This article, based on our research in eastern Germany, examines the manner in which farmers-including managers of the cooperatives that emerged out of former agricultural collectives, newly independent eastern German individual farmers, and newcomers from the West-define their roles and identities in the newly unified German state. We analyze this process within a framework that combines social-interactional, social network, and cognitive models, taking into account fluidity and contradictions in behavior and in its symbolization. Identity formation unfolds in an arena characterized by competition for land based on differential access to various sources of power. Historical identities from the pre-communist past, the recent communist past, and those developed in western Germany during the period of separation all provide the basis for emerging identities. The logic and reality of this redefinition are embedded in wider political and economic interests that are themselves inconsistent and in flux.
- Eastern Germany
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)