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The Discursive Construction of the German Welfare State: Interests and Institutionality

Authors


Anthropology Department
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven CT 06515
mcgillk1@southernct.edu

Abstract

This article consists of an initial theoretical attempt to describe “interests” as widespread social phenomena which emerge specifically from discursive interaction. I focus on the way in which the indexical signaling of discourse participation roles and public/private standings provide key conditions of possibility for the emergence of interests in interactional real time. The case at hand involves the German welfare state, a social institution which is constituted both on the local level of my fieldsite (a working-class suburb of the former East Berlin) and on the national level (through the popular media and through the circulation of laws, policy documents and the like). [Germany, welfare state, interests, indexical orders, institutionality]

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