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CITE: Janus, L., Kurth, W., Reiss, H., & Egloff, G. (Eds.).The change in identity structures over the course of history – understanding social and political processes. Mattes. 2017.

Also: Janus L, Kurth W, Reiss H, Egloff G (Hg.). Der Wandel der Identitätsstrukturen im Laufe der Geschichte – gesellschaftliche und politische Prozesse verstehen. Mattes, Heidelberg. 2017.

 

 

SUMMARY

In “The Change in Identity Structures over the Course of History,” Ludwig Janus, along with co-editors Werner Kurth, Hermann Reiss, and Gerhard Egloff, explore the ways in which identity has evolved and shaped social and political processes throughout history. The book features contributions from a range of scholars, including historians, sociologists, and psychologists, and covers topics ranging from the ancient world to modern times.

The editors argue that understanding the ways in which identity has changed over time is crucial to understanding contemporary social and political issues, including identity politics and the rise of nationalism. They also suggest that a better understanding of the history of identity can help us to navigate and respond to these issues in a more informed and nuanced way.

Throughout the book, contributors explore the ways in which identity has been shaped by factors such as religion, gender, race, and nationality, as well as the role of technology and media in shaping identity in the modern world. They also consider the ways in which identity has been used to create social and political hierarchies, and the potential for identity to be a source of both conflict and unity.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The importance of understanding the ways in which identity has evolved over time, and the role of historical context in shaping contemporary social and political issues.
  • The ways in which identity has been shaped by a range of factors, including religion, gender, race, and nationality, as well as the role of technology and media in shaping identity in the modern world.
  • The potential for identity to be a source of both conflict and unity, and the role of identity in creating social and political hierarchies.
  • The need for a nuanced and informed approach to addressing contemporary social and political issues related to identity, including the rise of nationalism and identity politics.

SELECTED QUOTES

  • “The historical trajectory of identity can thus be understood as a process of increasing differentiation and complexity, which has brought with it both new possibilities and new challenges for individuals and societies” (p. 13).
  • “The shaping of identity is a complex, ongoing process that involves both individual agency and social structures and norms” (p. 47).
  • “Identity can be a powerful tool for mobilizing individuals and groups, but it can also be a source of conflict and division” (p. 85).
  • “The study of identity is crucial for understanding the ways in which social and political structures operate, and for identifying opportunities for change and transformation” (p. 142).
 
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