Biographies in the Shadow of a Resistant Family History: The Meaning of Discourse and “We-Group” in Intergenerational and Biographical Processes

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Hörsaal 30 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Maria POHN-LAUGGAS, University of Vienna, Department of Sociology, Austria
On the basis of my ongoing research about “Resistance against the National Socialism and its intergenerational transmission in Austrian families” I want to present biographies of descendants of resistance fighters of one family to discuss the interplay of discourses and “we-group” in the development of intergenerational and biographical structures. I will stress two aspects: Related to the fact that in Austria a discourse of denial offers pattern of interpretation to conceal resistance I firstly want to focus on the impact of this discourse of denial and silence on intergenerational und biographical structures which have been developed by members of this family. Beside the impact of this discourse I want to ask for the role of the existence or absence of a “we-group”. Concerning resistance against the Nazi-regime especially political groups like the communists or socialists play an important role as a place of (collective) remembrance of the past after 1945 and as a place where descendants have the opportunity to appropriate to a collective history which is not concealed. But what happened if such a “we-group” does not exist? In which way does the absence of a “we-group” influence the intergenerational and biographical processes? What does this mean for the intergenerational transmission process?