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In der Geisterbahn kollektiver Identität : Lutz Niethammers Kritik einer Begriffskonjunktur


Rost, Dietmar

Review: Niethammer, Lutz: Kollektive Identität: heimliche Quellen einer unheimlichen Konjunktur. Rowohlts Enzyklopädie. Reinbek: Rowohlt, 2000. 3-499-55594-8
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Abstract Niethammer offers an extensive, very critical, multifaceted and stimulating view on the successful history of the concept of identity. First, he indicates some early traces of that concept in the work of some outstanding intellectuals from the beginning of the 20th century. Since these early traces are already about collective identity, Niethammer denies the common view, that after World War II, the concept of collective identity was developed from that of personal identity. Even in early manifestations of collective identity, the concept was situated in very different contexts. He regards identity as a "plastic word" - rich in connotations that cover more than it grasps. Because of that reason, (and backed by his analysis of the recent boom in the concept's usage), Niethammer sharply criticizes collective identity as a notion that he would prefer to see abandoned. His strong criticism, however, doesn't fully apply to all variations of collective identity that he mentions.
Keywords collective identity; criticism; concept; Schmitt, C.; society; Lukacs, G.; Freud, S.; social class; tradition; political culture
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language German
Publication Year 2003
Page/Pages p. 188-202
Journal Historical Social Research, 28 (2003) 4
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works