Patrick Sachweh: Classes and Classifications. A Mixed Methods Perspective on Symbolic Boundaries in Germany
Patrick Sachweh (University of Bremen) will present results from a large mixed-methods project on symbolic boundaries in Germany.
In recent years, important contributions to a culturally oriented sociological class analysis have been made. Specifically, a growing number of – mostly qualitative – studies have used the concept of “symbolic boundaries” to study how members of different social classes define themselves vis-à-vis others, and how class-specific social identities emerge in such processes of reciprocal classification. While this research has significantly enhanced our understanding of class-specific patterns of identification, attempts to map out symbolic boundaries for representative population samples have been rare. The talk presents findings from a mixed-methods project conducted in 2017 in Germany that combined focus groups and a representative survey in order to conceptualize and implement a standardized survey instrument for the measurement of symbolic boundaries. Whereas the quantitative analyses reveal a three-dimensional structure of economic, cultural and moral boundaries, the qualitative analyses reconstruct how distinct configurations of these boundaries form an ethos of moderation and planful realism in the lower-middle class and an ethos of cultivation and distinction in the upper-middle class.
The event will be live on Zoom. Please use this link,.