n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Kulturelle Globalisierung - was tun? Intellektuelle am Ende des Nationalstaates : Rahmenbedingungen

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



The assumption underlying my discussion of the way in which collective identity and its formation changes under post-national conditions, is that globalisation fundamentally affects the function and legitimacy of the democratic procedures operating in the social welfare state. Acknowledging that identity is a process of construction of meaning related to a set of cultural attributes that are prioritized over other sources of meaning, I follow Manuel Castells suggestions of three types of origin of identity formation. Where Castells focusses on social movements as potential subjects which interfere in the struggle of cultural codes, I underline the role of intellectuals. I shall argue that one can find three intellectual constitutions that reify the collective identity patterns according to their functions in societies. I propose a topography of intellectuals that describes resistance-intellectuals, legitimizing-intellectuals and project-intellectuals. The role of the latter will be highlighted since the creative, constructive, and imaginative parts of society are challenged to overcome retrospective identity formation.

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