Political Talk Culture. Interpersonal Communication about Politics in Citizens' Everyday Lives – Its Appearance, Background and Consequences in East and West Germany
Comparing East and West Germany, the project investigates how political conversations among ordinary citizens matter for democratic politics. It aims at a comprehensive exploration of citizens' "talk culture(s)" – the appearance and relevance of political discussion within their everyday lives. Particular attention will be directed at the differing roles of interpersonal political communication in the private and the public realm, but also at the interconnection between both spheres as well as their relationship to mass communication. The project will also analyse the preconditions that facilitate or impede people's utilization of their freedom of expression in both private and public contexts, and what consequences political discussion in its various manifestations entails for other facets of democratic citizenship. Based on a face-to-face survey expanded by a snow-ball component, the planned project is to provide a comprehensive view of the attributes, backgrounds, and consequences of ordinary citizens' political conversations in East and West Germany.
Using existing data, several papers relating to research questions of the project have been prepared, presented at conferences and partly also already published in 2015. The DFG turned down our grant proposal. However, since both reviews were essentially positive and made very specific recommendations for revisions, a new version of the proposal will be prepared and resubmitted.