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2014 (36) Heft 1

Aktuelle Themen der Soziologie II


Guest-Editor: Ulrich Rosar

Abstracts | Inhalt | Editorial

Pascal Siegers
Spiritualität – Sozialwissenschaftliche Perspektiven auf ein umstrittenes Konzept

Abstract: Spirituality is a contentious concept in the social sciences. This is above all due to the increasing number of different definitions of spirituality that are used in the field. Some scholars argue that given this heterogeneity, spirituality is not an analytic concept. Scholars use the concept to denote forms of belief that are not part of conventional religiosity. Therefore, spirituality refers to transformations of religion in modern societies. This paper shows that spirituality is generally defined in relation to religion or religiosity. Thus, different concepts of spirituality can be distinguished according to the way they draw the boundaries between religiosity and spirituality. This approach reveals the most important communalities and differences of different perspectives on spirituality as a scientific concept which allows a better assessment of empirical results from research on spirituality.

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Yasemin El-Menouar / Melanie Reddig
Olivier Roys Thesen zum islamischen Neofundamentalismus auf dem Prüfstand. Eine empirische Analyse

Abstract: This paper tests three main theses by the French political scientist Olivier Roy concerning the social integration of Islamic neofundamentalists in Europe. Firstly, Roy assumes that Islamic neofundamentalists have a strong global identity, but only a weak national identity and are therefore uprooted. Secondly, Roy expects Islamic neofundamentalists to live segregated from the majority society and avoid respective contact. Thirdly, Roy presumes that Islamic neofundamentalists feel discriminated against. We test these assumptions with data based on a survey on different patterns of Muslim religiosity. The study was conducted in 2009 among Muslims in selected cities in North-Rhine Westphalia containing an oversample of highly religious Muslims (N=228). As a first step, we measure Islamic neofundamentalism by means of agreement with the main religious tenets. As a second step, we analyze the association of Islamic neofundamentalism with uprootedness, segregation and perceived discrimination.

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Michael Baurmann / Gregor Betz / Rainer Cramm
Meinungsdynamiken in fundamentalistischen Gruppen. Erklärungshypothesen auf der Basis von Simulationsmodellen

Abstract: If we want to understand how fundamentalist group ideologies are established, we have to comprehend the social processes which form the basis of the emergence and distribution of such beliefs. In our paper we present an innovative approach to examining these processes and explaining how they function: with the method of computer-based simulation of opinion formation we develop heuristic explanatory models which help to generate new and interesting hypotheses. The focus is thereby not on individuals and their idiosyncrasies but on the dynamic mutual adaptation of beliefs in a group. These dynamics can produce an incremental establishment of ‘charismatic’ opinion leaders and an increasing radicalization and alienation. A prototype of such a simulation model has produced promising first results which are presented and discussed.

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Dominik Morbitzer / Vincent Buskens / Stephanie Rosenkranz / Werner Raub
How Farsightedness Affects Network Formation

Abstract: We develop a theoretical model of network formation where actors are limitedly farsighted. In this way we extend current models with a new set of micro-foundations. Computer simulations are used to predict the stable network structures that are likely to emerge under the new assumptions. The co-author model by Jackson/Wolinsky (1996) is used as an example. The co-author model formulates a tension between stability and efficiency when actors are myopic. Limitedly farsighted actors can overcome this tension but only if the network is small enough. Thus, changing the micro-foundations of the network formation model leads to new implications at the macro-level in the sense that different networks are predicted to be stable than for existing micro-foundations.

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Werner Raub / Vincenz Frey / Vincent Buskens
Strategic Network Formation, Games on Networks, and Trust

Abstract: This paper brings two major research lines in current sociology together. Research on social networks has long focused primarily on network effects but meanwhile also addresses the emergence and dynamics of networks. Research on trust in social and economic relations shows that networks have effects on trust. Using game theory, we provide a simple model that allows for an integrated and simultaneous analysis of network effects on trust and for the endogenous emergence of the network. The model also allows for characterizing the value of the network. We use standard assumptions on full strategic rationality. Testable implications of the model as well as model extensions are sketched.

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Johannes Krause
Schönheitssoziologie – ein Überblick

Abstract: Everybody is Doing Beauty (which refers to the German word Schönheitshandeln) – women use make-up daily and men shave. The first section of this paper deals with the differentiation of the various forms of Doing Beauty. On the one hand some of these actions are part of the daily routine and carried out in a rather unconscious way. On the other hand there are a number of actions where the result is durable, intended and product of a rational process. However they have one thing in common: Doing Beauty means both portraying yourself and securing one’s identity. In the following the focus is on the motives for it: conformity and individuality – the pursuit or refusal of the prevailing beauty ideal. Several gender-specific hypotheses are derived from these theoretical implications, for example: Females are more critical of their own body and therefore, attain a higher degree of Doing Beauty. In contrast, men are more content with themselves, which is also reflected by the extent and manner of their Doing Beauty. These differences are to be found for activities in a daily routine as well as a product of a rational process. The discrepancies between the sexes are evaluated with a student sample (N=621). The quantitative analyses clearly show the different levels of involvement in these actions. In fact females are more critical of their bodies, their amount of time spend on Doing Beauty habitually is larger, their consideration of durable actions is more pronounced as well as they perform these actions more often.

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Ulrich Rosar / Markus Klein / Jörg Hagenah
Physische Attraktivität und soziale Ungleichheit. Einige grundsätzliche Anmerkungen zu einem in der soziologischen Forschung kaum beachteten Prädiktor sozialer Ungleichheit

Abstract: The external appearance of a person is an important predictor for his or her social success. This finding has been verified by numerous – mostly social psychological oriented – empirical studies on physical attractiveness for many phases and areas of life. At the same time, sociological research on social inequality has hardly paid any attention to the social relevance of physical attractiveness. In order to begin to close this gap, the article provides insight into attractiveness research results and highlights the importance of further research into the impact of attractiveness on causing social inequality. We will first give an overview of the areas of life in which the efficacy of physical attractiveness has already been demonstrated. Then we will discuss the mechanisms through which the external appearance of a person develops its effect, until finally, we will explain how physical attractiveness can be measured.

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Karen Jones / François Schroeter
Co-deliberation, Joint Decision, and Testimony about Reasons.

Reply to Tobias Steinig, Experts, Teachers and Their Epistemic Roles in Normative and Non-normative Domains, in: Analyse & Kritik 34, 251–274

Abstract: We defend the claim that there can be testimonial transfer of reasons against Steinig’s recent objections. In addition, we argue that the literature on testimony about moral reasons misunderstands what is at stake in the possibility of second-hand orientation towards moral reasons. A moral community faces two different but related tasks: one theoretical (working out what things are of genuine value and how to rank goods and ends) and one practical (engaging in joint action and social coordination). In between, simultaneously theoretical and practical, lies the activity of co-deliberation. Virtuous participation in co-deliberation can require limited moral deference. Refusal to recognize this, combined with excess self-trust, can derail co-deliberation.

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