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Abstract

Heroes play a role in every nation's founding narrative, embodying a group's strength and courage, its dedication to protecting all within its fold, and its most important traditions and promises. Yet hero images and tropes have not received the attention they deserve in the social science literature on nations and nationalism. Recent theories of character work – the rhetorical construction of heroes, villains, victims, and minions – reveal the challenges of building an inclusive nationalism in post-colonial states. We engage the debates over some of Namibia's most prominent and contested heroes through the memorials dedicated to them and the commemorations honoring victims of past struggles. We study the victims that these heroes sought to defend and trace the process by which victims become heroes of endurance. The Namibian state has, after its recent independence, constructed a memorial to fallen heroes, Heroes Acre, and an Independence Memorial Museum. Alongside these state-sanctioned memorial sites, a range of citizens have sought to honor and defend their own heroes. By honoring different heroes, they have defined alternative understandings of the nation. We also demonstrate the power of victims in mobilizing present day campaigns for justice and reparations. In Namibia, as elsewhere, greater attention to victims could shift the balance of political power. This article demonstrates how a focus on struggles over the legitimacy of particular heroes and victims can provide unanticipated insights into the study of divided nationalism.

Abstract

Does increasing immigration change the nature of language politics in a party system underpinned by ethnic valence strategies? This paper utilizes qualitative data to illustrate the manner in which debates on linguistic pluralism have become enmeshed in the politics of ethnic defense in Northern Ireland. It will be shown that language politics in this context is driven by the powerful pull of bi-national considerations. This is despite the fact that migrant languages have become increasingly common in the territory. The research provides insight into the manner in which ethnically defined parties have engaged with multicultural diversity, in the context of increasing immigration. It is shown that Sinn Féin representatives largely ignore discussions about wider language diversity, preferring to focus on narratives related to Gaelic. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) tends to utilize the broadened range of minority languages as a shield to repel nationalist demands for greater state support for Gaelic programs. The analysis of this evidence suggests that ethnically defined parties are ill-suited to the demands of a multicultural society and immigration-generated diversity.

Abstract

Der Beitrag analysiert das breite Echo, dass das Mauerfall-Jubiläum in der französischen Presse fand. Es handelt sich um eine Untersuchung von über hundert Artikeln, die in Frankreich um den 9. November in den, laut Auflistung der ACPM, bedeutendsten Tages- und Wochenzeitungen erschienen. Die herausgearbeiteten Thematiken behandeln die Darstellung und Interpretation des historischen Ereignisses in Frankreich, die Frage nach der Erinnerung und Vergangenheitsbewältigung der DDR, die veränderte Erinnerungsperspektive anlässlich des 30. Jahrestags, die Bedeutung des Mauerfalls für die heutige Disparität zwischen dem Osten und dem Westen Deutschlands, den Zusammenhang zwischen 1989 und der europäischen Entwicklung und die Debatte über das Ende der Geschichte und der Ideologien. Die Untersuchung der französischen Presse zeigt die fortdauernde Bedeutung des Mauerfalls in den Debatten über Deutschland und Europa, wobei sich der Blick nunmehr auf das Ereignis außerhalb der deutschen Grenzen richtet, so dass sich das jetzige Mauerfall-Gedenken von der vorherigen Euphorie unterscheidet.

Abstract

Der Beitrag hinterfragt die Konstruktion und Vermittlung der Erinnerung an die DDR. Gegenwärtig ist die Interpretation der DDR-Geschichte in den Medien, in den meisten staatlichen Museen sowie in erfolgreichen Kinoproduktionen immer noch stark durch das totalitaristische Paradigma geprägt. Diese Darstellung steht im Widerspruch zur Alltagswahrnehmung der meisten ehemaligen DDR-Bürger. Obwohl sich die Forschung seit langem für Aspekte der Alltagsgeschichte interessiert, sind solche Elemente in den meisten aktuellen Darstellungen der DDR kaum vorhanden. Andreas Dresens und Laila Stielers Film Gundermann (2018) ist ein Beispiel für den Versuch von Ostdeutschen, die Deutungshoheit über ihre Geschichte zurückzugewinnen. Insgesamt beeinflusst die Unterrepräsentation der Ostdeutschen in Schlüsselpositionen der Gesellschaft auch die Möglichkeiten, auf die öffentlichen Erinnerungsprozesse Einfluss zu nehmen.

Abstract

Chinese politics are characterized by the complex issues of a large population and centralized political powers, which offers a distinct political model from the Western models. However, the last two decades have witnessed a sharp collision between Chinese and Western political thinking. In response, domestic authors have increasingly focused on the indigenization (bentuhua 本土化) of Chinese political theories and, therefore, defend the concept of politics with Chinese characteristics. In this article, the authors focus on the discourse of “deliberative democracy” within the Chinese language, namely, Xieshang minzhu 协商 民主. In the current literature, almost no scholarly discussions have explored the semantics of the notion of Xieshang minzhu within Chinese politics. This article engages with this issue, both as a subject and a methodology, to better understand the political language that has been used in the official discourses in China1 by 1) establishing a textual corpus by collecting relevant data into the Chinese and English groups through keywords; 2) conducting a statistical analysis based on the Word Cloud and Diagram analyses; and 3) using Word2Vec to calculate the relationship among other sub-keywords. The purpose of this contribution is to differentiate Xieshang minzhu as adopted by Chinese official discourses embedded in the logic of political reforms from the Western discourses. The semantic analysis presented here also serves as a methodology that systematically develops a conceptual model of xieshang, which further clarifies the misconceptions and errors in the existing literature. The authors also provide an outline of the polysemic notion of deliberative democracy, which not only exists within an authoritarian regime but is also present in other forms and other languages (such as Chinese). This serves to further maintain the legitimacy of the “socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics.”

Footnotes

1

Official propaganda mainly includes five of China’s most authoritative official media (newspapers): People’s Daily (Renmin ribao 人民 日报), Guangming Daily (Guangming ribao 光明 日报), Xinhua Daily(Xinhua ribao 新华 日报), China Comment (Banyutan 半月谈), Qiushi (Qiushi 求是, formerly known as Red Flag (Hongqi 红旗)), Xi Jinping’s series of important speech databases and official documents on the subject of Xieshang or Xieshang minzhu in the Party-Building Database.