Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Transcultural Hierarchies

4. Dezember 2008

Transatlantic Graduate Conference

Hierarchy is a universal form of integration that appears across cultures in multiple dimensions of social and political order. Concrete hierarchies are always bound to culture, in view of both their material forms of appearance and their functional prerequisites. Certain periods, regions or social sectors develop characteristic styles of hierarchy. Cultures, or individual elements within them, can themselves have a hierarchical effect or help to sustain hierarchies of political and economic power. On the other hand, hierarchical orders always privilege and stabilize certain elements of culture at the expense of others.

The studies in this research area are to focus on phenomena of hierarchization of cultures themselves and on the formation of political, economic and social hierarchies in cross-cultural contexts: empires, colonial and occupation regimes, mandate territories, protectorates, federal systems, supranational political orders, regional hegemonic powers, multinational enterprises, international administrations, etc. Particular emphasis will be given to the question of integrative and disintegrative mechanisms: What are the specific conditions of integration in transcultural hierarchies? Which normative, symbolic, economic and institutional factors can be specified as the conditions of success and failure of hierarchical integration across cultural boundaries? Under what conditions do such transcultural hierarchies find acceptance? What are the limits of transcultural hierarchical integration? Which are typical “success stories” and examples of failure? Which cultural factors are of particular significance? How did normative, symbolic, economic and institutional factors interact?

In cooperation with the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University.

Programme (Download, PDF)

4-5 December, 2008, 13:45 h
University of Konstanz, Rooms V 901 and C 424


Dr. Niels P. Petersson
Center of Excellence
University of Konstanz
Box D173
78457 Konstanz
Email: niels.petersson[at]uni-konstanz.de

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