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Adam C. Stanley (Author of Modernizing Tradition)
Learn more Check out. Volume 7 , Issue 3 May Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Each chapter deals with both countries and draws on evidence from across the s and s.
Despite this, the first chapter emphasises empowerment rather than containment. Stanley rightly observes here that housework was increasingly represented in the interwar period as a respectable activity for middle-class women who, in a previous generation, would have been expected to have servants.
Taking up Robert L. In chapter four, for example, he shows how advertisements that featured a woman at the wheel of a car often responded to the potentially threatening nature of this image of female mobility and control by locating the use of the vehicle in a familial setting pp. Other ads used the female driver to emphasise the simplicity of the vehicle or pictured women turning to men for help when they ran into mechanical problems pp. In this way, while women were commonly constructed in both France and Germany as users of technology, technical knowledge continued to be represented as the preserve of men in these sources.
Although in general Stanley finds more similarities than differences between the French and German corpuses he examines, his comparison of the representation of women drivers does throw up one notable point of contrast, as he observes that the representation of familial use of cars by women was in fact less prevalent in Germany than in France and that such imagery declined visibly in Germany in the mid to late s. This retreat from an emphasis on purely domestic or maternal roles for women coincided with a shift in the discourse and policy of the Nazi government, he notes, for it was around this time that the government began to see women not just in terms of their reproductive function, but as an essential source of labour to support its remilitarisation plans.
This raises the question of the relationship between advertising discourse and other discursive fields such as political propaganda and hence the broader question of who is speaking in a given situation and in what conditions a particular discourse is produced. Though Stanley reiterates his interest in the discursive throughout the book, he takes surprisingly little account of these questions.
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For example, in what sense and to what extent should publicity for a government programme such as Hilfswerk Mutter und Kind be seen as the same kind of thing as a shampoo advert as Stanley implies, for example, on p. What was the relationship between commercial advertising and political propaganda in Nazi Germany?
Between that cup and the lip, however, there remains a considerable distance. In part this is because, for the draught of an alternative coalition to be drunk—bitter enough, for the apparat of the party—the Greens have to be willing, too. But their days of counter-cultural insurgency are long over.
The party has become an increasingly tame prop of the establishment, its ranks filled with politically correct yuppies competing with the fdp as a softer-edged version of German liberalism. But his prominence as the Green talisman on the hustings, and consistent flattery in the media, meant that he could take the party further into a Kaisertreu Atlanticism than it might otherwise have gone.
Structurally, however, the party has altered sufficiently to be a possible partner in power with the cdu. A Black—Green coalition is already in place in Hamburg and, niceties of energy policy aside, much of the party is in many ways now ideologically closer to Merkel than to Lafontaine.
How far its voters would accept a connubium with the Centre-Right is less clear, and the principal inhibition on such a scenario. But its old guard, not to speak of the eager neo-liberal modernizers, both viscerally anti-Communist, remain appalled at the idea, and enjoy widespread intellectual support. For left-liberal historians like Hans-Ulrich Wehler and Heinrich August Winkler, the very thought of the spd supping with the Stalinist Gysi and the renegade Lafontaine recalls nightmares of Weimar, when the party failed to see the need to abandon its Marxist illusions and forge a firm alliance with the Catholic Centre and moderate Liberals against the dangers of revolutionary extremism.
In Hesse, the right of the party had no hesitation in torpedoing the prospect of an spd government, preferring to hand power back to a Black—Yellow coalition—which won a crushing victory after Ypsilanti was ditched by her own second-in-command—rather than permit contamination by Communism. Would not the spd in any case fatally lose the middle ground, if it were tempted to treat with the pariah to its left?
Hist 671/002 The Interwar in Global Context (Sanabria)
Such arguments could paralyse the social logic of a realignment for a long time. What, finally, of Die Linke itself? Like any hybrid formation, it faces the task of welding its disparate fractions into a political force with a common identity. Prior to the fusion, its pds component had suffered a yet steeper attrition of membership—biologically determined—than the large parties, even as it increased its electorate.
The ability of the new party to appeal to a younger generation across the country will be critical to its future. Programmatically, resistance to further deregulation of markets and erosion of social protections gives it a strong negative position. With positive economic proposals, it is not better endowed than any other contingent of the European left. In principle—even in practice, as the experience of Berlin shows—its domestic stance is not so radical as to rule out collaboration with it for the spd.
This is where the real dividing line for the European political class is drawn. Only acceptance of nato expeditions, with or without the figleaf of the un , qualifies a party as a responsible partner in government. It is here—the conflict over Gysi in the pds can be taken as a prodrome—that the pressure of the system on Die Linke will be most relentlessly applied.
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If the long-run effect of unification has been to unleash an antithetical double movement within Germany, shifting the economy effectually to the right and the polity potentially to the left, the interplay between the two is bound to be mediated by the evolution of the society in which each is embedded.
Here the changes have been no less pronounced, as the landscape of the Berlin Republic became steadily more polarized. At the top, traditional restraints on the accumulation and display of wealth were cast to the winds, as capital markets were prised loose and Anglo-American norms of executive pay naturalized by German business. In its place, shareholder value was increasingly set free. Hedge funds and private equity companies were soon pouring into the country, as banks and firms unloaded their cross-holdings. By , foreigners had acquired an average of over 50 per cent of the free float of German blue-chip companies—the top 30 concerns on the dax index.
Nearly half the total value-added of German exports is now produced outside the country. In these years, conspicuous among the expressions of the change was the emergence of a new breed of American-style managers with little time for sentimental talk of trade unions as partners or employees as stake-holders; downsizing in good years or bad, maximizing shareholder value without corporatist inhibitions, and rewarding themselves on a hitherto frowned-on scale. Embroiled in a prosecution for his role in the sale of Mannesmann, but a notable success in boosting profits and cutting staff, his salary was soon twelve times that of his famous precursor, Alfred Herrhausen, an intimate of Kohl assassinated in Below, the growth of long-term unemployment and jobless—often immigrant—youth have created a corresponding under-class of those beneath the official poverty line, reckoned at about a fifth of the population.
This too has aroused considerable public discussion, as a running sore—perhaps lurking danger—unknown to the Bonn Republic. Avarice at the top, abandonment at the bottom: neither comfort the self-image of a socially caring, morally cohesive democracy enshrined in the post-war consensus. So far, the increasing inequality they promise remains moderate enough, by Anglo-American standards.
Gated communities are still a rarity. Slums, where immigrants—now about one in five of the urban population—are most concentrated, may be coming into being. But ghetto riots have yet to break out. Comparatively speaking, German capitalism continues to be less starkly polarized than many of its competitors. But the trend, as elsewhere, is clear enough—between and , corporate profits rose by 37 per cent, wages by 4 per cent; among the quarter of lowest-paid workers, real wages had actually dropped by 14 per cent since Much of this was the reflex subservience of the defeated, as—consciously, or unconsciously—tactical and temporary as in other such cases.
But there was always one striking respect in which West Germany after the war did resemble, more than any other major European society, not in self-delusion but reality, the United States. This was in the relative absence of a traditionally stratified hierarchy of social class in the country. The two national patterns were, of course, not quite alike; still less was that absence absolute.
But in certain respects a family resemblance obtained all the same. The reason lies in the fall of the Third Reich, which took down with it so great a part of the elites that had colluded with Hitler.
The loss of East Prussia and Silesia, and the creation of the ddr , destroyed the bulk of the aristocratic class that had continued to loom large, not least in its domination of the armed forces, during the Weimar Republic. But collective identity and power were decisively weakened. West Germany, bourgeois enough by any measure, felt relatively classless, because in that sense topless. Indeed, in that respect the Bundesrepublik appears more socially acephalous than the us itself, where Ivy League colleges have always provided a fast track to Washington or Wall Street, and the Gini coefficient is anyway far higher.
But if the Bonn Republic lacked any clear-cut privileged stratum above, it contained labouring masses below with a far greater sense of their past, and position in society, than their counterparts in America. The German proletariat, historically a later arrival than the British, never developed quite the same cultural density, as of a world set apart from the rest of society. But if its collective identity was in that sense somewhat weaker, its collective consciousness, as a potential political actor, was nearly always higher.
Though both are greatly diminished today, the German working class—less pulverized by de-industrialization, in an economy where manufacturing still counts for more; less demoralized by frontal defeats in the eighties—retains a practical and moral influence in the political system which British workers have lost.
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In this configuration, in which the absence of long-standing elites enjoying traditional deference is combined with the presence of a—by no means aggressive, but unignorable—labour movement, the impact of sharpening inequalities and a more visible layer of managerial and other nouveaux riches has been significantly more explosive than elsewhere.