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ISSN 1439-9326

Heft 1-2008

Dorett Funcke
Family building by donor insemination: Is this social phenomenon a test criterion for the general validity of nuclear familial structures?

This article presents the issue of same-sex female couple families with regard to the fact that they allow those couples to fulfil their desires for children by donor insemination. This new type of family repudiates all conditions regarded to be constituent and essential for the process of socialisation and thus casts doubt on the theorem of universality of the Oedipal triad as a structure constitutive for socialisation. By this a central theoretical component of the sociological research on socialisation is empirically challenged. In addition, the empirical results obtained from case analysis augment the debate about the public acceptance of donor insemination.

Keywords: research on socialisation, Oedipal triad, same-sex female couple families, artificial fertilisation, ethics, case reconstruction, donor insemination

Valerie Moser
The attribution of responsibility as social practice. First results of a research project

A research project that qualitatively analyses the attribution of responsibility is sketched out. The project breaks with the quantitative tradition in sociology of law. Mostly findings of studies within attribution theory are based on experiments in the laboratory. In contrast to this tradition, the article questions how the attribution of responsibility can be comprehended and analysed as social practice. First results show that judging an observed behaviour is part of the social practice. Social norms, values, and patterns of thinking and acting are applied, reinterpreted and changed in judging. By attributing responsibility to a person motives, goals and wishes of the speaker are expressed, and also a social function is fulfilled. Attributions are part oft the social practice, by which the social world is structured.

Keywords: sociology of law, attribution theory, attribution of responsibility, social practice, Grounded Theory

Jean-Claude Kaufmann
The identity process

Starting from historical philosophic perspectives the paper discusses different facets and conceptualisations of the term "Identity" in the social and cultural sciences and the difficulties and contradictions associated with it. It is pointed out that only by historical retrospection it becomes understandable how the term "identity" and the "emergence of a subject" can be understood as integral elements of historical development. Following this the identity process is interpreted as "active subjectivity" (identity work) and the author stresses the meaning of sensations and emotions, as well as mental images. Finally the explanative power of the scientific concept "identity" for social questions is emphasised.

Keywords: identity, identity process, subject formation

Tilman Allert
The aeroplane as communicative space

"Flying planes can be dangerous" is one of the most famous examples for demonstrating inbuilt linguistic ambiguity. The microsociological perspective conceptualises flying as a complex life situation with specific consequences for social interaction and personal self-definition of people. Introducing into the triviality of flying the perspective of space, as developed by Simmel and Plessner, can be conceived as a transitory crises of territorial self conception. The communicative presence in the flight situation as an anomic situation leads to idiosyncratic ways of communication. Passengers of aeroplanes are forced into technically determined constraints, that the professionals – cockpit and cabin personnel – have to neutralize affectively and cognitively. The specific pacification process that is demanded in treating people in transitory situations like flying presupposes specific competences of narrative sophistication and calming down. The article is dealing with the communicative context that is installed in the "nowhere" situation. Consequences for new training concepts in the professional qualification should underline the need for communication.

Keywords: space, body, crisis of territorial identity, communication, service professionals, sociology of work

Hans-Jürgen von Wensierski, Claudia Lübcke, Melissa Schwarz
"The Unbelieving Life" – Adolescence of Young Muslims between Expressive Youth Cultures and Re-Islamisation

Muslims in Germany are characterised by processes of modernisation and pluralisation. This article examines the course of these processes of young Muslims in Germany on the basis of a biographical study. The connection between expressive western youth cultures and Islamisation processes in the adolescence of two young Muslims is examined in two contrastive case studies. Both cases stand for the type "re-Islamisation in the wake of adolescence". The re-Islamisation processes of the young adults occur as an element of a process of adolescent identity formation. In the course of these processes, the re-discovered religiousness is used as a feature of dissociation and autonomisation from both family and mainstream society. In this context, the biographical processes of development become visible

Keywords: young Muslims, adolescence, biography, youth culture, re-Islamisation

Lukas Neuhaus
Productively solving problems. Patterns of social classifying applied by engineers and architects

Reconstructing the logic of social classification of engineers and architects, based on a game classifying different occupations, three typical antagonistic topics can be uncovered: (a) productive versus non-productive occupations, (b) creative versus routinised occupations, and (c) applied-concrete versus theoretical-abstract occupations. However, these antagonistic oppositions are not embedded into a dichotomous view of society as a whole, but into a functional and organic model of society. Engineers and architects do not equate the stated non-productivity of an occupation with uselessness but rather with reproductive usefulness. Overall, the article illustrates the existence of relevant elements of classifications, which do not emanate from social structure or biography but from the structure of occupational practice.

Keywords: Social classification, occupations, engineers, architects, images of society

Andreas Vasilache
The Particularisation of the State

While states are constituted as public entities with a claim to general commitment and responsibility, non-state actors represent specific groupings and interests and can be regarded as private and particularistic actors. However, different current phenomena and developments indicate that states tend to place less emphasis on an exceptional and distinguished actor-status. Rather, states try to gain power, to enlarge their scope of action by adopting and acknowledging a particularistic and privatised self-conception, actor-quality and actor-status. This also undermines the conceptual basis that is necessary for a public and generally binding order on the global level. The discussion of different empirical cases highlights and sketches the problem of the particularisation of state-actors and puts forward the necessity of further research.

Keywords: particularisation, privatisation, state theory, state, political theory, division of powers, Agamben, legality, legitimacy, government, administration, international relations

Erhard Stölting
Back to science, leaving a different university

From the perspective of a retiring professor the change of the university landscape is described. Time won by retiring, leisure (scholè), constitutive for scientific engagement, is not supported by the organisation of the university; it must be reretrieved. Beneath others it is shown that the uneasiness lots of the professors feel concerning the current reform is accompanied by a counterfactual idealistion of the old university and by a cloudy perception of a collective loss of social achievements. It is stated that the "leading idea" of the university as a institution changes: Science, which institutionally was secured from work-orientation and had an intrinsic value in this sense looses this intrinsic value by work-orientation, which is implemented into the academic studies. The  new "leading idea" also changes university as a specific living space – towards a more calculable way of studying Modularised information are more calculable than discussions in seminars, which only were bound to knowledge finding.

Keywords: university, leading idea, reform, loss of social achievements, knowledge