Quotation Kohlenberger, Judith. 2021. Wer ist das Wir? Zur Konzeptualisierung von Solidarität, Zugehörigkeit und gesellschaftlicher Fragmentierung. Zeitschrift für Gemeinwirtschaft und Gemeinwohl. 44 (2), 248-258.




The article focuses on conceptualizations of solidarity, belonging and societal fragmentation, based on different dimensions of “We” as a sociological concept. It examines different forms of solidarity, from universal assistance to solidarity as a moral obligation, from solidarity based on a principle of performance to notions of the ethno-national community. Our mutual association with and interdependency on each other in a given community, whether real or imagined, is understood as a basic requirement for any solidary impetus. Theoretically, this conceptualization is based on the dependence of the Self on the Other in a Hegelian dialectic: Self-consciousness is constituted through the demarcation from and definition by the Other. This basic intersubjective dependency is problematized in the post-colonial concept of Othering, through which (groups of) individuals are devalued, objectified and ultimately dehumanized. Othering, i.e. the “making different” or “making foreign” of individuals who are constructed as socio-economically or ethnically, nationally and legally subaltern in the Spivakian sense, is described as an essential factor for the fragmentation of society, which in turn can be seen as a driving factor for increased de-solidarization. Based on empirical findings, the article argues that not all forms of solidarity need to be based on morality or notions of justice and fairness, but can serve an enlightened self-interest. Instead of a static binary – acting in solidarity or not – this moves us to an understanding of solidarity as a continuum with varying degrees of interconnectedness that can change both horizontally and vertically.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Zeitschrift für Gemeinwirtschaft und Gemeinwohl
Language German
Title Wer ist das Wir? Zur Konzeptualisierung von Solidarität, Zugehörigkeit und gesellschaftlicher Fragmentierung
Volume 44
Number 2
Year 2021
Page from 248
Page to 258
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/2701-4193-2021-2/z-gug-zeitschrift-fuer-gemeinwirtschaft-und-gemeinwohl-jahrgang-44-2021-heft-2
DOI doi.org/10.5771/2701-4193-2021-2
Open Access N


Kohlenberger, Judith (Details)
Institute for Social Policy IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5404 Demography (Details)
5428 Migration research, emigration - (Details)
5911 Social policy (Details)
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