ERG SES C 06, Parallel Session C 06
Bildung can be split up in performance and reflexivity. ‘Performance’ understood with Christoph Wulf and Joerg Zirfas as an expression and an act at the same time, while none of them can be reduced to the other. ‘Reflexivity’ means the reflexion of acting, expressed in reflexive use of language in speaking, reporting, writing and other activities. That process of Bildung includes the performative act(s), the reflection(s) on reasons for the performative acting and in reflexivity the aims for it as well as the knowledge of construction of objectivity.
Additional to scrutinize the relation between performance and reflexivity I analyse terms of tradition in accordance to Dietrich Benner. He described different grades of tradition: self-contained tradition which is learned en passant like mother tongue, a preserve and chancing tradition and an innovative tradition in which new memories are created. These categories will help to show the aim, the instrument(s) and the outcome(s) of performance and reflexivity.
Jewish teenagers in were force to leave or not even allowed to join a wide range of non-Jewish groups around 1900. The Jewish Wanderbund Blau-Weiss Berlin was founded to make a Jewish youth group to be part of the German Youth Movement. The Blau-Weiss wanted to strengthen the familiarity in aims and performance to “German” brigades. The empirical part of my project is based on the analysis of journals edited by the Blau-Weiss between 1913 and 1917. At “Blau-Weiss Blätter” a good part of the discourse around and about education of Jewish Youth is held by educators and so called Fuehrer. Educational aims on youth complemented articles on Jewry to remember traditional custom and create a new kind of German-Jewish citizen. The next generation was supposed to take part in a modern and newly interpreted society. At the same time adolescents were asked to be self-aware on their Jewish roots. Style elements and objectives from well known other youth movement-groups were taken alongside with a wider rage of religious artefacts and traditions. Members of Blau-Weiss produced a bricoleur of religious, non-religious, traditional, and modern. Adolescents were not only part of a youth subculture but created a new modern world including new traditions and a communicative memory. Examples are descriptions on hikes published by members in “Blau-Weiss-Blaetter”. In analysing Blau-Weiss-Blaetter I want to show performance of the group, reflection on their acting, reflexivity of the adolescents and the relation between both.
Exploring reflexivity will be the second part of my presentation of my research. Thinking theory of reflexivity with Andreas Poenitsch reflexivity can be assumed in use of language. Reflexivity is identifiable primarily on the way in which language is used, more precisely which phrases some one uses. It could be assumed that empirical ‚Bildungs’-research, which is concerned about reflexivity in principle must investigate what and how is said and done, how some one verbalizes and what or whom he presents through this. (Poenitsch 2007: 452, my translation). I will elaborate reflexivity in that way as part of Bildungsprozess.
According to Alfred Schaefer it is not possible to explore the individual person itself in empirical research. There is a non- responding difference between the told construct of action as well as there are differences in an “I” / the self and the construction of “Me” / the self in provided information; or to say it shorter there is a non-responding difference between action the and the reported action. Researchers have to manage these differences: they have to reflect their role in and during the research process with asking how they influence the construction (of reality) done by their objects. Dealing with written documents it seems easier but the problem just chances the dimension. Keeping this in mind I go with Schaefer and Poenitsch and try to deconstruct the complexity of my case study with care. As an historical study on education in late Wilhelmine Empire my research seems to be very specific. Nevertheless, the question of determining Bildung as process of performance and reflexivity is of general interest for other European countries and/or systems as well. The historical approach is a case study for wider reflexion on formation and education. Following Andreas Poenitsch I assume that the question on reflexivity is central in education research. Language seen as place of reflexivity makes research aside from international student assessment operable. Besides the question on empirical research my paper discusses a concept of tradition (Benner 2004). Dealing with content and strategies of tradition and traditionalizing in every day practices it will be from highest interest to scrutinize terms of tradition. Benner’s theory of tradition will be crossread by some theories of memory.
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