized institutions; secondly, against this background I analyze foundersë pratcices being a special form of interaction that allows to describe the social role of the founder as a passenger between altruism and the need for recognition.
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Neil Fligstein
Is Globalization the Cause of the Crises of Welfare States?

Economic globalization refers to three related processes: (1) the growth in the world economy, (2) the change in the relations between first and third world countries that has resulted from the use of information technologies to reorganize production nationally and globally, and (3) the integration of world financial markets. These processes are often held responsible for deindustrialization in advanced industrial societies, increases in income inequality, and pressures on welfare states to transform worker protection and benefits. I demonstrate that these changes in the world economy are much smaller, more gradual, and unevenly spread across societies than the globalization thesis suggests. More important, the links between globalization and its alleged negative outcomes are tenuous at best. The rhetoric of globalization has more to do with the U.S. and changes in its political economy than changes in world trade. A brief concluding discussion considers how this is playing out in western Europe.
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Helga Krüger/René Levy
Family and Gender Revisited: Life Course Institutions 'networking' Social Actors.

This contribution intends to revisit gender and the family from the perspective of an institution-oriented approach to life course analysis. Focusing on social institutions and their mediating function between individual action and social-structural conditions makes it possible to highlight micro-, meso-, and macrosocial interdependencies as well as forms of gender structuration that have largely remained hidden because of their indirect way of functioning. Such an approach moderates the general thesis of individualization and shows how individual actors are being " networked " by rationalities embedded in their institutional environment which confront them with new dilemmas. While the contribution of life-course institutions to the reproduction of the gender order gets more and more in conflict with the individuals' projects for the management of their own biography, the relational nexus between such institutions seems neither to relieve family and gender from their patterns of obligation, nor to lessen its role as a structural mediator between biographical options and incompatible institutional requirements of availability.
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Jörg Rössel
Mobilization and Strike Activity in American Bituminous and Anthracite Coal Mining in the late 19th Century.

The article analyzes the strike activity of workers in two closely related industries, American bituminous and anthracite coal mining in the late 19th century. It shows that the employees of these two branches of industry show significantly differing strike activities in spite of their nearly equal position in the class structure. The analysis demonstrates that the most important conditions for the mobilization of workers were first the counter strategies and resources of the firms, second the extent of union organization, third the social differentiation of the employees, fourth the dependence of wages on the business cycle and their ensuing insecurity, and fifth workplace autonomy and therefore the opportunities for workplace interaction of certain groups of workers. The results support the thesis, that similar class structures do not necessarily lead to similar social and political conflicts. The mobilization for conflicts depends instead on specific conditions, which must be researched in their own right.
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English Abstracts 1998
Edition 4/2000

Uwe Schimank
Societal Problems of Integration in the Light of Sociological Diagnoses of our Time.

Problems of societal integration are still prominent topics of sociological diagnoses of our time. The author analyzes the most important of these studies, which were published in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States during the last two decades. He discusses their contribution to problems of three crucial dimensions of sociological analysis: social intergation, system integration, and ecological integration.
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Thomas Schwinn
Inclusion and Social Inequality.

How can we link the two most important concepts for an analysis of modern societies, functional differentiation and social inequality? Systems theory claims a primacy of functional differentiation in modern societies and rejects the assumption of a general structure of inequality. It claims, that each functional subsystem produces its own kind of inequality. Empirically however, there are links between different forms of inclusion into these subsystems, which lead to a general form of inequality. It stems from three power resources: symbolic power (education), political power, and economic opportunities, which are convertible, thereby generating a general structure of inequality. Given that these resources intersect in individualsí occupational positions, I argue that 'occupation' turns out to be the crucial variable to understand the relation between functional differentiation and social inequality. Strategies of social closure and the monopolization of resources constitute a principle of social structuration, which cannot be derived from the concept of functional differentiation.
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Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey
The Transfer Between the Student Movements of 1968 and the Emergence of a Transnational Adversary Public Sphere.

The author analyses changes in the sphere of communication, the forms of discourse and chances of participation, which the student movements of l968 devised. Starting with the "International Vietnam-Conference" which took place in Berlin on February, 17/18 l968, she examines the exchange of ideas and tactics among the movements both, before and after the conference. She focuses on the significance of the cognitive structure of ideas ("kollektive Sinnstrukturen"), which rendered interpretation of the situation and offered strategies without beeing confined to the "direct relational ties" and "the non relational channels" of communication between movements. The article concludes with reflections on the formation and effects of a transnational "counter-public" under the conditions of a "mass media public".
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Andreas Heinemann-Grüder
Can Europe be Democratized?

Usually there are three modes of considering Europeís so called democratic deficit. Intergouvernementalists deny its existence, adherents of an organic conception of nationhood claim, that it lacks social legitimacy in Europe, and some political scientists treat European networks as a form of deliberative democracy appropriate to transnationality. These three modes of reflection are discussed in the light of a normative conception of constitutionalism, based on the fundamental idea of a societal contract between free citizens. In contrast to institutionalists who answer the democratic deficit by stressing the inclusive and aggregating features of institutions, a positive legitimization of the EUís fundaments is claimed to be essential for constitution-building. The crucial implication of constitutionalizing Europe consists of the complementarity of national sovereignties and Europeís sovereignty. The article calls for a constitutionalist process that politicizes the commonalties in the constitutional telos of Europeís member states.
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Andreas Langenohl
Political Culture in Times of the Unveiling of Conflict: On Postcommunist Modernization of Collective Commemorative Practices.

The article proposes a theoretical concept and an empirical operationalization of "political culture" responding to the conditions of the "postnational constellation", i.e. the empirical and normative devaluation of the nation state as both, an instrument of regulation and a focus of identification. The national form turns problematic, especially in post-socialist countries, since they witness an unveiling of cultural conflicts which had been suppressed under socialist rule, inhibiting a primarily affirmative relation to the "nation". Thus, I conceptualize political culture from the perspective of a discourse-ethically modified model of civil society, stressing public debates over collective identity. Especially debates on the collective past are the empirical basis of this conception because they display the argumentative micro-structures underlying the proposed model of political culture. A scetchy analysis of a memory debate in contemporary Russia serves to exemplify the theses und leads to the assessment that post-Soviet Russia makes up for the processes typical for societies of high modernity, though under dilemmatic conditions.
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Stefan A. Litz
The Fortified Society: Social Exclusion as a Result of Privatization and Fortification of Space.

Some of the industrialized modern countries, especially the United States of America, have been confronted with the privatization and fortification of space for several decades. Within so called "gated communities" traditionally public, i.e. collectively used space is privatized. Access to the public is restricted by walls, fences and gated entries which are monitored by modern security systems and controlled by private security services. The main objective of these developments is the social exclusion of undesirable persons and social groups in order to guarantee the personal and cultural integrity of the inhabitants. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 gated communities are spread all over the urban regions in the United States of America and more than eight million citizens have decided to live behind their walls. However, the radical spatial cut off has severe social, cultural, political and psychological consequences. This essay discusses the causes, types and forms of these "citadels of security" as well as the consequences of their proliferation.
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Rolf Lindner
Not bad stuff. Robert E. Park as a Literary Hero.

As is widely known, Robert Ezra Park, the "head" of the Chicago School of Sociology, began his career as a reporter and editor, took a crack at being a writer, and used novels as sources in his sociological work. It is less known that he came to be a protagonist as well. In "Organized Crimes" (1984), a novel by Nicholas von Hoffman, Robert Park plays a leading part as a professor of sociology. This article inquires upon the question where the author obtained his detailed knowledge, even regarding Parkís fondness of suits made of black and green plaid ("... attributed around the department to an allegedly gamey youth spent as a newspaper reporter"). The story line of the novel and the biography of the author give the crucial clues. Saul Alinsky, a radical community organizer in Chicago and mentor of Nicholas von Hoffman, studied at the Chicago sociology department in the late 1920s. "Organized Crimes" can thus be read as a source for the history of the department in the golden age of the Chicago School.
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