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The Age of Capitalism and Bureaucracy
Perspectives on the Political Sociology of Max Weber
Mommsen, W. J.
The historian Wolfgang Mommsen was one of the foremost experts on Max Weber as well as an insightful and accessible interpreter of his work. Mommsen’s classic book, first published in 1974 under the title The Age of Bureaucracy, not only concisely explains the basic concepts underlying Weber’s worldview, but also explores the historical, social, and intellectual contexts in which he operated, including Weber’s development as an academic, his relationship to German nationalism, and his engagement with Marxism. Supplemented with a new foreword, a bibliography that includes recent studies, and a postscript by Volker Berghahn that surveys the most important debates on Weber's work since his death, this short volume serves as an excellent resource for scholars and students alike.
Subjects: Sociology History: 20th Century to Present
Back to the Postindustrial Future
An Ethnography of Germany's Fastest-Shrinking City
How does an urban community come to terms with the loss of its future? The former socialist model city of Hoyerswerda is an extreme case of a declining postindustrial city. Built to serve the GDR coal industry, it lost over half its population to outmigration after German reunification and the coal industry crisis, leading to the large-scale deconstruction of its cityscape. This book tells the story of its inhabitants, now forced to reconsider their futures. Building on recent theoretical work, it advances a new anthropological approach to time, allowing us to investigate the postindustrial era and the futures it has supposedly lost.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies
Bloom and Bust
Urban Landscapes in the East since German Reunification
Cliver, G. & Smith-Prei, C. (eds)
More than two decades of deconstruction, renovation, and reconstruction have left the urban environments in the former German Democratic Republic completely transformed. This volume considers the changing urban landscapes in the former East — and how the filling of previous absences and the absence of previous presence — creates the cultural landscape of modern unified Germany. This broadens our understanding of this transformation by examining often-neglected cities, spaces, or structures, and historical narration and preservation.
Subjects: Urban Studies Cultural Studies (General)
Don't Need No Thought Control
Western Culture in East Germany and the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The fall of the Berlin Wall is typically understood as the culmination of political-economic trends that fatally weakened the East German state. Meanwhile, comparatively little attention has been paid to the cultural dimension of these dramatic events, particularly the role played by Western mass media and consumer culture. With a focus on the 1970s and 1980s, Don’t Need No Thought Control explores the dynamic interplay of popular unrest, intensifying economic crises, and cultural policies under Erich Honecker. It shows how the widespread influence of (and public demands for) Western cultural products forced GDR leaders into a series of grudging accommodations that undermined state power to a hitherto underappreciated extent.
Subjects: History: 20th Century to Present Media Studies Cultural Studies (General) Film and Television Studies
Pious Muslims in a German City
In the southern German city of Stuttgart lives a pious Muslim population that has merged with the local population to create a meaningful shared existence. In this ethnographic account, the author introduces and examines the lives of ordinary residents, neighborhoods, and mosque communities to analyze moments and spaces where Muslims and non-Muslims engage with each other and accommodate their respective needs. These accounts show that even in the face of resentment and discrimination, this pious population has indeed become an integral part of the urban community.
Subjects: Urban Studies Anthropology of Religion
Former Neighbors, Future Allies?
German Studies and Ethnography in Dialogue
Weber, A. D. (ed)
German studies scholars from various disciplines often use and reference ethnography, yet do not often present ethnography as a core methodology and research approach. Former Neighbors, Future Allies? emphasizes how German studies engages in methods and theories of ethnography. Through a variety of topics and from multiple perspectives including literature, folklore, history, sociology, and anthropology, this volume draws attention to how ethnography bridges transdisciplinary and international research in German studies.
Subjects: History (General) Anthropology (General)
Minority Discourses in Germany since 1990
Gezen, E., Layne, P., & Skolnik, J. (eds)
While German unification promised a new historical beginning, it also stirred discussions about contemporary Germany’s Nazi past and ideas of citizenship and belonging in a changing Europe. Minority Discourses in Germany Since 1990 explores the intersections and divergences between Black German, Turkish German, and German Jewish experiences, with reflections on the evolving academic paradigms with which these are studied. Informed by comparative approaches, the volume investigates social and aesthetic interventions into contemporary German public and political discourse on memory, racism, citizenship, immigration, and history.
Narratives in the Making
Writing the East German Past in the Democratic Present
Despite the three decades that have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the historical narrative of East Germany is hardly fixed in public memory, as German society continues to grapple with the legacies of the Cold War. This fascinating ethnography looks at two very different types of local institutions in one eastern German state that take divergent approaches to those legacies: while publicly funded organizations reliably cast the GDR as a dictatorship, a main regional newspaper offers a more ambivalent perspective colored by the experiences and concerns of its readers. As author Anselma Gallinat shows, such memory work—initially undertaken after fundamental regime change—inevitably shapes citizenship and democracy in the present.
Punks and Skins United
Identity, Class and the Economics of an Eastern German Subculture
Germany has one of the liveliest and well-developed punk scenes in the world. However, punk in this country is not just a style-based music community. This book provides an anthropological examination of how punk reflects the larger changes and contradictions in post-reunification Germany, such as social segmentation, east-west tensions and local politics. Punk in eastern Germany is a reaction to the marginalization of the working class. As a cultural, social and economic niche, punks create their own controversial “substitute society” to compensate for their low status in mainstream society.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Sociology Cultural Studies (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
Willy Brandt, Ostpolitik and the Quest for European Peace
Among postwar political leaders, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt played one of the most significant roles in reconciling Germans with other Europeans and in creating the international framework that enabled peaceful reunification in 1990. Based on extensive archival research, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of Brandt’s Ostpolitik from its inception until the end of the Cold War through the lens of reconciliation. Here, Benedikt Schoenborn gives us a Brandt who passionately insisted on a gradual reduction of Cold War hostility and a lasting European peace, while remaining strategically and intellectually adaptable in a way that exemplified the ‘imaginativeness of history’.
Difference and Diversity in a Changing Germany
Bock, J.-J. & Macdonald, S. (eds)
The arrival in 2015 and 2016 of over one million asylum seekers and refugees in Germany had major social consequences and gave rise to extensive debates about the nature of cultural diversity and collective life. This volume examines the responses and implications of what was widely seen as the most significant and contested social change since German reunification in 1990. It combines in-depth studies based on anthropological fieldwork with analyses of the longer trajectories of migration and social change. Its original conclusions have significance not only for Germany but also for the understanding of diversity and difference more widely.
That Sinking Feeling
On the Emotional Experience of Inferiority in Germany's Neoliberal Education System
Emotions, especially those of impoverished migrant families, have long been underrepresented in German social and cultural studies. That Sinking Feeling raises the visibility of the emotional dimensions of exclusion processes and locates students in current social transformations. Drawing from a year of ethnographic fieldwork with grade ten students, Stefan Wellgraf’s study on an array of both classic emotions and affectively charged phenomena reveals a culture of devaluation and self-assertion of the youthful, post-migrant urban underclass in neoliberal times.
When Will We Talk About Hitler?
German Students and the Nazi Past
For more than half a century, discourses on the Nazi past have powerfully shaped German social and cultural policy. Specifically, an institutional determination not to forget has expressed a “duty of remembrance” through commemorative activities and educational curricula. But as the horrors of the Third Reich retreat ever further from living memory, what do new generations of Germans actually think about this past? Combining observation, interviews, and archival research, this book provides a rich survey of the perspectives and experiences of German adolescents from diverse backgrounds, revealing the extent to which social, economic, and cultural factors have conditioned how they view representations of Germany’s complex history.