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Globalization and Europeanization processes have led to an increasing public sphere deficit. This deficit can be addressed by a transnationalization of the individual countries’ national public spheres. This requires a perception of discussions in other national public spheres, a condition which is met if citizens of a nation-state follow reporting of issues in other countries. Using Eurobarometer surveys, we examine the extent to which citizens of 27 European countries engage with foreign media and the factors that determine participation in a transnational public sphere. Only a small minority of EU citizens engage with foreign media, and there are considerable differences between countries and citizens. Using multilevel techniques we find that besides other factors education, professional status and multilingualism play a crucial role in explaining participation in a transnational public sphere, resources which are distributed very unevenly among citizens. Thus, participation in a transnational public sphere is an issue of social inequality.

In: Comparative Sociology

Abstract

Pierre Bourdieu’s work has argued that there is a homology of social classes on the one hand and cultural consumption on the other. In contrast, theories of individualisation posit that social class plays only a minor role in shaping lifestyle in contemporary societies. In this paper we examine a) how much contemporary highbrow lifestyles in 27 European countries are structured by class membership, b) the extent to which highbrow consumption varies according to the level of modernisation of a society and c) whether the explanatory power of social class in relation to highbrow consumption decreases in more modernised European countries. The findings show that highbrow lifestyles are strongly influenced by social class, and that highbrow consumption is more common in more modernised societies. Moreover, the findings confirm the hypothesis that the formative power of social class on lifestyle decreases in highly modernised societies, albeit without disappearing completely.

In: Comparative Sociology

Abstract

In a first step we reconstruct the emergence and content of European Union environmental policies and their underlying normative ideas. These policies have become increasingly important since the 1970s such that today the EU expects member states actively to protect the natural environment even at the price of less economic freedom and higher financial costs. We then analyze the extent to which citizens support the idea of protecting the environment. Overall the approval rating for the EU ecological ideas is rather high, and environmental protection is an integral component of European citizens' values. Nevertheless, not all countries support this to the same degree. Citizens of EU-15 countries show higher levels of support for having the environment take precedence over economic claims than do citizens in Accession I and II country groups and in Turkey. As regression analysis shows, the level of support depends on several factors. The most important ones are a country's level of economic modernization and its citizens' post-material value orientation.

In: Comparative Sociology
Literatur hat seit jeher die Rolle gehabt, den Blick für das ausgesparte ‚Dritte‘ offenzuhalten. Sie besteht auf der Unverwechselbarkeit individueller Erfahrung und trägt zur Entwicklung alternativer Denk- und Wahrnehmungsmodelle gegen eine weitgehend normierte Normalität in der heutigen Wissensgesellschaft bei. “Das Ungenügen an der Normalität” ist der Titel einer wegweisenden wissenschaftlichen Publikation von Lothar Pikulik. Ein internationales Symposion aus Anlaß seines 65. Geburtstages griff diesen Titel auf und erörterte unter dem Thema “ ‚Das Ungenügen an der Normalität‘ – Literatur als Gegenwelt” die Möglichkeiten einer erneuerten Standortbestimmung von Aufgaben und Möglichkeiten der Literatur. Dieser Band zeigt eindrucksvoll, wie facettenreich das “Ungenügen an der Normalität” in der Literatur von der Aufklärung bis in die jüngste Vergangenheit auftritt. Mit Beiträgen von: H. Koopmann, R. M. Kully, H. Kurzenberger, Z. Mielczarek, N. Oellers, P. Pütz, H. Reinhardt, M. Siguan, H. Uerlings.

eu citizens living in an eu member state of which they are not nationals may participate in local elections. Based on a survey conducted in three member states of the eu we analyze the legitimacy of this core element of European citizenship. Firstly, we examine the extent to which European citizens support the Europeanisation of local voting rights. The results show that about two-thirds of citizens accept these rights. Secondly, we analyze whether those who reject the idea of equality for all Europeans can be determined by social characteristics. Our analyses show that opponents are not at all determined by socio-structural factors and are barely determined by cultural factors and hence do not form the basis for a politically mobilized cleavage. All in all, the results indicate that citizens believe in the legitimacy of this important component of European citizenship.

In: Comparative Sociology
Höhepunkte und Ende der Multiperspektivität in Christoph Martin Wielands "Aristipp" und Clemens Brentanos "Godwi"
Author: Anja Oesterhelt
Im heutigen Sprachgebrauch ist die 'Perspektive' allgegenwärtig. Das ist eine relativ junge Erscheinung. Zunächst Fachbegriff in Optik und Malerei, entfaltet die Perspektive ihre metaphorische Bedeutung erst im Laufe des 18. Jahrhunderts. Die Literatur hat wesentlichen Anteil daran. Wielands letzter großer Roman 'Aristipp' und Brentanos erster und einziger Roman 'Godwi' spielen deren metaphorische Ausprägungen als Standpunkt im Gespräch, als Standpunkt des Geschichtsschreibers und als Standpunkt des Kunstbetrachters thematisch und als literarisches Verfahren durch. Die literarische Multiperspektivität findet im spätaufklärerischen Roman einen letzten glanzvollen Höhepunkt, um von der neuen Generation endgültig verabschiedet und durch das Konzept des 'Totaleindrucks' ersetzt zu werden.