Individualisation and Reflexivity in the National and Transnational Context: The Narratives of Social Transformations Among the Slovenian Youth

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Tea GOLOB, School of Advanced Social Studies, Nova Gorica, Slovenia, Slovenia
Matej MAKAROVIC, School of Advanced Social Studies, Nova Gorica, Slovenia, Slovenia
Due to changed dynamics of social life brought by post-industrial transformations of economic production, global connectivity and information assess, the processes of individualisation have permeated all aspects of social life. They may be seen as increasing differentiation between individual persons and the social system. While individuals are becoming increasingly autonomous, the growing complexity of the social system generates new challenges for them. Embeddedness into a spatially organised (segmental) community – maintained most visibly through the structures of the nation-state – has been relativized by the necessity of participation in a range of global (functional) subsystems, including the economy, education, mass media, religion, popular culture, etc.    

This enables – but also demands from – individuals to deliberate upon their decisions and orient their actions in relation to different social and cultural contexts which trigger their cognition and encourage the role of reflexivity in various contexts. However, different modes of reflexivity in individuals’ cognition and thus also their possibilities to deliberate upon the social context are influenced by the involuntary agential position of the individual given by birth (Archer 2003) and by the access to different material and symbolic resources ensuing from it and from further life-stances. The regular presence of individuals beyond national boundaries in trans-local, transnational social environments endows individuals with a high amount of resources, which encourages their agential emergent properties.

This is analysed in detail for Slovenia, as a case of comparatively successful post-communist modernisation, intertwining the country with rapid global transformations. The role of the intersection between differential access to resources and forms of identifications, particularly in relation to the nation-state, entailing also the differential modes of reflexivity, is explored through narratives of social transformations among Slovenian youth provided by in-depth interviews and combined with the secondary analysis of the cross-national survey data.