Review: Sylka Scholz (2004). Männlichkeit erzählen. Lebensgeschichtliche Identitätskonstruktionen ostdeutscher Männer [Talking Masculinity. Biographical Constructions of Identity by East German Men]

Claudia Dreke


Using biographical interviews Sylka SCHOLZ analyses how East German men coped with the transformation of the labor system after the breakdown of the former GDR. She focuses on three complex research questions which she clearly pursues throughout her study. First: How were identities (re-)constructed by the men she interviewed? Here, masculinity is taken as a core modus of identity-construction. Second: What impact do the interviewers and their gender have in this process? While using them, SCHOLZ methodologically explores narrative interviews as a social practice in which biographies, social identity and gender are constructed while being influenced by the interviewer's gender. Third: How can individual and social processes of change be detected in the construction of a masculinity that emerged under the specific conditions of the GDR? SCHOLZ's focus is on how the interviewed men coped with the ambivalences and contradictions inherent in the policy of sexual equality pursued by the East German Government. She locates herself in the context of constructivist and gender-sensitive biographical research, and this proves fruitful in transformation research as well as in research on masculinity.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502250


biographical research; narrative interview; gender order; construction of masculinity; identity


Copyright (c) 2005 Claudia Dreke

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