The Anthropocene concept originates from earth system sciences and conceptualizes humanity as a planetary geophysical force. It links current action-oriented time horizons to Earth historical deep time and implies non-separability of natures-cultures. The Anthropocene concept has resonated in debates in natural and social sciences, the humanities and the broader public, serving as an inter- and transdisciplinary bridging concept. Based on an analysis of numerous texts from multiple scientific disciplines and media, this contribution distinguishes five narratives of the Anthropocene: the disaster narrative, the court narrative, the Great Transformation narrative, the (bio-)technological and the interdependence narrative. The five narratives articulate very different perspectives and experiences and transport divergent political, economic, ethical and anthropological values and interests; this is also shown in alternative conceptualizations such as Eurocene, Technocene, Capitalocene or Plantationocene. The analysis reveals that the narratives share significant structural characteristics concerning story, plot, protagonists, spatial and temporal structure and action-oriented emplotment which together can be referred to a meta-narrative of the Anthropocene. Since the partly overlapping, partly contradictory narratives compete for legitimation and dominance in science and the broader public, the findings raise the question whether this struggle will stabilize or undermine the Anthropocene meta-narrative in the long run.
Der Aufsatz erschließt die bislang populärste deutschsprachige Heftromanserie, die seit 1961 ununterbrochen wöchentlich erscheint und Hunderttausende von Leserinnen erreicht hat, als Archiv gesellschaftlicher Selbstreflexion und kultureller Selbstverordnung. Die Komplexität und Kontinuität der Serie und ihre seit den Anfängen in Leserbriefen, Fanzines, Wikis und Online-Foren gut zugängliche Rezeption ermöglichen dem Beitrag erstens fundamentale Korrekturen an den Prinzipien der Massen- und Populärkulturforschung und zweitens die Untersuchung des Politischen der Gesellschaft, das die Serie nunmehr über 56 Jahre beobachtet, und zwar nicht allein anhand der Heftromane und ihrer Verweise, sondern ebenfalls anhand der intensiven Kontroversen um das Politische des gesellschaftlichen Kontextes und das Politische der Serie Perry Rhodan selbst, die in den Leserbriefspalten, Wiki-Artikeldiskussionen, Posts und Kommentaren nachzuweisen sind. Die Hypo these des Beitrags ist: Die Serie beobachtet das Politische der Gesellschaft, und sie provoziert, wie die Debatten in den Foren belegen, Beobachtungen des Politischen der Gesellschaft. Der Beitrag zeigt, wie in den Foren Autoren und Leser ihr politisches Selbstverständnis unter Beobachtung und aufs Spiel stellen, womit die Perry Rhodan-Forschung einen außergewöhnlichen und, mit Blick auf die Po pularität der Serie und die Quantität der Rezeptionszeugnisse, signifikanten Einblick in den Zusammenhang gibt von Selbstbeschreibungen der Gesellschaft, wie sie in literarischen Texten stattfindet, und kulturellen Identitätsentwürfen, wie sie in der Auseinandersetzungen um die Serie sichtbar werden.
This article deals with the cultural-historical change of public self-presentation and construction of identity at the end of the 19th century with the examples of William F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”) and Karl May. The impact of the various public, both real and virtual, stages, the change of selfrepresentation as response to public reaction, and the interaction of public and private self-perception will be examined in particular with regard to the question how authenticity and illusion are negotiated individually and socially (within the media and publicly). The importance of physical presentation (as a sign of authenticity) and the increasing necessity to claim and proof (and thus to simulate) “reality” are particular objects of study. Both sample cases, within the specific cultural-historical context of their time, demonstrate change and diversification of public self-presentations which already display in their increasing virtuosity and plurality important aspects of modern mass mediality.
This article explores how close one can come to a cultural-scientific perspective on the basis of a constitution-analytical methodology. We do this on the basis of a comparison of the celebration of Totensonntag in Zotzenbach (Southern Hesse) and Sarepta (Wolgograd). In both places, there are protestant churches that perform this ritual to commemorate the dead on this “Sunday of the Dead” as a part of their church service. Our scientific interest lies in the reconstruction of the rituality produced during the in situ execution. In both services, the names of the deceased are read out and a candle is lit for each deceased person. In Zotzenbach the priest reads out the names and an assistant ignites the candles for the deceased, whereas in Sarepta the bereaved are responsible for this. Since the ritual is organised in very different ways in terms of architecture-for-interaction (statically in Zotzenbach, spatially dynamic in Sarepta), we can reconstruct two completely different models of rituality: a demonstrative one (Zotzenbach) and a participative one (Sarepta). The demonstrative model works on the basis of a finely tuned coordination between the two church representatives and is aimed at a dignified execution. The model in Sarepta is not suitable for the production of formality due to its participatory structure. Here, however, the focus is also on the aspect of socialization, which goes beyond the church service and offers the Russian-German worshipers the opportunity to situationally constitute as a culturally homogeneous group.
This article aims to introduce the concept of „Invecticity“ as a new perspective for social and cultural studies. It understands phenomena of insult and debasement, of humiliation and exposure as - cross-cultural and epoch-spanning - basic operations of societal communication. Due to their disruptive, stabilising or dynamising effects on social order, invective communication have the potential to unite and shape societies. This article subsumes such phenomena under the term Invectivity. The term includes all aspects of communication (either verbal or non-verbal, oral or written, gestural or graphic) that are used to degrade, to hurt or to marginalize others. Manifestations and functions of the Invective are not systemised under strict patterns but medially, politically, socially and aesthetically contextualized depending on the diverse historical contexts and complex constellations they occur in. Thus, they can only be properly understood as performative events which develop through the interaction of ascription, response and follow-up communication as well as by means of the social, discursive and media conditions in which they arise.