Political Talk Culture. Interpersonal Communication about Politics in Citizens' Everyday Lives - Its appearance, Background and Consequences in East and West Germany

Research question/goal: 

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 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.

Current stage: 

The project is to investigate how political conversations among ordinary citizens matter for democratic politics. It aims at a comprehensive exploration of the appearance, preconditions and relevance of political discussion within citizens' everyday lives, encompassing both the private and the public realm. Preparatory work on the project proposal started in 2011, including basic decisions on the research design, but had to be terminated again after seven months because of problems in staff availability.

Fact sheet

Funding: 
MZES
Duration: 
2008 to 2018
Status: 
in preparation
Data Sources: 
Cross-Section survey expanded by snow-ball component
Geographic Space: 
Germany

Publications