Abstracts: Social movements and collective identity
Dieter Rucht: Collective identity: Conceptual reflections on an important tool of social movement research, FJNSB, pp. 9-23
The author stresses the crucial importance of collective identity in order to locate social movements. He analyzes the collective identity of social movements in a threefold manner, adapting the concepts of identit‚, opposition and totalit‚ by Alain Touraine: Collective identity as the connection of interactions based on a certain structural network, as a challenge for other social groups and as the 'interpretor' of a social conflict. Rucht discusses these three dimensions in the light of recent theories within the realm of social movement research. He concludes with some remarks on the factors which may constribute to the decline of the collective identity of social movements. Positively spoken: To stabilize collective identity permanently it is necessary to keep the adequat relationship between exclusion and inclusion of a social movement.Oliver Schmidtke: Collective identity and the political mobilization of territorial movements: An analytical perspective, FJNSB, pp. 24-31
The function of collective identity is defined as a means to standardize social relationships and to secure continuity. Schmidtke distinguishes three types of collective identity: primordial, cultural, and civic identity. The author reconstructs how the identity of the Italian Lega Lombarda had shifted from a primordially defined one towards a cultural identity. This was due to a changed 'political opportunity structure' that necessitated an extension of 'politics of identity' to mobilize people beyond the initially restricted territory of Northern Italy and to gain relevance in the whole country.Veit Michael Bader: Ethnic identity and ethnic culture. Limits of constructivism and of manipulation, FJNSB, pp. 32-45
Collective ethnic identity is the focus of this essay. Bader defines collective identity in general (1) by an awareness of belonging to a group, (2) by the discrimination of non-members, (3) by the collective interpretation of belonging, (4) by a functional relationship towards individual identity that induces action for the individual, (5) by situations of rivalry and struggle and (6) by a mutual relationship of definitions of oneself by oneself and by others. Ethnic identity is also discussed referring to Anthony Smith's study 'The Ethnic Origins of Nations' (1986).Bernd Simon: Individual and collective self: Sociopsychological basics of social movements, in the case of the gay movement, FJNSB, pp. 46-55
The analysis of the relationship between the individual and a group and the transformation of one into the other is central to modern experimental social psychology. It is generated by discontinuous individual behavior. The author refers to psychological approaches towards the concept of self and the problem of self-interpretation. Individual self-interpretation is presented as being composed of several social aspects of the self, allowing the individual to be defined more easily. However, such self-interpretation gradually becomes less stable. Simon exemplifies his findings on the basis of empirical surveys of the gay movement: Stigmatized minorities tend to harmonize their sense of identity by external as well as by self-induced influences. Social aspects of the self are shared and contribute to the experience of the common social fate.Ulrich Wagner/Andreas Zick: Social identity and group behavior: Sociopsychological contributions to an analysis of social movements, FJNSB, pp. 56-67
The authors describe the development of theory and method of the 'social identity approach' since the seventies, when the crisis of social psychology was manifest in its lack to come to terms with 'large-scale processes'. This approach and its theories of social identity can make an important contribution to the discussion of collective identites of social movements. However, the findings of social psychology are only of limited value as far as ideological components within collective identities are concerned, e.g., racial, ethnical or religious motives.Kai-Uwe Hellmann: Social movements and collective identity: About the latency, crisis and reflection of social milieus, FJNSB, pp. 68-81
In this essay social movements are perceived as collective identities of their respective social bases, taking up the classic distinction of 'Klasse an sich' and 'Klasse fürs sich'. Luhmann's concept of reflexion is appreciated: A social system defines its identity by reflecting on the difference to its environment, and that means: to everything else otuside of istelf. The social basis of a movement is described - refering to Gerhard Schulze's 'Erlebnisgesellschaft' - as a social milieu that is confirmed of its genuine identity in times of severe crisis' by the corresponding movement. Thus, the collective identity of the main social basis of the new social movements is a product of the mobilization of these new social movements.
Wolf-Dieter Narr: Between profession and movement: The anniversary of the 'Arbeitskreis Soziale Bewegungen', FJNSB, pp. 82-89
???Ruud Koopmans: Movement or stagnation? A critical analysis of the recent German research on social movements, FJNSB, pp. 90-96
These two lectures were held on the Potsdam Conference of Political Scientists in August 1994 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the 'Arbeitskreis Soziale Bewegungen'. Koopmans's text is a lightly ironical outline of the state of affairs. Narr emphasizes the current lack of approaches of democratic theory and of macro-sociology, and deplores the high grade of 'scientification'. On the contrary, KOOPMANS pleades for more 'scientification', because the German discussion is too much preoccupied with abstract discussions on concept and definition which neglecting empirical research, which is not only in its own right, but may also help to resolve conceptual problems.