Biographical Perpectives
on European Societies

 

THE CAREER OF THE TROUBLEMAKER: THE BIOGRAPHICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF THE MEN'S SOCIAL ROLES IN ENCLAVES OF POVERTY

Author(s): Agnieszka Golczynska-Grondas

One of the consequences of the systemic transformation in Poland is the emergence of underclass. The presentation bases on the family life histories (24 with men and 20 with their mothers, wives and daughters), which were collected in the years 1998-99 in the enclaves of poverty in Lodz, the second biggest city in Poland. The paper shows how living in the poor neighbourhood influences the biographies of the social welfare agencies' male clients. Different dimensions of pauperised men's life are shown with reference to the ways in which they fulfil their social roles. The description of family roles (a son in the poor family, a husband, a father, a breadwinner) as well as institutional and marginalizing roles (an unemployed person, asocial welfare client) is included. We can observe the evolution of the career of 'The troublemaker' from the puerile roles of 'The Street Wanderer' and 'The negative stigmatised pupil', to the roles in adult life such as 'The destructive husband', 'The Hunter', 'The Alcoholic'. The assumption is that the specific ways of the social roles fulfilment is one of the reasons of the social exclusion of impoverished individuals.

 

 

CULTURAL TRAUMA IS THE PROBLEM FOR BIOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH

Author(s): Aili Aarelaid-Tart

A significant shift between earlier (habitual) and later (generally coercively acquired) behavioral and mental patterns as a result of a rapid political or socio-cultural change (like coup d'état, war, compulsory exile) is ascertained in many biographical interviews. This swaying shift is interpretable as a result of cultural trauma taking place in real lives of interviewees what, in its turn, has had reshaping power for his/her later life course. From the storyteller's point of view this shift has commonly seen and understood as the value-conflict between 'our' and 'other' worldviews. The researcher has access only to the life story told by respondent and not to the real life experience where that conflict has happened, maybe, even several decades ago. Following that traumatic event most respondents go on to interpret their lives in terms of continuity and permanence of self-identification (integrity of self-myth) regardless of discontinuity and re- determination of identity in their real lives that has taken place. Using four-component 'diamond model' (T. Wengraf) as a tool in biographical-interpretative method (BIM) I would like to discuss in details the essential quality and variety of every component - lived life, told story, context, subjectivity - under the impact of cultural trauma.

 

 

PATHS OF IDENTITY: LIFE-STORIES AND LIFE TRAJECTORIES

Author(s): Ana Maria Brandao

In Bourdieu's view the social world should not be reduced to the social world that is thought, and it never perfectly matches the way it is thought by the social agents. There is, however, an ontological relationship between both, meaning that reality organisation categories, whenever shared, have the ability to create the very phenomena they classify, investing them with an objective existence they, as such, do not possess. In its struggle the gay and lesbian movement used coming out stories as a fundamental asset. These narratives, through which one shows to others and reassures oneself of the precocity of an identity difference, are, in Bourdieu's sense, "biographical illusions". Despite this, or due to this, such stories unify the group's discourses, provide a backcloth against which to "read" experience, create the rules of their own enunciation and give each biography a (common) unequivocal sense. Using lesbian life-stories we intend to discuss Bourdieu's proposal to understand life as a trajectory within a social space where agents occupy different positions, and whose meaning can only be fully reached when we know the latter.

 

 


FROM MAKING TO SAYING OR FROM SAYING TO MAKING? LIFE STORIES OF PORTUGUESE WOMEN POTTERS

Author(s): Angélica Lima Cruz

From the end of the 19th century, there was a 'hiddenstream' world of women's folk art in the traditional clay-figurine making, carried out in the rural parishes of Galegos, Barcelos, in the north of Portugal. The problem area addressed in this research was the 'invisibility' of the artistic tradition of these women potters. The research set out to investigate this tradition of women's art and ways in which it is changing. It was organised around the following question: does this figurative clay work lack prestige because it is made by women, or is it made by women because it lacks prestige? A qualitative research paradigm was adopted overall and the method was both biographical and ethnographic. In-depth interviews were used as the main data collection tool. Life stories provided a means of investigating gender and social class issues and were found to be an excellent tool for gaining access to the women's subjectivity and capturing the meaning and function of this social phenomenon.

 

 

USING THE BIOGRAPHICAL-NARRATIVE INTERPRETATIVE METHOD TO EXPLORE THE MEANINGS OF 'TEENAGE PREGNANCY' FOR WOMEN ACROSS FAMILY GENERATIONS

Author(s): Ann McNulty and Robin Humphrey

In the last decade, there has been considerable concern expressed by health professional and policy makers in Britain over the high number of teenage pregnancies occurring, usually in deprived parts of the country. The study described in this paper will focus on the relationship between three generations of mothers and daughters, with particular emphasis on changing gender role assumptions and identities of women in a particular social and geographical context, Wansbeck, and ex-mining area in the North-East of England. The research will provide information on cultural transmission of beliefs and values concerning contraception, pregnancy, abortion, adoption and parenting and how attitudes to these may or may not have changed over time. We will discuss epistemological and methodological issues arising in the initial stages of the research project. The aim of the research is to complement and enrich the Public Health story of 'teenage pregnancy', by collecting women's accounts of sexuality, heterosexual experiences and relationships, and the available range of options at the point of having a pregnancy confirmed. The biographical-narrative interpretive method gives each research participant the opportunity to introduce her experience(s) of 'teenage pregnancy' using her own frame of reference, and to locate it / them in her life story.

 

 

LIFE HISTORY RESEARCH, BETWEEN SOCIOLOGY AND CULTURAL STUDIES

Author(s): Ann Nilsen

This paper discusses two different strands in the development of biographical research in sociology from its origin in the Chicago pragmatist tradition. One line goes from C.S. Peirce and G.H. Mead through W.I.Thomas and F. Znaniecki's The Polish Peasant in Europe and America, to H. Blumer's symbolic interactionism, which in the 1980s was developed into 'interpretive interactionism' by N. Denzin. The focus in the Denzinian approach is on biographies as cultural narratives and interpretations. The other line of thought also starts in Peirce and Mead's pragmatism but follows it through to C.Wright Mills and his 'radical pragmatism' where the intersection of biography and history is the basis for sociological research. Whereas the interpretive interactionist perspective shares characteristics with a cultural studies approach that emphasises the narrative aspects of 'life as told', the tradition from Mills is more concerned with 'life as lived', and how specific social, historical and structural contexts affect biographical development. The paper explores possibilities of combining these two approaches, and outlines advantages and disadvantages with different combinations of the two in sociological biographical studies.

 

 

RACIAL CATEGORIES AND IDENTITIES AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE IN FINLAND

Author(s): Anna Rastas

While studying racism in the everyday life of Finnish children and adolescents of (easily) identifiable foreign background, I have shared their confusion of how to talk about their 'difference'. Although these young people, who have one parent with an immigrant or foreign background or who have been adopted from other countries, are Finnish citizens and identify themselves as Finns, their Finnishness and belonging is questioned by surrounding society. My paper focuses on what might be named as the 'colour trouble'. It hopes to expose how a sense of belonging or not belonging is manifest in a colouring discourse, in the usage of terms such as black or white. I explore some of the problems built in the colouring discourse, both in the everyday life of young people in Finland, and within the research of racism and racial(ised) identities. What can the politics of identity be, if words available for self-identification have predominantly negative meanings? Can I as a researcher lean on words and discourses, which provide the basis for racism and reproduce it´s 'truth'?

 

 

HABITUS AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN SOCIETY AND NATURE?

Author(s): Anna Rotkirch and J. P. Roos

This paper is centered to turning-point moments in individual lives. I am reading the Finnish adult memories of their teachers and teachers' impact on the writers' constructions of themselves. In a way, these are key episodes of their lives in which self-formation occurs. Teachers are narrated as part of another personal life history. People relive their special episodes and assess the importance of the teachers in their life. My interest here is to analyse how the writers are creating themselves in these relationships. The writers have no trouble at all remembering the humiliation involved and the shame and embarrasment that followed. How very many times people have gone back to those same places, to standing in front of the class, on the podium. So that the others could see and fear in advance. But there are also experiences that help to keep you going. The narratives on encounters with the teachers seem to be what Norman K. Denzin calls the epiphanies of life. These are transformational experiences, after which a person will never be quite the same again. Because of their profound meaning, these episodes of life are remembered and told time and time again, and once they are given a thick description as parts of personal stories, they are brought alive with all the density of emotion and interaction. The key episodes of the teacher stories -- that is, episodes where the construction of self or identity is at its most intense -- often seem to be episodes that are thick in expectation. These expectations can be recalled after decades but now the narrator has the possibility to face them.

 

 

MARITAL SEXUALITY IN THE LATE SOVIET: BIOGRAPHIES AND OFFICIAL DISCOURSES

Author(s): Anna Temkina

This paper will present the methodological and empirical issues concerning research of sexuality in the late soviet marriage. The main themes around which narratives about marital sexual life have been organized will be reconstructed on the basis of biographical interview. The ways of discursive sexuality's construction will be reproduced on the basis of the analysis of professional and public late soviet discourse. Interrelation of the official discourses and everyday life experience will be the special issue for the discussion. Marital sexual life is being described in the biographies as a routine, which is explained by the 'natural' family life cycle and by decline of the role of sex and emotion within this cycle; by the 'hard condition' of the soviet society and as consequences of the 'natural' gender differences. Another theme prevails in the marital sexual biographies, that is infidelity. Extramarital relations are explained as a possibility to overcome the everyday life routine; they justified by the high values of 'love' and by 'natural' gendered sexual desire. Sexual relations were officially discussed in the late soviet period as being equal to marital one, which should be subordinated to communist morality. In their daily life soviet people implement official prescription, but they constantly overcome them and elaborate 'shadow' norms as habitual business.

 

 

COMPLEMENTARITE ENTRE DONNEES QUANTITATIVES ET QUALITATIVES ['COMPLEMENTARITY BETWEEN QUANTITATIVE LONGITUDINAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL DATA']

Author(s): Armelle Testenoire and Danièle Trancart

Cette communication se propose de mettre en évidence la complémentarité entre l'analyse longitudinale et une enquête biographique pour analyser l'insertion professionnelle de jeunes femmes de niveau de qualification inférieur au bac. Si l'analyse longitudinale permet d'identifier des classes de trajectoire, elle ne permet pas d'en comprendre les ressorts. A cet effet des entretiens biographiques ont été menés, 10 ans après leur entrée sur le marché du travail, auprès de deux échantillons de jeunes femmes : des femmes étant sorties du marché du travail et des femmes ayant accédé à un emploi qualifié. A même niveau de qualification et origine sociale similaire : comment expliquer ces trajectoires différentes ? quel sens ces jeunes femmes donnent-elles à leur trajectoire ? Cette communication sera centrée sur l'approche méthodologique et présentera les principaux résultats de l'enquête.. Complementarity between quantitative longitudinal survey and biographical data. This paper aims at highlighting the complementarity between quantitative longitudinal survey and biographical interviews to analyze the professional integration of young women of educational level lower than o-level. While the longitudinal analysis unables us to identify various typology of professional trajectory, it does not make it possible to understand their motivating forces. Biographical interviews had been carried out, 10 years after their entry on the labour market, with two samples of young women: the women having left labour market and the women having get a qualified job. With same level of educational level and similar social origin, how to explain these different trajectories? What is the meaning of those professional trajectories according to those young women? This communication deals with methodological aspects and with main results.

 

 

THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN TURKEY AND GAP REGION: THEIR PLACE IN SOCIAL RELATIONS SYSTEM

Author(s): Aygul Fazlioglu and Bulent Gurcubuk

 

 

 

CONSTRUCTING ISLAMIC AND SECULAR IDENTITIES IN MODERNIZING TURKEY

Author(s): Aylin Akpinar

In the second half of the 1980s and in 1990s a polarization appeared in Turkey between secular and Islamic identities at emotional and symbolic levels. I carried out a theme-based qualitative study by conducting unstructured interviews with thirty six informants. Three generations and both genders were included in the study. The older informants seemed to have conciliated being Muslim and secular at the same time. This showed that secularist policy of relegating Islam to the inner conscience of Muslims had worked well for a segment of population who could be called the generation of the Republic. Narratives of youngsters who identified themselves as Muslims showed that, their identity construction should be seen as an ongoing process and not as an opposition to the West. They were reflecting upon their identities as Muslim subjects through their engagements in cross-cultural and cross-generation interactions with others in the society and with their parents in their families. This was at the same time a process whereby lifestyles in the rural-periphery became integrated to lifestyles in urban centres. The transient generation was able to act as a mediator for either Republican or Islamic values depending on the politicization of identities in Turkey. A hegemonic power struggle was carried between secular elites and Islamist elites through politicization of identities. Cultural expressions of taste and lifestyle were not easily absorbed into the mainstream and hence a pseudopolarization appeared between Islamic and secular identities.

 

 

REFLECTING EXPERIENCE, EXPRESSION AND UNDERSTANDING

Author(s): Baiba Bela-Krumina

The problem of possibilities for presentation and dissemination of life stories has been central for discussions within Latvian National Oral History (LNOH) project for last two years. Having acknowledged the importance and value of individual life experience we began to search for the ways in which social researchers can present life stories. The LNOH team has completed several projects (3 short documentaries and 1 book based on memoirs) and is working on an ongoing project (creation ofthe textual version of 5 oral lifestories in perspective of narrative studies). In the paper I discuss, firstly, the philosophical foundations of importance of individual life experience (Dilthey, Foucoult) and, secondly, the most significant problems we have encountered carrying out these projects, especially the mostrecent one. Presentation of life stories is more than a mere description, it must constitute the everyday life experience as an object of thought and reflection. Differences between academic writing and other ways of relating experience, expression and understanding are of great importance and will be examined.Transferring life experience to the story and then to a meaningful text is a complicated process, which illuminates diverse aspects of human experience as well as the work of language and communication in transmitting it.

 

 

LA TEORÍA SOCIOLÓGICA: UNA INVESTIGACIÓN SOBRE SUS CLAVES SOCIALES, CULTURALES, BIOGRÁFICAS Y CREATIVAS

Author(s): Benjamín Oltra and José Ignacio Garrigós

Para comprender e interpretar correctamente las aportaciones sociológicas de los autores clave es fundamental tener en cuenta los aspectos biográfico y contextual así como su interrelación. Un determinado contexto histórico y social produce determinadas biografías, unos autores peculiares que elaboran una obra la cual, a su vez influye en la propia vida del autor y en su contexto social e intelectual. Para poder interpretar y valorar adecuadamente el trabajo de cualquier teórico o investigador, es imprescindible situar sus ideas, sus aportaciones metodológicas y sus propias vidas en su contexto histórico y social. Una correcta interpretación y comprensión de la obra de un autor, no será posible si no se tienen en cuenta estos aspectos biográficos y contextuales. Se trata de adoptar una nueva perspectiva integradora que combine la sociología de la ciencia y la sociología de la cultura con las propias aportaciones de los grandes teóricos. Es una metasociología o sociología de la sociología cuyas unidades de estudio son las biografías de los teóricos insertas en una determinada sociedad, con una determinada cultura y teniendo en cuenta, en la medida de lo posible, los diferentes círculos intelectuales, culturales y sociales así como las distintas interrelaciones e influencias que se hayan establecido.

 

 

RESOURCES SUBJECTIVES ET CAPITAL D'EXPERIENCE BIOGRAPHIQUE: DEUX CONCPETS POUR PENSER LES COURS D'ACTION EN MILIEU POPULAIRE

Author(s): Catherine Delcroix

 

 

FOREIGN EAST BIOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVES OF WEST-TO-EAST MIGRANTS

Author(s): Claudia Dreke

The german-german unification was connected with profound processes of transformation. Mostly sociological analyses where made with regard to the changes the eastern german society and their citizens, respective their perceiving views have undergone. Here the converse perspective will be taken. How do west-to-east migrants process their experiences in changing east-german administrations after 1990? The theoretical framework is a phenomenological- constructivist concept of foreignty based mainly on works by Georg Simmel and Alfred Schuetz. In this concept 'alien' is not seen as a reality, but as an interpretation depending on the social and cultural context of the host- society. These interpretation become evident in specific differentiation made to process perceptions (Ward, H. Googenough). The own societal symbols and systems of sensemaking are not just adapted, but re-interpreted on grounds of the own (limits of) comprehension (C. Geertz).I will present different perspectives of west-to-east migrants on the East founded on biografic interviews. The interviews are analysed towards the picture of 'self'- and 'alien' and patterns of interpretation. As a particularly relevant aspect for the collective identity of western-german administratives the metaphor of 'pioneering' is used to describe their way through the east-german 'wilderness'. Various patterns of processing and description of alien are strongly linked with this metaphor in the surveied interviews: The west-to-east migration can be desribed (1) as a success of systematisation and integration, evident through idealization, (2) as a professional failure that is explained by constructing controversial images or (3) as ambivalent challenge for frontier runners, who can judge and critic in both ways, because of their position.

 

 

NARRATIVE AND SOCIETAL SELF-IDENTIFICATION

Author(s): Dagmara Beitnere

This paper will analyze narrative structure as central to the formation of cultural identety of Latvian. My study focuses on the development of Latvian self-identification as an agrarian culture and the persistance of this identity into the twenty century. My study uses in-depth interviews with farmers who had been city dwellers, but now explain their new lifestyle choice with the observation and the self-identification that Latvian are farmers. In my analysis of the structure of social process, I build on theories that focus on society as a dynamic communication process (life stories, mass media, education and references of intellectual today). As Niklas Luhmann states in this theory of self-referential system, communication is a central component of societal system (autopoiesis). Society is manifested in communication, and communication is action. Communication is often a process of self-identification (started with self-observation, self-description and ended like self-reference), in deeper level this is creating him/her/itself. As an individuals talk about themselves, they are also simultaneously creating themselves. This also applies to oral history, lifestories, social myths, prejudices and stereotypes.

 

 

BOURDIEU'S AMBIVALENCE ABOUT LIFE STORIES

Author(s): Daniel Bertaux

Bourdieu's attitude towards life stories cannot be reduced to the sharp first sentence of his paper 'L'illusion biographique' (1986). Ten years later he led himself the team which collected, analysed, published and commented 52 interviews (in La misère du monde, 1996 -The Weight of the World), most of which including sketches of life stories. And how to better establish the heuristical value of his core concept of habitus than by collecting and analysing life stories in a comparative way, putting in relation the (descriptions of) sequences of lived experiences in childhood with the adult's 'schemes of perception, evaluation, and action'. The paper attempts to demonstrate that Bourdieu's ambivalence towards people's accounts of their life experience(s) mirrors a deep rift between the 'humanist' and the 'scientistic' conceptions of what sociology should be. For the 'humanists' (Rousseau, Marx, CW Mills, Sartre...), societies are made up of men and women only (nothing above them) endowed with some degree of free-will; their course is shaped by the unpredictable outcomes of political struggles. Against Sartre's view a new generation of French scholars (Levi-Strauss, Althusser, Lacan, Foucault, Bourdieu and Passeron...) came forward with a new paradigm, 'structuralism', which was explicitly anti-humanist . In their 'scientistic' view there is no room left for free-will: thus a science of society becomes possible. Later Bourdieu realized that his conception of sociology was epistemologically questionable and politically conservative. His writings and public speeches include hints of this shift towards humanism. He got involved in political battles. He too was a historical and human person embedded in his times, their debates and struggles; influenced and changed by them, he in turn tried his best to participate in them and weight on the course of French society.

 

 

 

THE INESCAPABLE AND THE INEXPLICABLE: FATE AND LUCK IN NARRATIVES OF CAREER HISTORIES

Author(s): Dawn Lyon

This paper draws on research into the careers of men and women at high levels in business and politics in Belgium, Britain and France. Interview-based career narratives are marked by references to fate and luck. This paper seeks to unpack one underlying dimension of these expressions: uncertainty. In short, the argument is that in situations of the relative predictability of careers, eg the 'orderliness' of organisational careers, recourse to fate and luck in accounts of success is limited. In contrast, in situations of uncertainty, fate and luck figure more strongly. Beliefs in fate in particular can be read as attempts to secure one's life in the face of uncertainty. It is interesting to consider these alongside other narrative elements which emphasise will and determination, and luck which has a positive resonance. The contrast is between a denial of agency - accepting the restrictions of fate, or the fortunes of luck - and claims to excessive agency. These narratives can be analysed as modes of confronting uncertainty.

 

 

MORAL AND CULTURAL BOUNDARIES IN REPRESENTATIONS OF MIGRANTS

Author(s): Dawn Lyon

The ways in which people make distinctions between themselves and others can be thought of as instances of boundary-work (Lamont, 1992, 2000). How these boundaries vary, eg between socio-economic, moral and cultural boundaries, illuminates the basis for distinctions, which may become prejudice and racism. This paper explores the ways two sets of people draw boundaries between themselves and others. Biographical interviews with women migrants to Italy from Bulgaria and Hungary show many instances of group-based distinctions. The second set of interviews with 'host' women, native to Italy, about their relationships to and perceptions of migrants, points to some similar and divergent mobilisations of boundaries. Notably, migrant women are keen to distinguish themselves as 'respectable' which can be read as a moral boundary; and host women use moral and cultural boundaries (eg levels of education, dress) to depict different groups and individuals.

 

 

"IT WAS GOOD TO TALK." CAN BIOGRAPHICAL INTERVIEWS CONTRIBUTE TO SUCCESSFUL COPING WITH STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS AND SOCIO-CULTURAL PRESSURES? A STUDY FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

Author(s): Dirk Schubotz

To address the paucity of research into sexual attitudes and behaviour in Northern Ireland, from 2000-2002, the Family Planning Association and the University of Ulster jointly carried out a three-year research project into sexual attitudes and lifestyles of young people aged 14-25 years. Alongside a quantitative survey and focus group discussions, fifteen one-to-one in-depth interviews were also conducted. Interviewees were asked to tell their life story, focussing on their growing up, puberty and first sexual feelings and experiences. Two distinct features emerged throughout the narratives in these interviews: Firstly, the stories were region-specific, portraying Northern Ireland as a society, which lacks sexual enlightenment and prevails a strong homophobic atmosphere and sex-negative attitudes. Secondly, the interviewee's stories brought up significant status passages, but also stressful life events, such as experiences of homophobic bullying, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy or the impact of the socio-religious conflict in Northern Ireland on religiously mixed relationships. After the interviews young people often said that it was 'good to talk'. This paper argues that interviewees may view biographical interviews as a means to cope with stressful life events and with region-specific socio-cultural pressures that they cannot discuss elsewhere.

 

 

LIVING IN BABEL: FLUID IDENTITIES

Author(s): Doina Balahur and Paul Balahur

The paper represents a tentative to deconstruct one of the most resistant myths/stereotypes of the modern thought - inherited and perpetuated by the realist sociology - according to which persons could be -and as a matter of fact are - labeled and categorized in all sort of so called "objective classification systems". Those who do not fit these "Procustian beds" are maladjusted, self marginalised, and so on. However things could be seen from a radical different perspective if we admit and even try to challenge and to change the set of hypotheses our traditional research is based on. The old biblical story about Babel' meanings could be useful - so as the authors will try to sustain in this paper. Their arguments are based on what they have called in an other common paper "the fluid identities" (D.B& P.B, 2001).

 

 

READING FEMINIST THEORY FROM A BIOGRAPHICAL PERSPECTIVE: THE CASE OF A. MYRDAL AND V. KLEIN'S WOMEN'S TWO ROLES

Author(s): E. Stina Lyon

This paper will direct itself to the question of the relationship between personal biographies, intellectual contexts and private narratives in the development of post-war feminist sociological theory. The paper will discuss A. Myrdal's and V. Klein's internationally path breaking book Women's Two Roles: Home and Work (1956) as a case example of the interrelationship between personal experiences, intellectual histories, political values and sociological theorising about the changing role of women in 'modernity'. This work reflected not only the multidisciplinary nature of sociology, and sociological theorising at the time, encompassing psychology, literature, psychoanalysis, language and economics, but also the personal life trajectories of these two collaborating women authors. The political polemic expressed in the book, arguing for women's rights to 'the best of both worlds', is framed within a conception of women's lives as a series of 'dilemmas', social, psychological as well as economic, in need of constructive theoretical and practical resolutions. The book argued for the need for better empirical and comparative evidence to underpin such resolutions, including evidence of the values held by women in different locations. The paper will argue that in the process of understanding developments in feminist theory, only the particular location of such theorising in the personal space of its production, can explain the persistent continuity of notions of women's lives as a series of 'dilemmas'.

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL DIMENSIONS OF BODY

Author(s): Elena Meshcherkina

A biographical narrative offers the possibility of reflecting on the body which we possess and on the body to which we 'belong', not having the strength to appropriate it. Within the framework of which theoretical tradition, is this possible? The sociology of space and body represents that type of theorizing which looks for the basis of sociability in the siting of bodies in space. In doing so, the sociologist/observer distinguishes: 1) his vision of space; 2) its social meaning, not reflected on by the participants of the reciprocal action, and 3) the reflection of the participants of the reciprocal action on the space important to them. Our interest is directed to the contents of the second position and its biographical reflex. A topological analysis of bodily practices, declining to lean on normative values, tries in the description of bodily phenomena to take into account the fragmentation, diffuseness of bodily construction when the function of the subject is reduced to a minimum. To think topologically is to suppose that we are involved in a play of forces/interests on the surface of the bodily, living form with a description of the experience of transformation from one surface condition (skin) to another. If one adopts Bergson's or Nietsche's position, representing in thought the image of the body in terms of becoming, the following theoretical variations become apparent: o a body-object (the autonomy of its actions is limited); o a body-'my body' (presence in-the-world, the possession of oneself, intention); o a body-affect exists at the limit of its action (existence at the limit of action); o a whole, conceivable body (in terms of Podoroga). With the aid of the trans?endention operation we derive a sequence of three thresholds from the continuous change of bodily conditions or, in Nietsche's words, 'from the stream of world becoming'. The whole image of the body in its essential form is the aggregate of thresholds pointing to the limits of the separate conditions of the body. A biographical text of 'a stream of becoming', being arranged in chronological subjective time, reflects the thresholds/events both externally and internally and is filled with a description of bodily practices. The metaphor threshold-stream makes it possible, here, to embrace the dynamic of changes to which in reality the displaced bodies/conditions are subject, i.e. the bodies which are moving and 'live' thanks to the threshold efforts. The biographical researches in life histories, describing biographical ruptures at the time of 'perestroika' disclose the same phenomena of disintegration into separate, biographical parts - biographeme - in the sense of Roland Barthes. They represent separate spaces within the narrative Hyper-text which are not subject to a single chronological time in the narrative. We notice them because what occurs in them is subordinate to other time (for instance time runs in a circle) and is confined to a certain space built into a Big social space, outside it, in which either another causality reigns or is totally absent. Accordingly, a map of life emerges outside life with an absent subjectivity. The temptation arises to neglect such narratives in as much as their disassociation with the main story is too evident. The introduction into a biographical analysis of topological dimensions opens up the possibility of conceptualizing anormative embodiment in situations of an existential crisis.

 

 

 

 

THE GLOBALIZATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE AND THE FRAGMENTATION OF PEOPLE'S LIFE SPACES

Author(s): Elena Zdravomyslova

 

 

 

TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL FIELDS: CHANGING BIOGRAPHICAL DECISION-MAKING AND (UN-)CERTAINTIES IN A NEW ERA OF SOCIAL INTERACTION?

Author(s): Elisabeth Scheibelhofer

In this paper the hypothesis will be discussed that transnational social fields are reshaping the individual forms of interaction for many groups of people. By that, certainties and uncertainties, as well as scopes of actions are changed. For a discussion of this idea, models of transnational social spaces are explored and their scope of relevance for different social groups (with special emphasis on people emigrating from Western Europe) is investigated.

 

 

 

IS A SOCIAL FIELD ALWAYS A SOCIAL FIELD? BOURDIEU'S ANALYSIS OF ACADEMIA, ART AND INDUSTRY

Author(s): Feiwel Kupferberg

 


 

HYPERMEDIA FOR A TRANSIENT CITY: THE ESQUILINO DISTRICT IN ROME

Author(s): Giovanni Attili

Nowadays cities are crossed by a multitude of irreducible migrants who don't have sedentary projects. These migrants are just passing through some urban nodal places which can be interpreted as part of moving geographies, variously spread in time and space. These complex presences call for different analysis tools to be used in order to destabilise the dangerousness of the abstraction 'immigration'. In other words, it's necessary to construct "representational devices" capable of accounting for differences, individual existences and collective memories, rooted and transient relationships, mental mapping, feelings and expectations, local spaces and global networks. During the study of a significant urban context (Esquilino district in Rome), the use of life histories has been thought as the narrative filigree through which a complex representational hypermedia has been structured. This hypermedia keeps different expressive languages together (texts, films, graphic animation, voices, pictures, street noises, theatrical performances, moving cartographies, …). The co-presence of these languages succeeds in outlining the hybridism of our cities, where the collective practises, the emotional dimensions, the penetration of crossed spaces and lived time needs a plurality of different expressive codes. This hypermedia can be thought as a tool capable of provoking interaction and sensemaking, focusing on a complex idea of 'aesthetic rationality' in which all senses are involved. This dimension is central for every communication process. To create real communication spaces it's not enough 'to say something'; it's necessary to transfer energies, awaking aspirations, knowledge and asleep creativity.

 

 

A GERMAN WOMAN BORN IN ISTANBUL: THE WORK AND LIFE EXPERIENCE OF A FOREIGNER IN POST WORLD WAR II IN TURKEY

Author(s): Helga Rittersberger-Tilic

This presentation will be dealing with the life of a German women born in Istanbul in the mid 1930s. Her Jewish mother and Protestant father escaped Germany and setttled in Turkey. She lived through the post II. World War years. A focus will be given on her work and life experiences. First she worked in her father's small factory producing motor parts. After his death taking over this firm, which however lasted only for a relatively short time. Thus, she had a hard stand as a young foreign woman in the Turkey of the 50s. Her biography will give as the chance to live through the history of Turkey (starting from the 40s to nowadays) from a foreign woman's perspective.

 

 

 

MARRIAGES BETWEEN NOBILITY AND HIGH BOURGEOISIE AS A WAY TO MAINTAIN THEIR ELITE POSITIONS IN MODERN DUTCH SOCIETY DURING THE 20TH CENTURY

Author(s): Huibert Schijf and Jaap Dronkers

Recent research shows that Dutch noble families have held more elite positions than high bourgeois families during the 20th century (Schijf, Dronkers & George, 2002; Dronkers & Schijf, 2002; Dronkers, 2003; Dronkers & Hillege 1998). These outcomes challenge the modernization theory, which assumes that the benefits old-fashioned ascriptive characteristics like noble titles have became negligible in modern European societies. Important contributions to this continuing advantage of Dutch nobility might be their lasting ability to use nobility related social and cultural capital, as is indicated by noble titles of the son or daughter and thus of the father, high ranking nobility titles of the mother and these of the parents-in-law. This paper will analyze in more detail the marriage patterns of Dutch nobility and high bourgeoisie, born in the 20th century, making more fine distinctions within the Dutch nobility (old versus new; high versus low; indigenous versus foreign) and within the Dutch high bourgeoisie (old versus new; related to Dutch nobility or not). Dutch nobility is, due to historical peculiarities, the best documented of Europe. We will use a sample of 1872 members of Dutch noble 113 families and with 2860 members of high bourgeoisie 78 families, all born in the 20th century. We have information about their educational and occupational attainment, and that of their spouses, their parents and their parents-in-law. We have also detailed information about the different characteristics of their nobility or position as high bourgeoisie family.

 

 

INFORMAL LIVING ON SOCIETY'S PERIPHERY: TOWARDS POLICY AND PLANNING IN SOUTH AFRICA

Author(s): Jan K. Coetzee

The paper starts with a brief compilation of voices of people who live on society's margin alongside some of the old townships or 'locations' of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa). They have all had a lifelong experience of suffering, displacement and survival. They know the hardship and disruption of life on the edge, where they have had to develop their own coping strategies.

The paper illustrates the use of narratives to reveal the voices of the poor. It also illustrates the use of narratives to sensitise people (both the policymakers and the victims finding themselves in the situation of poverty) to their need to become involved in the process of community formation. South Africa has not yet confronted informal settlement as a distinct area for policymaking, but has only dealt with the issue obliquely as a justification for the government's housing policy. The paper will attempt to use the testimonies to illustrate the need for a policy position that will mitigate the worst aspects of totally unaided informal settlement and build on the positive elements.

 

 

A ROCK-CLIMBER'S NARRATIVES

Author(s): Jani Lunnas


 

MEMORY BOOKS AS A METHODOLOGICAL RESOURCE IN LONGITUDINAL BIOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH

Author(s): Janet Holland and Rachel Thomson

In this paper we discuss the use of memory books as part of a longitudinal qualitative study of 100 young people's transitions to adulthood in the UK. The 'Inventing adulthoods' study began in 1996 and to date young people have been interviewed at least four times over a seven-year period. After their first interview young people were invited to complete a 'memory book'. The method builds on the theory and practice of 'memory work'; the use of photographic albums in oral history/cultural studies; the use of photographs in autobiographical work with young people; and methods employed in child therapy. After consultation with young people, we invited them to include material they saw as relevant to their current and future identities and records of their experiences in whatever form they saw as appropriate. We hoped that the books would represent examples of the 'reflexive project of self' as well as acting as a prop for the subsequent interview. 49 young people brought their memory books to their second interview, and in these cases the books formed the focus of a more subject lead dialogue. Memory books were also copied and subject to content analysis. In this paper we describe the method, present examples of the memory books and discuss the potential for using this kind of data alongside interview data. Many of the memory books have a strong visual element and we reflect on how visual data may both enrich and disrupt traditional approaches to the analysis of narratives.

 

 

"BIOGRAPHICAL CERTAINTY" IN MODERN SOCIETY: A TYPOLOGY OF STRATEGIES TO SHAPE THE LIFE COURSE

Author(s): Jens Zinn

As a result of continuous social change in Germany after the WWII it seems to become more and more difficult today to produce biographical certainty in the sense of clear expectations and shaping his own life-course. Previous matters of course are transformed by social individualisation processes and individual processes to build up an own biography into (real or apparent) decisions (Beck 1992). The life-course is no longer just given, but (allegedly) dependent on decisions and if this is accepted, the pressure rises for the individual to reach the right decisions. Against this background the planed lecture aims at the different modes of action and interpretation, with which under the conditions of a systematically uncertain world biographic certainty is created. A typology of biographical certainty developed on the basis of qualitative interviews will be presented. The lecture finishs with the discussion of the results in the context of the discourse on a fundamental change or structure break within modernisation.

 

 

 

OLD AGE RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF THE SOCIOLOGY OF AGE

Author(s): Jyrki Jyrkämä
 

 

MAKING THE MOVE: 'APPARATCHIK TO ENTREPRENEUR': THE EXPERIENCE OF SOME POLISH BUSINESSMEN AFTER 1989

Author(s): John A. Jackson

This paper is based on interviews conducted in 1996 in Warsaw and Lódz with a small group of Polish entrepreneurs who made the transition and paradigm shift from their previous work as officials of the state before 1989. It sets their lives in the context of parents and grandparents and addresses certain methodological issues in biographical practice and interpretation. This analysis, which builds on previous work with Polish intelligentsia, benefits from the move by social science toward using the interview to reveal 'a truth' rather than record 'the truth' in any particular instance. Rather than two incommensurable paradigms, I argue for two legitimate sociological methodologies which can be termed 'looking in' and 'looking on' based on different assumptions and producing different results. While the level of abstraction involved in the 'looking on' model may de-contextualise the data by denying its emergent and historical characteristics it produces an apparent facticity. But equally truth can be established by a verstehen methodology that allows a story to be told, mediated by contextual factors and the relationship between the teller and the told.

 

 

 

WORKSHOP ON THE ARCHIVING OF QUALITATIVE DATA

Author(s): John Given

 

 

 

PORTUGUESE WOMEN PORTRAITS: NARRATIVE ANALYSIS OF SECOND MEETINGS

Author(s): Judite Zamith-Cruz and Helena Gonçalves

With express consent and glance discretion were heard episodes of life of six Portuguese women between 62 and 34 years old, in the European continent, islands "inhabitants" higher grade staff, sociality compromised... On History of Portugal recorded report discloses in exemplar satiations: II World War decurrent passage at political prisons… Some joint moments have been selected that could put in questions the authoresses of there lives, shake their coherences, in terms of identify, values and direction face to others and the world. In Psychology the plausibility of this investigation depends on the conception we had about interpretation limits, the relative value assigned to regularities and of the acceptance of methodological qualitatives textuals perspectives and interpretives in general. It is not enough to asseverate that through an endeavour investigation of their experiences, M. or J. will assume to have achieved a major understanding of their lives, making possible though by others the understanding of the personal change possible to occur all of us. Some concepts/categories were identified from information (texts) relative to live/narrate fragmentation and to the contingency to imponderable family or professional situations.

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL CASE STUDIES ABOUT THE FORMATION OF FEMALE IDENTITY

Author(s): Julia Jancsó

Through the use of biographical case studies about Russian au pairs in Germany, it is shown that research about adolescence could give an important contribution to the understanding of the migration process concerning young women. Migration is seen as a matter, and an expression of missing structural and individual space regarding adolescent formation of identity. In addition to social conditions of migration, the significance of psychological conflicts to describe and explain the formation of identity and to process migration experience is examined. In these cases, migration shows the social and psychological impact of the transformation process, especially in regards to an aspect of possible reorientation of the individual biography. Only the research of each individual case is able to reveal if fundamentally applied potential and creativity in adolescence is used significantly or minimally. The focus of my study makes it possible to connect different approaches in sociology and to draw a subtly diversified picture of the social and psychological background of migration concerning young women from transformation countries. Aside from the specific female perspective on migration, I pay particular attention to the process of transformation in the specified home countries and the often exploitative working conditions in Germany which often forces migrants to enter into illegal employment.

 

 

THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY: ADAPTATION STRATEGIES (THE BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACH TO THE LIFE STYLE OF SAILING AND TRAVELING)

Author(s): Julia Wertheim

Globalization through the life and destiny of people is studied: the involvement into the global community; the formation of the life style, which includes such involvement in global (multicultural) social networks; the adaptation strategies as a part of such life style. The sources are the stories of people (Russian researches, businessmen) whose life includes continuous migration. Methodological principles are taken from papers of J.P.Roos, D.Bertaux, V.Golofast, E.Meshcherkina, R.Breckner. Two types of strategies are analyzed: using mostly one own opportunities and resources / using mostly the help of sacral assistant (colleague, expert, houselady, neighbor etc). The first type includes: The strategy of superman the emphasizing of the most powerful aspects of one own cultural tradition and experience (an example, the better knowledge of chemical reagents because of the different education). The strategy of trickster the ability of systematic rules broking which is understood as a resource for success (an example, a style of car driving). The strategy of second bad the finding and constructing of the negative hero as a carrier of another ethnicity (representative of another cultural minority). Examples, the Arabs in the story about the life in London; the Indians in the story about the life in the USA.

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL, SOCIOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL ASPECTS OF RETURNS

Author(s): Kaja Kazmierska

One of the consequences of the Second World War was mass migration. People of different nationalities were leaving their homeland because of various reasons related to both biographical experiences and political, social and historical circumstances. For the long time the same reasons prevented displaced persons from visiting their birthplaces whereas returns to homeland have become a common phenomenon since early 90-ties of the 20th century. This change has been connected with new political deal in Eastern Europe after 1989 as well as the very need to see places of childhood which has increased in old age. Thus, nowadays we may observe sometimes massive 'pilgrimages' to cities, towns, villages. Poles visiting Vilnius, Germans coming to Wroclaw or Jews returning to various places in Poland may serve as examples. In my presentation I discuss what are biographical as well as sociological circumstances of such returns not only to those who return but also to the society, milieu which receives them. How such return is interpreted by the both sides and in what way these interpretations are related to prewar and postwar common relationships.

 

 

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: INSPIRATION FOR PRESENTATION FROM MTV

Author(s): Kip Jones

The emerging synthesis of the arts and social sciences present challenges to the methodological-philosophical foundations of knowledge. At the very heart of this matter is knowledge transfer. The need for innovation in dissemination of detailed descriptive information has, until recently, been neglected in the social sciences. As collage- makers, narrators of narrations, dream weavers-narrative researchers are natural allies of the arts and humanities. The proposed presentation will consist of a series of music videos shown in a continual loop, ideally in a coffee or lounge area of the conference throughout the day leading up to the seminar. Section audience members are then asked to come to the seminar prepared to discuss what they saw in the videos that might be inspirational or useful in their own work and presentations. It is hoped that by a lively discussion that new concepts and ideas will emerge from the session that will be useful in the researcher's own presentational work. The 15-20 minute session will be used in its entirety for group discussion. Examples of music videos may include: ColdPlay: the singer tells a story in progressive time while the video (and the character) move visually backward in time to the beginning of the story. Pink: the singer sits silently and somewhat removed from the story as a small girl lip sinks the singer's words to the story.

 

 

MIGRANT BIOGRAPHIES

Author(s): Kirsten Danielsen

Large scale migration creates multiethnic societies which contests our previous conceptions of belonging. For the migrant person belonging is not given. It has to be constructed. The aim of this study is to explore how different groups of migrants; migrant workers and refugees attempt to carve out a life of their own in new and different circumstances in Norway. Migrant biographies and life trajectories depends upon the migrants assets or other resources and the influence of the migration context both in the country they leave and the receiving country. A political crisis in the home country may result in a personal crisis and may lead to an escape - a push effect. Perceptions about work opportunities in the West may be conceptualised as a pull effect. The informants in this study are Pakistanis, the largest minority group in Norway, who came as migrant workers in the 1970`s, and refugees from Bosnia and Iran, arriving in the 1990`s. These groups have been in Norway for some time and have stories to tell about adaptation and belonging. Life histories or biographical accounts are often plot oriented moral stories. Different types of plots in migrant biographies will be identified and analysed.

 

 

 

 

 

BOURDIEU AND HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY: STUDYING BOURDIEU FROM A BOURDIEUSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Author(s): Keijo Rahkonen 

 

 

TESTIMONIES OF WAR AND MEMORIES OF SUFFERING: LIFE STORIES IN THE BOSNIAN DIASPORA

Author(s): Laura Huttunen

In ex-Yugoslavia, transition from socialism to western-style democracies has been marked by violence and warfare. This provides a dramatic context for making sense of changes in one's personal life. In this paper I use the concept of testimony to analyze ways of telling about one's personal life among Bosnian refugees living in Finland. My material consists of both written life-stories and oral accounts produced during ethnographic fieldwork among the refugee community. In the diaspora caused by the war, narratives comment on life both in the country of origin and in the present country of settlement. Painful experiences of the war, however, tend to dominate both personal stories and collective narratives. Very personal memories may be read as ways of commenting on the current political situation in Bosnia as well as the ongoing symbolic struggle over the 'truth' of the war. Different ways in which personal memories and political narratives and projects intersect, produce different orientations within the diaspora, either towards Bosnia and return, or towards Finland and a new identity as an immigrant.

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Author(s): Laura Torrabadella and Mónica Nadal

The Spanish political and social transition emerging at the end and after Franco's dictatorship in the mid 70s can be defined as a period of high political activity and visibility of social movements. Particularly important ?for the issues brought about in the public arena and the impact on changing Spanish society?, was the emergence of a strong feminist movement, whose claims for gender equality, better opportunities and freedom for women were inextricably linked with claims for democracy and political change. At the end of this transition time -and the arrival of the Socialist Party (PSOE) to power? many of these women abandoned any form of articulated engagement and some others oriented their commitment towards more institutionalised forms of feminism. However, 25-30 years later some of those activists are still engaged in non-institutional forms of feminism. As inheritors of the achievements and challenges brought about by that generation of women, we are interested in the transmission of knowledge and the role played by memory in the recollection of biographical experiences. Our specific interest focuses on the third group of feminist women, who continue to define themselves as feminist militants. We have asked them to explain their lives to us. Through an open initial question ('tell us your life') we wanted to give them freedom to locate their relationship with feminism within the context of their lives. Which ways do women use to refer to their past and present experiences in the actual social context of lower political engagement? Which place does their past activism take from a present perspective? What can we learn about the evolution of the Spanish feminist movement through the presences and absences in their narrations? To what extent does their recollection of memories shape not only their present commitment but the feminist movement as a whole? The adoption of a biographical perspective allows us both to explore the biographical continuity of social- political commitment and to throw light on crucial aspects of the feminist movement.

 

 

LE PROJET DE RETRAITE ET LE PARCOURS BIOGRAPHIQUE

Author(s): Laurence Thomsin

Les remaniements identitaires consécutifs à la cessation de l'activité professionnelle et la redéfinition des rôles familiaux et sociaux signifient pour bon nombre de retraités une remise en cause de leurs rapports à l'espace. Par une prise en considération de l'importance de ce rapport, en terme de genre et d'origine socio-professionnelle, c'est un tout autre regard que nous souhaitons aujourd'hui poser sur les aînés à l'heure de la retraite. Si la " migration de retour ", par ses dimensions de ré-appropriation de la trajectoire biographique, singularisait jusqu'ici à elle seule le processus de la migration de retraite, une nouvelle forme de retraite, " la retraite mobile " incluant une gamme plus large de motivations de déplacements et de destinations, semble aujourd'hui vouloir signifier de profondes modifications de pratiques en cours à l'heure d'une vieillesse qui se veut aussi maximiser les apports d'un allongement de son espérance de vie en bonne santé. Comme en atteste la diversité du profil actuel des retraités migrants, c'est bien d'une évolution qualitative de la retraite dont il est question. Aborder cette question du projet de retraite dans un contexte d'approche biographique, non seulement de l'individu mais aussi de son entourage, nous permet de redimensionner les étapes de sa mise en place. Elle nous oblige aussi à aborder des questions temporelles : avec des projets souvent remis en cause à l'heure de la retraite, redéfini et réorienté dès la première année de cette nouvelle étape de la vie. Retirement projects and biographical trajectories Changes in life-style following the cessation of professional activity and the redefinition of family and social roles mean, for many retired persons, a new attitude towards the question of space. In considering the importance of this relationship, in terms of type and socio-professional origin, we wish, today, to look at our just-retired senior citizens from a very different viewpoint. Whereas, up to now, the only migration process for retirement has been the typical 'return to one's roots', a sort of re-appropriation of one's course of life, a new form of retirement, 'mobile retirement', with a wider range of travel motivations and destinations, now seems to show profound modifications in current practices at a time when aging also means maximising the benefits of a longer and healthier expectation of life. As seen in the diverse contemporary profiles of retired migrants, it is clearly a qualitative evolution of this retirement. By approaching this question of retirement planning in a biographical context, concerning not only the individual but the whole entourage, we are able to reposition its stages of development. We are also obliged to consider questions of timing : projects are often reconsidered at the time of retirement, redefined and redirected at the start of this new stage of life.

 

 

THE MAIN ATTITUDES OF BELIEVERS TOWARDS SOVIET RULE

Author(s): Lea Altnurme

My report is based on a study of religious life stories. The main questions are: What did it mean to be a believer in Estonia under the Soviet regime? and What changes have occurred in this respect after Estonia regained independence? Any phenomenon falling outside the limits of culture approved by Soviet ideology was considered anti-culture, which precluded discussion and dialogue with anyone regarded as the 'other'. The Christians and other believers were undoubtedly categorized as such and, compelled by the circumstances, were forced to adopt a stance on Soviet ideology. The first attitude was that of ignoring in some places where the pre-Soviet milieu held out longer and church- going was still a part of everyday life. The second was opposition to the Soviet regime. Alternatives to Soviet ideology (for instance, Buddhism, the New Age, but also traditional Christianity) were sought to interpret the world, as were opportunities for peaceful resistance. The third attitude was escapism. Religion became a refuge from the surrounding reality. The regaining of independence brought about changes in the said attitudes. First, it created an acute need for a revision of the former traditions and for finding a new identity. Second, many of the previously opposition-minded persons have exhibited the tendency to go into politics or business while religion is no longer regarded as a channel for demonstrating one's oppositionary attitudes. Third, the restoration and strengthening of the church has led to the disappearance of refuges in their past sense. At the same time, the number of believers has increased.

 

 

INTERMARRIAGE, THE FEMALE BREADWINNER MODEL AND GENDER BORDERWORK: BIOGRAPHIES OF BINATIONAL COUPLES IN GERMANY

Author(s): Margarete Menz

If one looks at the outcome of migration in Germany, one can note that due to legal and social mechanisms of exclusion migrants often pass through a professional dequalification process which delays or hinders an immediate integration into the local labor market. The outcome of this process can be understood as an 'institutional predicament', which, looking at relationships between German women and male migrants, comparatively often lead to a female breadwinner model. Following to these observations, I want to investigate the implication of this constellation and how it is integrated into the life-planing and -arrangement of the partners. Using exemplary case studies I want to emphasis especially the implications of such a constellation for gender differences and gender constructions. It will be argued that, though the analyzed gender constellation can be understood as unusual for the German society, it does not have to lead consequently to a 'cut' or 'break' in the life-planning. On the contrary, the model can be used as an possibility for realizing an individual life plan. In this case the structural conditions of the migration process are considered for the individual life projects and are included in a creative way. In conclusion the meaning of such strategies for the modification and/or (re-)construction of gender relations in society will be discussed.

 

 

INDIVIDUAL LIFE AND CORE CULTURAL NARRATIVES OF SOCIALISM AND TRANSITION

Author(s): Markku Kivinen

In the footsteps of Durkheim many sociologists have explored the ritualistic side of political phenomena. Rather than starting out from an empirical analysis of individual rituals, I will look at the grand narrative that lies behind the great transformations of socialism and transition. The sacred expressed in the narrative of socialism can be summed up in terms of such binary oppositions as: science - religion; progress - backwardness; development of the forces of production - poverty; city - countryside; proletariat - bourgeoisie; party - Tsar. The binary elements of the sacred are always combined and linked together at two levels. On the one hand, they create the basic institutional matrix of the society. On the other hand, people have to take these institutions and codes into account in their individual lives. However, this sacred narrative is in constant flux. All sacred things were accompanied by a negative shadow: - the demonisation of reality; - chaos; - consumption; - peasant way of life; - nomenklatura and the new middle class; - the NKVD. These phenomena remain taboos in the Soviet kind of societies. Individual lives are constructed not only along the sacred institutions but also around these taboos. By analysing individual life histories the interaction between micro- and macrohistories is demonstrated. It is also shown how the sacred code is eroded and replaced by a new binary code of transition. However, the tension between the grand narrative and individual life seems to prevail.

 

 

IDENTITY IN THE CONTEXT OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Author(s): Maruta Pranka

Oral history is one of the sources of preserving and developing national and regional traditions, mentality, identity. Oral history beside folklore, museums, folk art could be the source for development regional identity and self-confidence. It could be source for development positive social, cultural environment and the regional based marketing. The regional development in Latvia has the same trends as other European countries - traditional centres remain centres, but the traditional peripheries do not develop. In the present situation tehnology, but not the aesthetic resources, cultural, historical aspects of the region are the main factors for region development The aim of the regional development policy is to create preconditions for well-balanced development in all regions. One of the main aspects of regional development will be the consideration of regional historical and cultural advantages and resources. Cultural activities are stressed as the factor attracting different funds The study aims to analyse the possibilities of oral history collection as the source and factor of positive development of self - and regional identity considering the process of continous globalization. The presentation is based on the data analysis of Latvian National oral history collection.

 

 

UNE SOCIO-ANTHROPOLOGIE DES ANCIENS AB USAGERS DE L'ASE BB A PARTIR DE LA METHODE BIOGRAPHIQUE ['THE BIOGRAPHICAL METHOD FOR A SOCIO-ANTHROPOLOGY OF FORMER-FOSTERED CHILDREN (FROM AIDE SOCIALE L'ENFANCE)']

Author(s): Mihai Dinu Gheorghiu

Entre 1998 et 2002, nous avons ralis une recherche longitudinale sur le devenir des enfants qui ont connu une prise en charge par le service de l'Aide sociale l'enfance (ASE) du département de la Seine-Saint-Denis. La reconstruction de leurs trajectoires a pris en compte les moments historiques cl du dispositif d'accueil, procédant des découpages temporels correspondants aux priodes du dbut des annes 80, puis de 1985 1990, de 1990 1995 et au del. Le recueil de donnes biographiques par l'analyse des dossiers et par entretien a permis de disposer d'un ensemble d'informations sur deux dcennies concernant l'environnement familial de ces personnes, les motifs du placement, les diverses modalits de la prise de charge, les principaux acteurs intervenant pendant le placement, la sortie du dispositif de l'ASE et le devenir aprs. L'analyse des E9vnements structurants de la mémoire de cette experience parti culire chez les anciens AB usagers de l'ASE BB permet de poser autrement la question de la reproduction sociale de cette catégorie. L'objet de notre communication est de présenter l'intrt de la methode biographique dans l'exploration d'une telle thématique, les principaux résultats de l'enquête ainsi que les questions souleves par les limites de la méthodologie employe.

 

 

SOCIOLOGICAL LIVES AND EXPERIENCES OF TRANSFORMATION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Author(s): Mike F. Keen and Janusz Mucha

Systemic transformations which began in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the second half of the 1980s have had a strong impact on sociology. They have created new liberal and democratic foundations on which the social sciences can truely grow, and they have opened, completely new, both in a literal and in a symbolic sense, problematics for these disciplines. In two edited volumes, published in 1994 and in 2003 (in print), we have analyzed the changes in CEE sociology from the macrosociological point of view. We have examined the transformation of institutions, research agendas and university education against he background of economic,political and cultural changes in CEE countries. However, as C. Wright Mills notes, the sociological imagination should combine the analysis of social structure, transformations (history) and biography. Following Mills' advice, we would like to close our research on sociology in CEE by turning the sociological imagination upon itself through the study of autobiographies of sociologists. There are a number of published autobiographies (and diaries) of prominent Western sociologists. There are also collections of autobiographical essays of Western sociologists stressing particularly their role in the passing of scholarly traditions from generation to generation. We will draw upn these contributions, but our focus is different. Our work will rely more particularly on two traditions within the life stories approach and the field of sociological autobiographies. One is a tradition of studies of the place of scholars in the process of macrosociological processes (such as migration), and the other is the tradition (not only within the field of sociological autobiographies) of giving voice to "the other". In the second case, our predecessors are collections of autobiographies of feminist sociologists and African-American sociologists. Although our focus is macrosociological, we intend to employ many concepts and ideas which were developed for a much more social-psychological and microsociological perspective. These include the notions of "broken lives", "turning points", epiphany", and "life-trajectory". For this proposed study, we must limit our "sample" to approximately ten to twelve sociologists from CEE. We are particularly interested in those scholars who were educated in the "old system", taught and did research under Communism, then participated in the systemic transformations and now are very active within sociology at the national level (whether of not they are also well known in the West is of a minor concern for us). Therefore, systemic transformations have been also transformations in their lives and experiences. For comparative purposes, we intend to include three of four autobiographies from members of the younger generation. We have commissioned short autobiographies of our informants' professional and public lives, giving them only few suggestions regarding our own focus and interests.

 

 

 

NARRATIONS OF THE SELF IN THE BIOGRAPHIES OF MIGRANT WOMEN IN GERMANY

Author(s): Minna-Kristiina Ruokonen

 

 

 

DISSEMINATING VISUAL ASPECTS OF EXPERIENCE THROUGH DRAMATISATION AND MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY

Author(s): Murna Downs, Susan Tester, Ailsa Cook and Gill Hubbard

Despite widespread recognition of the power of the 'visual' in social life, traditional sociological methods of dissemination have tended to obscure this realm of experience. This paper describes a project that used dramatisation and multimedia technology to disseminate research on visual and non verbal aspects of the experience of older people living in institutional care settings in a meaningful and easily accessible form. Social researchers gathered data on the sexual expression of older people in a range of institutional care settings using participant and video recorded observation. The data was analysed by the researchers and written up as an academic paper. The field notes and video recorded data on which the paper was based were dramatised in a series of short film clips by a multidisciplinary team including a script writer, director, film crew and actors. Multimedia designers integrated these film clips with the text from the academic paper to create a CD-ROM based 'Multimedia Research Document'. The design of the document sought to maximise interactivity and accessibility of the findings to non-academic audiences. Methodological and epistemological issues arising as a result of this creative, interpretative and multidisciplinary process and the interactive nature of the resulting document are explored in detail.

 

 

TIME RELATED VARIATIONS IN ADULT DAUGHTER-AGING MOTHER RELATIONS: LIFE COURSE AND LIFE CYCLE INFLUENCES IN TURKEY

Author(s): Nuran Hortaçsu and Sanem Aliçli Mottram

Influence of time on mother-daughter relationships was investigated by conducting semi-structured interviews in depth interviews with 32 adult daughter-aging mother pairs. Two different meanings of time was considered: historical time, reflecting societal changes including historical events, changing norms related to modernization and urbanization; lifecycle time, reflecting changes in social expectations from individuals due to normative transitions such as marriage, parenthood, and widowhood. Qualitative analyses of adult-daughter relationships were conducted. The first generation grew up during economic depression and repressive norms, married early and could not get higher education. The second generation grew up during political chaos, protective and conservative family norms, but received higher education. The first generation regretted their ignorance, felt inadequate and pressured their daughters to gain higher education. Social lives of the second generation were highly restricted. These women are more relaxed with their own children both because the country is safer and because they suffered from restrictions themselves. Several life transitions influenced mother-daughter relationships. a)Majority of the daughters reported that, the relationship with their mothers improved after their marriage because the mothers believed that the responsibility for their daughters' behavior was transferred to the husband. b) Motherhood of daughters brought mothers and daughters closer for two reasons. First, daughters grasped the true meaning of caring and empathised with their mothers. Second, grandmothers provided full-time care for their grandchildren and such support was highly appreciated by daughters. c) Mother's widowhood resulted in more frequent contact between mothers and daughters and more emotional and instrumental support from daughters.

 

 

CHRONOGRAPHIC MODELS OF A GENEALOGY: A PROBLEM OF UNCERTAINTY

Author(s): Oleg Bozhkov and Igor Bogolubov

While studying socio-cultural change one has to consider not separate events and phenomena, fixed in time, but processes having large enough temporary extent. Genealogies, family chronicles, biographies and memoirs answer this requirement in the greatest measure. We fixed our attention on genealogical trees, which include several generations and reflect life of groups of relatives during one and half or even more centuries.Genealogical trees as the form of graphic display of interrelations between the characters of a clan and their relative positions in lineages are a very convenient means of qualitative representation about investigated object. However traditional way of representation of genealogical trees is essentially static, the characters, represented on it, and relations in any way are not connected to proceeding time. To bypass these difficulties, we developed a special, chronographic model of a genealogical tree. In this model the character is represented by a geometrical piece of line projected on the axis of time.The basic problem connected to use of the given model, consists in basic incompleteness of the information about chronology of events in life of the characters of a tree, that results in inevitable use of conditional (calculated) dates.For their calculation are used expertly defined sets of theoretically probable intervals between events of different classes.The specification of date of any event results in recalculation of dates of events connected to it by the appropriate intervals. Such recalculation results in a change of parameters of graphic images of individuals.

 

 

FROM THE "INFORMAL ECONOMY" TO AN "EVERYDAY" ONE - THROUGH THE HISTORY OF A FAMILY AND BIOGRAPHICAL NARRATIVES

Author(s): Oleg V. Patchenkov

When a scholar faces with biographical narratives telling about people and histories of their families, it becomes obvious, that we have to avoid the term "informal economy" if we study people, not structures. The term "informal economy" refers to state authorities and leave a person aside. As far as we use "humanistic approach" we have to replace this "soulless" term by more adequate one, which is rooted in people's needs, wants, interests, desires. Ordinary people do not live in the world split for formal and informal economies; they live in the world of economy which is rooted in their and their family's everyday life. In life stories we can see the "body", the substance of the family's day-to-day life in historical perspective, we can identify the key events and matters that the history of the family and lives of its members are organized around. Here we also see in what exact way economic activity of the family's members is embedded in the history of the family. Taken and analyzed altogether all those issues brings us to the obviousness of use of the "everyday economy" concept. The argumentation and conclusions are based on the empirical data (direct and indirect interviews) collected in the course of several research projects devoted to so called "street economy" and its participants: street vendors and traders employed at open-air flea market in St.-Petersburg (Russia).

 

 

GENEALOGICAL SEARCH AS A CULTURAL MOVEMENT IN CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN SOCIETY

Author(s): Olga Tkach and Elena Zdravomyslova

One of the features of the contemporary cultural climate in Russian society is one type of biographical work that can be named genealogical search. The field of genealogical search is constituted of the strategies and practices aimed at accumulation of the virtual symbolic capital of the agents who rediscover their family roots. The field of genealogical search is thick of institutional arrangements making this type of biographical work available in contemporary Russia - genealogical societies, institutionalization of the profession of genealogist, trainings in archival work, voluntary associations of people who reconstructed their family and collective past (ethnic societies, Kazakh society, Gentry Assembly and alike). The purpose of the paper is to describe the field of genealogical search, its conditions, agents and practices, and to consider manifest and latent consequences of such activities for Russian society. The research shows that the main sequences of such a! cultural movement includes formation of the mosaic collectives identities, establishment of virtual estate society, privatization of history. The research data include interviews with different categories of individuals involved in genealogical search and results of participant observation in the institutions acting in the field.

 

 

WHAT CAN LIFE COURSE RESEARCH TELL "THE BIOGRAPHICAL TURN"?

Author(s): Robert Miller

The term 'biographical turn' has been applied to a collection of parallel developments in the social sciences which share a recognition that identity - both personal and (arguably) collective - is a process of ongoing construction and maintenance anchored both in the recollection of past experience and an anticipation of the future. Adopting a biographical perspective strengthens the researcher's capacity to work with time-related issues such as dealing with intergenerational change, incorporating a historical context and, methodologically, problems of selective or warped memory. Given the biographical turn's time-centred view of the present through lenses of the past and future, however, it is paradoxical that the perspective has been largely blind to intragenerational change. The paper will consider the possibilities for strengthening the biographical perspective by a recognition of the significance of developmental issues across the life span.

 

 

SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION PROCESSES IN THE LIFE-COURSES OF KOSOVA PEOPLE

Author(s): Rudolf Egger

This project at the Pristina Summer University dealt with the meaning of social transformation processes in the life- courses of Kosova people. The goal was to create an interpretative study (using narrative interviews) concerning the experiences and meanings of social changes from the perspective of life course and to reconstruct the individual possibilities in creating one's life in new social structures. How could Kosova people manage the shift in life-planning budgets after the war? What kind of transformation processes took place and what processes of memory and forgetting was needed to manage these changes? What happened in theses processes of *life-trajectories in social space'? These topics have been analysed by biographical research.

 

 

THE RESOURCE OF CROSS-LOCAL INTEGRATION IN THE CONTEXT OF A LOCAL COMMUNITY

Author(s): Sergey Damberg 

Social reality per se can be divided into public and private spheres. It is easy to notice that whole social action has quite different nature, interaction rules and semantics in these two spheres. Private fields of daily practices are completely embedded in cultural context of a local community; public space is, on the contrary, more and more globalizing according to public strategies of professional communities included in cross-local networks. This situation lets us consider the membership in a globalized professional community as an important social resource facilitating individual integration by providing a person with an additional social mobility opportunity. Actually, this resource of cross-local integration is a new factor differentiating local communities: its owner can use it as personal symbolic capital in his public activity and convert it in a higher status position. But every social stratification system is deeply rooted in a local community, so each person using his cross-local network connections stays embedded in his local community, which defines his status in terms of its culture. Thus, locality plays the same role of identifying social context for its insiders both with and without 'global' integration of them.

 

 

THE CONSEQUENCES OF SHIFTING PRIORITIES AND PRACTICES BETWEEN THE ELDERLY AND THE YOUNG: THE CASE OF TURKEY

Author(s): Sibel Kalaycioglu

Within the social structure in Turkey kinship systems and solidarities used to be very dominant. The extended kinship was responsible for the succession of generations and for the maintenance of their members. Also the continuity and transfer of values, beliefs, ideas and symbols between generations was creating a unity between the members of the kinship systems. Because of numerous economic and cultural changes the intergenerational relations have been effected, i.e. the young now are relatively independent from their parents. This relative independence become unavoidable because of growing need for individual development and increasing geographical and social mobility. This paper will discuss the dilemmas of a shift in inter-generational cultural transfers between the young and their elderly parents. Firstly, I will try to argue the chances of the young to continue the life strategies and cultural practices of their parents and kinship systems. Then, I will discuss the pros and cons of the shift both for the elderly and the young. The study will use the biographical material from two different research, with the elderly and the young in Turkey. The changes in the preferences and priorities of the young together with the effects of global economy and culture, are creating a trauma on the system which basicly used to rely on dense family relations and solidarities.

 

 

 

CULTURAL DISCOURSES OF AGE AND THE LIFE-COURSE

Author(s): Sinikka Aapola 

 

 

SUR LES TRACES D'UNE MEMOIRE COLLECTIVE: LES OUVRIERS RETRAITES D'UN ANCIEN CHANTIER NAVAL ['THE SEARCH FOR COLLECTIVE MEMORY: OLDER WORKERS IN A SHIPYARD']

Author(s): Stéphanie Queval

La communication qui sera présentée s'appuie sur trois années de recherches réalisées auprès d'un chantier naval (" Les Chantiers de Normandie " fondés en 1894) dont la fermeture définitive en 1986 met un terme à une intense activité dans les domaines de construction et de réparation navales au sein de la région rouennaise. Cette recherche en cours fait à la fois appel aux sources documentaires (une partie des archives de l'entreprise a été sauvegardée) et aux archives orales, à partir du recueil de récits de vie professionnelle auprès d'anciens ouvriers du chantier. En ayant adopté une démarche de type biographique, nous verrons que lorsque ces anciens ouvriers racontent leurs parcours professionnels, plusieurs thèmes communs font leur apparition : la référence aux navires construits au chantier, la dureté des conditions de travail et un attachement certain à l'entreprise. Ces thèmes forment la base d'une mémoire commune, cette mémoire peut-elle s'apparenter à un sentiment d'appartenance collective vécu et revendiqué comme tel pour tous ceux qui ont travaillé au chantier, exprime-t-elle aussi les bases d'une culture de métier ? Toutefois, nous verrons aussi que l'approche par la biographie pose certains problèmes méthodologiques, concernant, par exemple, la mise en perspective des trajectoires professionnelles, il s'agira de repérer ces difficultés et d'en cerner les limites. Tels sont les points qui seront exposés lors de la communication. 'The search for collective memory : the older workers in shipyard' The communication which will be presented base on three years of searches realized with a shipyard (' Les Chantiers de Normandie ' establised since 1894), the definitive closure since 1986 puts an end to an intense activity in the sector of construction and naval repairs in the Normandy region (France). This research in progress is based on at once the documentary sources (a part of the archives of the company was protected) and on the oral archives, from the collection of stories of professional life with the older workers of the shipyard. By having privileging a biographical approach, we'll see that when the older workers evoke their professional life, three collective themes appear : the reference to vessels built in the shipyard, the hardness of the conditions of employment and certain affection for the company. These themes form the base of a collective memory, this memory can be maybe compare to a feeling of collective membership (lived and claimed by all those who worked on the shipyard, is it the base of a culture of profession ? However, we'll also see that the biographical approach pose some methodological problems, concerning, for example, the narration of careers, it will be a question of tracking down these difficulties and of clarifying them. Such are the points which will be explained during the communication.

 

 

DIFFICULT LIFE COURSES OF YOUNGSTERS FROM IMMIGRANT FAMILIES: CHALLENGES FOR COMMUNITY- BASED SOCIAL WORK IN GERMANY

Author(s): Susanne Lang

The German education system reinforces social separation. There is also a significant correlation between `ethnicity´ and social exclusion strengthened by the education system in Germany. These are the main results of PISA concerning the situation of youngsters in the German education system. There is also a spatial segregation, a segregation in housing that has certain impacts on the biographies of the youngsters from immigrant families, especially in larger cities of western Germany. Community-based social work seems to have problems to reach these young people of colour (moroccans, turks, etc.) in the marginalised areas of the larger cities. With biographically-based interviews with young men and women from immigrant families in marginalised housing situations we intend to reconstruct the life courses of these youngsters and to receive answers to the following questions: - impact of immigration on the life courses, orientations (religion, ethnic community, peers) - impact of the spatial dimension (living in marginalised city areas) - impact and significance of the formal education system - impact and significance of social work-interventions - certain biographical skills and resources Lessons learned for social work: without the recognition of biographical construction skills based on specific life circumstances there can be no success for social intervention policies.

 

 

MIGRATION, LIFE STRATEGIES AND CITY SPACE: THE LIFE HISTORIES OF RURAL-TO-URBAN MIGRANTS IN ANKARA, TURKEY

Author(s): Tahire Erman 

In this paper I present the life histories of people who migrated from their villages to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, and who reside in a squatter neighborhood on the city's periphery. I initiated an ethnographic research in July 2000, which was coupled with in-depth interviews, and up to now 102 people were interviewed and their life histories were compiled. The paper draws upon the experiences of 102 residents regarding their life strategies, but focuses on ten cases drawn from the respondent group due to their representative qualities in terms of gender, generation, religious sect (Alevi-Sunni), age, time of migration and time spent in the neighborhood. It discusses similarities and differences between the experiences of these people in the city and the life strategies they adopted, and attempts to explain them. It particularly asks whether migrants from a particular place of origin, religious sect or political view concentrate in a particular city space, and what that means in terms of migrants' concrete experiences and their life strategies. Thus, space is the major interest in this narration of the lives of migrants in the city. I attempt to narrate migrants' temporal movements through the city space as part of their life strategies.

 

 

WHOSE HOUSE IS THIS? DILEMMAS OF IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION IN THE ISRAELI - PALESTINIAN CONTEXT

Author(s): Tal Litvak-Hirsch

The aim of this paper is to examine the ways in which one's perception of the 'other' contributes to the processes involved in the construction of collective identity, within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will present examples from an analysis and comparison of interviews with two women, citizens of Israel one Palestinian and one Jewish- who participated in a workshop on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The workshop based on 93life stories. The analysis examined the processes of construction and changes of their identity during the first year of the Al-Akza Intifada (2000 96 2001). For the purposes of this study, a semi-structured interview was constructed that dealt with the dilemma raised by the question: 'Whose house is this?=94(personally and collectively). The analysis of the interviewees narratives revealed a number of continua connected to collective identity . In the paper I will discuss these aspects and bring examples from the interviews. I will suggest possible connections between personal and social processes and the construction of identity that are taking place today in Jewish and Arab Israeli society.

 

 

CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THE RUSSIAN ENTREPRENEURS' LIFE STORIES

Author(s): Tatyana Kosyaeva 

Theory and method of Critical Discourse Analysis (Gee,Fairclough) contains tools that allow interpreting the Russian entrepreneurs' life stories, namely connections between biographies and change in system of the social institutions in Russia in transition period. In CDA change of language is always a change of social practices, and '…word is not used in terms of a definition, but rather against a set of social and cultural assumptions that constitute a cultural model' (Gee). Within this approach, emergence of new words in life stories indicates appearance of new social practices and of the corresponding cultural models. Cultural models are important tool of inquiry because they mediate between the 'micro' level of biographies and the 'macro' level of social institutions. In-depth interviews with entrepreneurs have been conducted by the author in several regions of Russia since 19. Usage of the chronological strategy - repeated interviewing of the same respondents-entrepreneurs revealed not only the dynamics of their identities, but also the changes in discourse about entrepreneurship. As a result of analysis of Russian entrepreneurs' 'life stories', several stages of the process of transformation of system of social institutions were identified. 

 

 

 

GERMAN UNIFICATION AS BIOGRAPHICAL EXPERIENCE

Author(s): Torsten Bo Jørgensen

My Ph.D. project aims at exploring the role of German Unification in the lives of East Germans who finished high school in 1989. By now I have made nine biographical interviews (Fritz Schütze) and I have revised some of my presumptions. I expected my informants, having grown up in socialist GDR, to still have difficulties with coping to living in unified capitalist Germany. However, most of them have made it very well and - at least at a first glance, in-depth-analysis still need to be done - seem quite satisfied with living under radically changed societal conditions. To several informants, biographical experience made before 1989 has been highly useful, not least the ambition and diligence necessary for entereing high school in GDR - and typical for their social background as 'Intelligenzler'.

 

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT ME THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL I IN WOMEN AMATEUR WRITERS' LIFE STORIES

Author(s): Tuija Saresma

In Western, late modern societies, biography has become a popular genre. Published, literary autobiographies are read and unpublished life stories by unknown people are written widely. The somewhat artificial division of the genre presumes that the authors of the published narratives acknowledge the textuality of autobiographical writing, whereas the amateur writers believe they can document their lives authentically. Authors experiment with ways of representing the textual subject, while amateur writers claim that language is transparent and what they write is the truth about them. - The former approach to autobiographical subject is influenced by postmodernism and poststructuralist theory, the latter could be called naive realism. I study women's unpublished theme autobiographies about art, collected by means of a writing competition. Inspired by feminist autobiographical theory, I am interested in authorship and textuality, and in how gendered subjects are being construed in the act of writing. When reading the "ordinary" amateur writers' autobiographies instead of the often experimental literary autobiographies, I also want, however, to apply a standpoint-feminist approach to my reading, one that would "give voice to women" and respect their experience. My aim is to combine these two approaches in order to inquire into the gendered autobiographical I and it's relation to women's lived experiences.

 

 

TEACHERS WE LIVE WITH

Author(s): Ulla-Maija Salo

 

 

LESSONS FROM THE SOCIALIST LIFE-COURSE REGIME

Author(s): Ulrike Nagel

 

 

THE CONTRADICTION OF LOCALIZATION

Author(s): Valery Golofast

The crash of standard models of variants of life cycle, life course and their derivative (mobility, success, achievement, victory etc.) are examined in conditions of beginning of the globalization flow. In this context such concepts as institutionalization of "the normal biography ", a person as "choice", "decision" or "construction" of identity, "individualization" and "reflexivity" of the biography are estimated. One ought to pay attention that all these accompanying concepts are connected with " the container theory of a state - society " and with naturalized sociocultural structures. Globalization of the life world of the individual releases him/her from spatial - temporary natural topology, but plunges into stronger dependence from local constallations of forces of the status, symbols, institutes, personal capitals, technological and social risks. By virtue of discrepancy of logic of systems of business, occupation, consumption and massculture and logic of personal lif e, we observe the escape of individual to virtual or fluid systems of the relations such as tussovkas, tribs, crowds, unstable human concentrations of any kind. The daily life turns to fluctuations of phases of long apathy and explosive short-term activity. There arises a question on stability of emotional life and mental health.

 

 

CLASS IDENTITIES AND THE IDENTITY OF CLASS

Author(s): Wendy Bottero

This paper argues that the problem of class identities has created an identity crisis for class analysis. In rejecting both arguments of the death of class', and the increasingly minimalist positions of class traditionalists, a newer generation of class theorists have transformed the scope and analytical framework of class analysis. Such approaches question the centrality of the economic', inflating class' to include social and cultural formations, reconfigure the causal model that has underpinned class analysis (class structure leads to class consciousness and class action), and abandon the notion of distinct class identities or groups, focussing instead on individualised hierarchical differentiation. There are problems with transforming class' in this fashion, although the difficulty lies not in the departures from traditional class theory, but rather in what is retained. There is an uneasy relationship between older and newer aspects of class' within renewed class theory, and the wider implications of inequality considered as individualised hierarchy (rather than as class') have not been fully explored. The debate on class identities (an important example of this new form of class analysis) illustrates some of the difficulties in renewing' class.

 

 

MIGRATION PROCESSES AND JEWISH IDENTITY. RUSSIAN JEWS IN BERLIN

Author(s): Yvonne Schütze 

My talk will deal with two questions: First, what does it mean for young Russian Jews, who immigrated to Germany (Berlin) to be a Jew? Second, how does this meaning change during the course of time? The data, to which I will refer, stem from a longitudinal study, in which 37 Russian Jews (22 men, 15 women) were interviewed three times. The first interview took place 1995/96, about five years after their arrival, the second interview was three years later in 1998/1999 and the third one in 2002/2003. Although there may be no unambiguous criterion for Jewish identity - as the philosopher Jeanne Hersch pointed out - some elements of such identity are frequently mentioned in the literature: religion, culture, history, Zionism, reference to the state of Israel and the Holocaust. The young Russian Jews in my project conceived of Jewish identity mainly as ethnic identity. Following Max Weber one can define an ethnic group through the shared subjective belief in a community of origin and through a common pool of collective memory and of cultural pratices. Religion does play a role in the interviews to the extent it is perceived as part of Jewish history and culture, but not - with few exceptions - as a guideline for individual life. Beyond the commonalities Jewish identity has various meanings and functions for the interviewees of my sample. There are some who had already developped a stable self-image of being Jewish in their society of origin. And that image did not change after immigration. Others discovered and constructed their Jewish identity only after immigration. In their case Jewish identity clearly served the function to provide orientation and steadiness in the new society. Finally there are those who also resorted to Jewish identity after immigration, but in the course of time they transcended ethnic and national categories and conceived of themselves in a cosmopolitan mode.

I will give case examples of all three types.

 

 

CHANGING OF PERSONAL IDENTITY DURING AND AFTER PRISON

Author(s): Zsuzsanna Bogre

In Hungary in the early fifties thousands of the people were put in the prison. Everyone was consider as an enemy of the regime who was able to think independently, who refused the Stalinism or who was insist on his/her traditional values. That was forbidden to continue the relegious belief or to go to the church. The intelligensia could think only the one way: ideology of the marxist. There were so many person in the prison because of his/her relegious faith. In the prison there was a special community to which everybody had to adapted on the other hand the person had not been any shance to survive the imprisoned period. There was different kind of strategies for adaptation from which I want to show one the behaviour of winner. If we follow the personal life story we are able understand why was the examined person winner in the prison and after the prison. I will concern on the main factors of the society which is determined the personal shance to integrate into the community of the prison and into the new local community after the prison. The guestion is what is the process of the adaptation like during and after the traumatic period. What had happaned with the personal identity in the examined period. Was there any shance to maintane his/her personal faith and values or that was necessary to denied it. I try to demonstrate how was possible to create a ballancing act during the traumatic period of the personal life.