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Forms of communities in modern era – The mechanisms of a construct

Gemeinschaftsformen der Moderne – Mechanismen eines Konstrukts

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Publié le jeudi 28 janvier 2016 par Céline Guilleux

Résumé

In the centre of this interdisciplinary workshop are above all the processes of communalization of imagined communities. How different these processes are can be presented through different examples for imagined communities. Nations (Anderson) aim to unite a homogeneous group with the same language, religion or culture. International organisations as well as transnational movements or networks share ideals, but also strive for concrete political and social goals. These processes may also be seen in the Nazi Volksgemeinschaftenwhich demanded the subordination of the individual for the benefit of the collective body, and thereby promised the fulfilment of individual happiness.

Annonce

Argument

In everyday speech community describes the idea of an entity of several individuals which is based on common characteristics and exterior connections as well as the sense of connectivity. In everyday language, the expression of community is foremost used in a subjective way to describe social systems and entities. The expression society, on the other hand, describes the largest social entity which includes all other social entities. For a long time both expressions were used synonymously. Only in 1887 were the two terms society and community introduced by Ferdinand Tönnies (Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundbegriffe der reinen Soziologie) as a dichotomic pair in the sociological vocabulary. Those expressions defined two sets of human bond abstracted of reality. Alternative: Those expressions defined two types of human connection which are abstracts of reality. For Tönnies, the specific difference between community and society was based on the fact that the basic forms of community like the community of blood, the community of place, and the community of religion  were organically grown unities, contrary to  those types of society which were created purposefully and in a systematically way.

Other studies, especially in sociology, expanded the definitions and characteristics of the two terms: While Emile Durkheim introduced some criteria for community in his work De la division du travail social, Max Weber mapped out the building processes of community. He named them communization and socialization (Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1921). Since the early 19th century, the term community has especially become a promising counter term to society, which stood for the pursuit of personal interest and ominous changes in politics, economics and social order of Modernity. The desire for community therefore also entailed criticism of the present as well as pursuit of a better and attainable future often linked to a lost past.

The plurality of communities was already emphasized by Ferdinand Tönnies and has since then been complemented and conceptualized. Three ideal types of community were identified: The community of place, the community of choice, and one which is established „through events, media, symbols and discourses which permeate the space of experience and communication and which offer or impose a framework for orientation for the action in the communities of place as well as for the communities of choice.” (Habbo Knoch, Gemeinschaft im Nationalsozialismus vor Ort, 2013.) This third type of community, the imagined community (Anderson), describes communities which “are larger than the village face-to-face contacts” and which create a feeling of togetherness based on common ideals. This concept of imagined communities has had a large response in diverse disciplines.

In the centre of this interdisciplinary workshop are above all the processes of communalization of these imagined communities. How different these processes are can be presented through different examples for imagined communities. Nations (Anderson) aim to unite a homogeneous group with the same language, religion or culture. International organisations as well as transnational movements or networks share ideals, but also strive for concrete political and social goals. These processes may also be seen in the Nazi Volksgemeinschaften which demanded the subordination of the individual for the benefit of the collective body, and thereby promised the fulfilment of individual happiness.

Furthermore, the comparison between different forms of community permits a closer look at the background and the actors of communalization, and their formation as a group. In addition, it is of importance to analyse the including and excluding characteristics of communalization. Relevant are also the means and tools through which those different forms of communities develop, in addition to the practices, perception and impact of these on the people affected.

This workshop aims to find the specific mechanisms which lead to the construction of imagined communities, through the analysis of the processes of communization.

Proposals from historical, political, anthropological and sociological fields are especially welcome. Contributions can include, but are not limited to:

  • The development of nation-states
  • Local and regional communities
  • Communities of value, religious and political communities (association, clubs, labour unions, profession groups)
  • International organisations (international red cross), transnational movements (peace movement), trade communities (German Customs Union)
  • Community in Family and Friendships
  • Ethnic and gender communities
  • Memory-based community (Shoa, Nostalgérie, Ostalgie)
  • Utopian communities  (Marxism, Robert Owen)

General information

The working languages are German and/or English. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes. A publication of the lectures is intended. The workshop will be able to partially cover travel expenses and accommodation, and will provide catering for participants. Please send your paper proposals (max. 500 words), a short CV by …. to: gemeinschaftsideologie@gmail.com

before 21 March 2016

Scientific committee

  • Daniel Hadwiger (Universität Tübigen)
  • Agnès Vollmer (Universität Tübingen)
  • Maude Williams (Universität Tübingen / Université Paris-Sorbonne)

Lieux

  • Tübingen, Allemagne

Dates

  • lundi 21 mars 2016

Mots-clés

  • communauté, propagande, nation, organisation internationale, mémoire, utopie

Contacts

  • Maude Williams
    courriel : maude [dot] fagot [at] gmail [dot] com

Source de l'information

  • Maude Williams
    courriel : maude [dot] fagot [at] gmail [dot] com

Pour citer cette annonce

« Forms of communities in modern era – The mechanisms of a construct », Appel à contribution, Calenda, Publié le jeudi 28 janvier 2016, http://calenda.org/354193