Futures and pasts in transition. Family conversations on occupational and personal ambitions and perspectives in Luxembourg


CALL: 2008

DOMAIN: ID - Identities, Diversity and Integration





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Intergenerational communicatio

START: 2009-04-01

END: 2011-09-30

WEBSITE: https://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

Traditionally, families have served as a core social unit offering a sense of belonging and continuity, notthe least with regard to “inherited” professional occupations and social status to its members. Thisfunction has been wiped away by accelerating economical changes, enforcing the change of biographicaland professional scripts. Today, the parents’ and grandparents’ careers no longer serve as models for theyounger generations.The project “LUXFUT” will investigate the ways in which memories transmitted in families affect thefuture expectations of individual family members. Special attention is paid to the interrelation betweensocial change, intergenerational social mobility and historical consciousness.The study is based on the theoretical assumption that the selfunderstanding of individuals and socialgroups as well as the ability to cope with reality depend on historical consciousness: The past has to benarrated and related to the present and future in meaningful ways in order to enable the subjects tointerpret and act in situations of change. Which impact do memories transmitted in families have on theindividual member’s biographical scripts? In which ways is intergenerational communication about thepast related to future expectations within families? Do members of different generations share commonstories and interpretations to cope with their individual needs of orientation? Do memories bridge thegenerational gaps that are experienced due to dramatic changes in biographical scripts?Motivated by the deep structural changes the Luxembourgian society has experienced during the lastdecades, the study is closely related to the project “LUX-ID” funded by the FNR. It will supplement the ongoing research on intergenerational communication and patterns of interpretation based on historical continuity and change (Sinnbildungsmuster / Jörn Rüsen). Qualitative interviews with 1family inLuxembourgwill deliver the empirical data. This data will be examined following a two-step qualitative interpretation (in-depth analysis and coding), according to the methodology successfully applied by the LUX-ID project.

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