Techniques of Self in Professional Politics: Starting Point for a Documentary Analysis of Subjectivation

Steffen Amling, Alexander Geimer


Focusing on professional politics, we present and discuss possibilities for an empirical analysis of subjectivation based on the documentary method of interpretation. To this aim, the forms politicians appropriate or relate to normative expectations will be analyzed, with a particular focus on the expectations that can be referred to as identity norms. On the basis of interviews with representatives of the German Parliament it can be shown that these representatives encounter the expectation to be authentic, i.e., to provide for continuity and coherence in their job-related actions and statements and furthermore for an unambiguous relation between job-related actions and private life. The data show that  politicians meet these expectations by self-idealizations in which reflection processes overlap with habitual orientations. These self-idealizations can be considered a technique of self that seems to be characteristic of professional politicians.



implicit knowledge; habitus; documentary method; subjectivation; authenticity; politics


Copyright (c) 2016 Steffen Amling, Alexander Geimer

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