Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Biographical methods and professional practiceAn international perspective$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Prue Chamberlayne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344939

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344939.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Maintaining a sense of individual autonomy under conditions of constraint: a study of east german managers

Maintaining a sense of individual autonomy under conditions of constraint: a study of east german managers

Chapter:
(p.131) Nine Maintaining a sense of individual autonomy under conditions of constraint: a study of east german managers
Source:
Biographical methods and professional practice
Author(s):

Ulrike Nagel

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861344939.003.0009

This chapter deals with the biographical situation and coping strategies of highly educated cadres under the authoritarian regime of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). It is based on the seventeen narrative interviews with East German managers who had been economic cadres under socialism and who succeeded in maintaining leading positions after the breakdown of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The second part of this chapter discusses the methodological difficulties of cross-cultural research, specifically in the areas of post-socialist transformation research and migration research. The problem of providing an adequate framework for the interpretation for the social phenomena of a culture unfamiliar to the researcher will be captured by the notion of lacking the ‘common sense knowledge of social structures’ of the world under scrutiny. A central concept to this chapter is that of ‘institutionalised life-course regime’. While this is applied to the former GDR, it is argued that modernisation and globalisation processes are increasingly bringing lives in ‘Western’ societies under the way of institutionalised life-course processes. The illustrative example of the unexpected and the unwanted outcomes of social policies, and some heuristic concepts that might serve as tool while ‘working with the subject’ is also presented in this chapter.

Keywords:   biographical situation, coping strategies, German Democratic Republic, East German managers, economic cadres, socialism, cross-cultural research, institutionalised life-course regime

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.