"I Will Never Become a Soldier for You!": The Relevance of Biographical Learning for Political Action

Andrea Neugebauer


This article focuses on the biographical dimension of the processes of developing political awareness and the significance for consistency in political action. It is based on a single case study which was developed within an oral history project in the 1980s. A new reconstruction of a worker's narrative about his refusal to serve in the army and subsequent flight during the National-Socialist period shows how personal desires for change and institutionalized political patterns of interpretation and action are intertwined. The protagonist could cope with times of extremely restricted latitude for action, as was the case in the Nazi era, acquiring personal learning or crisis management skills as long as there was hope for future emancipation and social integration. In the postwar period the dissipation of this perspective lead to a reduction in his individual ability to take political action.
URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1102118


biography; biographical learning; political action; processes of politicization; scope for action; institutionalized knowledge; emancipation

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-12.2.1662

Copyright (c) 2011 Andrea Neugebauer

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.