Hauptwerke der Ungleichheitsforschung

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Das Nachschlagewerk stellt die wichtigsten Beiträge zur sozialen Ungleichheitsforschung zusammen. Die einzelnen Artikel informieren Leserinnen und Leser über den Entstehungszusammenhang der besprochenen Werke, referieren in kondensierter Form deren thematischen Inhalt und geben Auskunft über ihren Einfluss auf die weitere Diskussion. Auf diese Weise ergibt sich ein ebenso leicht zugänglicher wie umfassender Überblick über eines der zentralen sozialwissenschaftlichen Problem- und Forschungsfelder.
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About the author

Dr. Hans-Peter Müller ist Professor für Soziologie an der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.
Dr. Michael Schmid ist Professor für Soziologie an der Universität der Bundeswehr in München.
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Published on
Jul 2, 2013
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Social Science / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Die soziologische Literatur zum Thema, sozialer Wandel' ist unuber sehbar geworden. Zieht man historische Studien und anthropolo gische Untersuchungen mit in Betracht, so wird jede Behauptung, man sei hinreichend und kompetent informiert, unglaubwiirdig, und jedes Buch, das darauf verzichtet, dem gequalten Leser den verloren gegan genen Dberblick zu verschaffen, sollte sich auf die berechtigte Frage gefagt machen, weshalb es eigentlich geschrieben wurde. Auch das vorliegende wird sich dieser Frage stellen mussen. Seine Zuriickhal tung indessen, die theoretische Landschaft, auch nur kursorisch, zu uberfliegen, hat ihren Grund: Ich vermute, ohne dies in dieser Schrift naher belegen zu wollen, dag auf solche Weise nicht mehr zu gewin nen ist als das verworrene Bild unterschiedlichster paradigmatischer Anspruche, verschiedenartigster theoretischer Perspektiven und einer Unzahl von Einzeluntersuchungen, die sich nur schwer einem einheit-' lichen theoretischen Gesichtspunkt fugen wollen. Und genau urn die sen geht es. Dieses Buch pladiert fur eine Vereinheitlichung der Vor schlage zur Erklarung sozialen Wandels und findet die Moglichkeit hierzu in einer Theorie struktureller Selektion. Es ist dabei von der Dberzeugung getragen, dag soziale Veranderung zwar jederzeit nur als Konsequenz individuellen Handelns vieler Einzelner zustandekom men wird, allein durch individualistisdie Handlungstheorien indessen nicht erklart werden kann. Hierzu benotigen wir erganzende und ei genstandige strukturelle Argumente, die plausibel machen konnen, wie soziale Veranderungen aus der Unmoglichkeit entstehen, die uberindividuellen Verkehrsformen stabil und reproduktionsfahig zu halten, auch gegen die erklarten Intentionen vieler der Beteiligten.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, Indiana University (History Department), course: History H 650 ' U.S. Foreign Relations in the American Century', language: English, abstract: Ever since the United States ended the Second World War in 1945 every administration has found itself involved more and more in the affairs of the Middle East. Over the decades this engagement in the orient has changed due to the new realities of the post-World War era and the evolving relations between the USA and Arab nations. Today in 2004, no other foreign policy matter could be more crucial than the issue of United States foreign policy toward the Middle East. After the horrific and tragic terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11th, 2001 the relevance of the issue gained a dramatic new dimension. For decades the US-Arab relation has been the focus of recent scholars, especially the never-ending Israel-Palestinian conflict has had its share of the research that has been conducted. In the first years of the twenty-first century the urgent need to comprehend US-Arab relations is understandably dominant. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks a wave of historical and scientific works were published. Most of the historians were still in shock from the events that had occurred and therefore not willing to reflect upon past experiences with Middle Eastern nations. But eventually the pressing question arose that puzzled so many minds: Why do they hate us? A project by many respectable scholars involved a website devoted to the American values where they posted several essays in trying to answer that question. By raising it, they automatically came across the path of self-definition and self-defense. As the Bush Administration articulated its first response to the attacks of 9/11 with the retaliatory strike against Afghanistan, the scholars of www.americanvalues.org defended the action by publishing a kind of declaration of self-defense in order to protect the values of America and the values of the free world. In it, they clearly distanced themselves and America from barbaric terrorist attacks and declared that they were meant to destroy American values which led them to answer the next fundamental question: Who are we then? In the end, this proclamation served as a reassurance of the existing belief of what the USA is NOT according to the scholars, which is totalitarian, oppressive, hegemonic and barbaric.
Essay from the year 2004 in the subject Communications - Journalism, Journalism Professions, grade: 1,0, Indiana University (School of Journalism), course: Journalism J650, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Robert A. Gross begins his article Markets, Magazines, and More with reference to a quote from Ellen Gruber Garvey’s book The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture which summarizes quite well the essential reason behind many developments that led to the creation of an American mass market. “Why...do men make magazines? To sell ad. space in them. What’s a magazine? So many pages of ad. space.” According to Gross magazines were not so much about content as they were about the advertisements in them. Of course, magazines had to be sold in order for people to read the ads, but the content of the magazine was not designed to improve the reader’s life but to get him interested in the product and eventually make him buy it. Many scholars such as William Leach see this development in the American media landscape from a purely informational and even missionary character to a consumption and marketing based arena as a major move away from the traditional values of media outlets such as the newspaper and others. Leach evaluates this change in his book The Land of Desire where he takes a close look at the changes within the American culture and market. He argues that in the decades after the Civil War “American capitalism began to produce a distinct culture, unconnected to traditional family or community values, to religion in any conventional sense, or to political democracy. It was a secular business and market-oriented culture [...].” He traces this change from the time of the Protestant settlers and early American community life, where the ultimate fulfilment was salvation, spiritual blessings for all and an end to poverty, to the 1900s, where those religious ideals were increasingly transformed and commercialized into personal satisfaction and individual pleasures and profit. With the appearance of “new pleasure palaces” such as department stores, theaters, restaurants, hotels, dance halls, and amusement parks Americans experienced the joy of personal satisfaction. Whereas in the past, Leach writes, “values had taken their character from ... the church; now they were deriving it from business and consumption.” This democratization of individual desire of the post Civil War culture is probably one of the “most notable contributions to modern society” according to Leach.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, Free University of Berlin (John F. Kennedy Institut Berlin), course: HS American Cultural Memory: Trauma, Collective Imagery and the Politics of Remembering, 3 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The text by Bessel Van der Kolk and Onno Van der Hart “The Intrusive Past” provides an overview of the work and achievement of Jean – Martin Charcot ́s and Pierre Janet’s study about how the mind processes memories and the effects of traumatic memories on consciousness. With the following text, I will present a couple of central aspects of Janet’s study and the phenomena of dissociation and the reconstruction of the past through narrative memory and project them onto one short sequence from “Memento” (2001) to further support my argument. The main point of this text is to illustrate how narrative memory reshapes the past in a variety of ways and that the main character in “Memento”, who has lived through a traumatic experience, creates and recreates his past through the means of a combination of the already mentioned dissociation and narrative memory. Janet considered “the memory system as the central organizing apparatus of the mind, which categorizes and integrates all aspects of experience and automatically integrates them into ever – enlarging and flexible meaning schemes.” He differentiates between the subconscious automatic integration of familiar and expectable experiences into existing meaning schemes and the difficult integration of frightening and novel experiences, which might either totally resist integration or be remembered extremely vivid. The subconscious integration of memories occurs because they fit easily into the meaning scheme, they do not pose a threat or form a contradiction to the already existing beliefs, values and meanings of the world. Whereas the automatic integration of new information happens without conscious attention, the narrative memory is something very deliberate and conscious. Narrative memory is not the act of remembering something that happened in the past but an act of recreating the past, of changing the memory. Janet explains this phenomena as mental constructs, “which people use to make sense out of experience.” This suggests that the individual’s existing meaning schemes may be entirely unable to integrate a specific terrifying experience, which causes the memory to be stored differently, and therefore might not be available for the act of remembering.
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Miscellaneous, grade: 1,3, Free University of Berlin (John F. Kennedy Institut), course: Rise to Power: US Foreign Policy in the 20th Century, 24 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: No area seems to be of more importance in the field of foreign policy and diplomatic history today than the so called Middle East. The continuing clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian suicide bombers, the difficult challenge of stabilizing a newly elected government in Iraq and the growing tension between Iran and the international community concerning the issue of nuclear power are just a few examples which illustrate the urgency to look at origins of these conflicts. As an example for this essay, I have chosen the case of Iran. I will focus on the very beginning of the involvement of the United States in the Middle East, and I will demonstrate what kind of issues and perceptions played an essential role in the determination of U.S. policy towards Iran. Although I do not attempt to find causes for the current situation, some of the factors I will identify in this essay might also serve as an explanation for the current conflict with Iran. Yet, this is not my primary intention and further research and empirical data will be required to investigate connections to the contemporary situation with Iran. However, I will argue that the way US policymakers viewed their Iranian counterparts did not change fundamentally for many decades at least regarding the country of Iran if not more countries in the Middle East. I downplay this aspect because a lot more research is needed to support this argument and it would extend beyond the scope of this essay. Mostly the dealings with Iran and its premier Muhammad Musaddiq in the early 1950s at the time of the Anglo-Iranian oil crises will be of relevance. The essence of my argument is that even though strategic thinking and the fear of a communist takeover of Iran played a role in negotiating with Iran, the reason why Musaddiq was toppled by the CIA and the British MI-6 was because Western diplomats had a so called “orientalist” mindset and perceived him as too weak and irrational as to fight off Soviet attacks and propaganda which could have led to an eventual takeover of Iran by Soviet forces. In order to pre-empt that, the United States and Britain collaborated to bring down Musaddiq and install a shah regime that would, on the one hand be more favourable to Western oil interests, and on the other hand more resistant regarding possible Soviet invasion efforts.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, Indiana University (History Department), course: H 650 Foreign Relations in the American Century, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The world of espionage is as fascinating and present in the current affairs of international relations as it is ambiguous. Although everybody can estimate the merits of intelligence work its significance for the development of historical events or even matters of today remains unclear. Part of the reason for that is certainly the secrecy under which operations are conducted and information is gathered, but also the unknown effects other factors and policy decisions have on a situation. It seems strangely familiar that we assume intelligence agencies have a very important role in the decision-making process of the policymakers and they probably do, but there has been and is a great debate among historians what kind of a role these agencies played and what their contribution was, if any, to the decisions ultimately made by the government officials. As we can witness today, this debate continues and will most likely never completely disappear. The latest controversy has shown this very clearly. What was the role of the intelligence community in the lead up process to the war in Iraq? How did certain findings or the absence of them influence the Bush Administration? Did the White House base its decisions on intelligence reports by the CIA or on personal convictions? And would different intelligence reports, or none at all, have made a difference in the course of events? Those are questions that will not and cannot be answered by this essay. But these are the latest examples of issues surrounding the same question that has been debated on for quite some time. Did intelligence work in the 20th century make a difference or would events have happened anyway? Along those lines another question has been formulated. How can we know for sure that one way or the other was the case? How can historians and other scholars shed light onto some of those pressing issues that are kept so secret? This essay will focus on some of these problems and methods of historians working on intelligence and will then provide a perspective on the matter of intelligence work and their effect on history.
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