Reinventing political subjectivities; studying critical documentaries on the "war on terror"
This paper casts a look on media aspects of the anti-war-on-terror struggle in western countries. A peculiar warfare, the “war on terror” that officially begun in 2001, is a low-density global warfare, fought in different internal and external fronts . Within a liberal, increasingly post-political social terrain, where social affairs are objects of expert management lacking public accountability and legitimacy, the role, status and the identity of the contemporary citizen is in decline. New media “affordances” offer critical possibilities for challenging hegemonic political discourses, and addressing political alternatives for a broad range of social problems; a re-invention of citizenship through the construct of a new (collective) political subject is central in the reinvention of democracy today. Discourse analysis, drawing reflexively on post-structuralist discourse theory and critical discourse analysis, is deployed in the study of counter-war-on-terror discourses in different documentaries critical to the “war on terror”. Analysis looks at different constructions of “us” and “them” in the context of counter-hegemonic discourses today. Identity is central in the engagement, participation and orientation of citizens today. Identity is central in organising a collective centre and in initiating subjectivity to fragmented liberal, postmodern individuals.
In March 2011 scholars met in Prague at the conference Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity. This event revitalised this important theme related to Diversity and Recognition. The terms 'interculturalism' and 'integration' are experiencing a renaissance. As the extent of human movement between nations increases attempts are made to balance cultural difference and social cohesion. In some contexts immigration and settlement policies are becoming more draconian in response. Because of this, interculturalism can take on many meanings. However, pivotal to the way interculturalism is understood is identification. As the relationship between nation, ethnicity and language becomes more complex so too do the ways in which people represent them selves. The cultural resources drawn on and the processes used to form identities are examined in this truly international collection. So too are the implications of these developments for how we theorise culture, meaning and identity.
The chapter is concerned with questions of civic values and civic identity as they are experienced by Russian people in the context of political-economic transformations of the last years, and especially during global economic crisis 2008-2010. Empirical findings from Russian Public Opinion Research Centre, Levada-Centre, Edelman Trust Barometer surveys are used to outline how tensions, distrust and civic irresponsibility expressed by respondents in the context of financial instability may amplify understandings of ‘citizenship’ and ‘civic identity’. There are several trends characterizing citizenship and civic identity in modern Russian society. The first is transformation of the common sense of ‘we-ness’ in case of individualism’s growth and increasing reduction of trust to economic, political and low institutions. The second is the problem of new values formation: while the ‘official’ political discourse admits more and more inclusive patriotic ideologies, ‘everyday-life’ and ‘network’ discourses develop estimative and ironical judgments of the official discourse. The third is citizens’ emigration intentions and the ‘status of citizenship’ characterizing self-perception of people as ‘citizens’ in relation to ‘non-citizens’, which is particular relevant to labour migration problem.
In the United States and many Western democracies, the individual personalities of voters rather than their social locations in various interest groups are presumably becoming decisive for political choice. This shift may reflect declining distinctiveness and extremity of parties as they seek the political center, increased complexity of political issues, growing interdependence among political units, and greater concern in the electorate with social relations and intimacy.
Early research on personality in politics dealt mainly with the dispositions, attitudes, and motives of voters and leaders. A broad literature attests to the merits and limitations of these approaches. More recent studies show that basic personal values largely mediate the effects of individuals’backgrounds and personality traits on voting behavior and on their core political attitudes. The 2006 ANES Pilot Study provided the first assessment of the role of basic personal values in politics in a representative American sample.
A survey of the Soviet and Russian parts of the Archive in Bremen; a catalogue of the Soviet/Russian documents: pp. 97-134.
The paper treats the issue of identity of the ego, which constitutes the central problem of personology. The skeptical approach to this problem, which sees it as not being subject to be resolved by means of science, began with D. Hume's work. Contemporary personologists (P. Ricoeur and others) approach this problem through study of culture, which imparts the ego with «narrative identity». Cultural historic psychology is a «Bridge of interpretations», upon which philosophy of culture meets psychology, and psychological data associated with «personality» are interpreted on the basis of some specific cultural philosophic theory. The «conflict of interpretations» plays and essential role in personology, which participates in the processes of emergence and overcoming of the cultural crisis. Philosophical and methodological problems that define the near term perspective development of personology are formulated: whether there are any «ego invariants» that remain regardless of any possible cultural determination; whether the ego possesses any rigidity in relation to cultural determination and, if it does, what is the nature of this rigidity; whether ego identity is destroyed when cultural determination diminishes or ceases, etc.
In article features of national and confessional self-identification of the Russian youth as parts of the title nation are considered. Ethnic and national consciousness are analyzed as significant components of process of individual and group self-identification. Research covers the studying and working youth which is arrived and which initially living in the city. The youth is the object which studying allows to predict regularities of social development in the future. Consideration of a problem considers multi-confessional, multi-ethnic and boundary in the geographical relation character of Ural as region. The emphasis is placed on specifics of behavior of representatives of title nation, as youth considerably defining a social portrait. The concept of the big city is used as steady, allocated with a number of characteristic features. Authors establish the reasons of the reduced interest to a religious and ethnic identification of with group at the young people belonging to different social groups and united by residence in the large city. The conditions necessary for an intensification of process of identification are defined. Means of updating of processes of formation of identity of youth are offered.
The December protests in Moscow do not represent a “Russian Spring,” “Orange Revolution,” or new version of Perestroika. Rather they have more in common with the Progressive movement that fought corruption in the U.S. during the early part of the twentieth century. The demonstrations made clear that Russian citizens now want to play an active role in their country’s political life.
A survey of the Samizdat Archive of the Institute of Eastern Europe in Bremen. Introductory texts and annotated catalogue.