Emancipatory options within post-Fordian precarious existence in the urban environment of Berlin (Germany)

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:50
Oral Presentation
Tanja JECHT, University of Bielefeld, Germany
In my talk it will be made clearer, in what way the relations between the spheres of work and life are challenged through “precariousness” in the urban space of Berlin, Germany.

For one thing it is characteristic of Germany in comparison to Greece or Spain for example that traditionally there are less labour movements or coalitions on a broad base and therefore the isolation and individualisation of life patterns rather predominate and shape everyday life. On the other hand the metropolitan area of Berlin always had the reputation to be a melting pot for “alternative” ideas and live spaces and in all times was considered to be a laboratory for experiments in various social contexts.

Through analysing everyday life experiences in these urban environments I have discovered resistant, and partly political motivated practices which the individuals unfold while facing everyday impositions of precarious life and neoliberal conditions. In the strategies of action and the self-interpretations the various correlations between economic exploitation and forms of subjectivation can be deciphered: the protagonists of my sample are willing to struggle for „new“ or „different“ categories of belonging and for social inclusion through self organisation, partial autonomy and by focussing on own or group related ideals and needs.

At that blue prints can be detected which challenge the neoliberal logic of exploitation and try to escape from it at least selectively and therefore also make visible the potential for societal change.

In my talk this will be illustrated by bringing in data from narrative interviews and case reconstructions that I conducted in my current dissertation project.