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Die Macht des Bürgertums im 19. Jahrhundert – Auswirkungen des bürgerlichen Wertesystems auf die Gesellschaft

Author(s): Katharina Thielen

Journal: Skriptum : Studentische Onlinezeitschrift für Geschichte und Geschichtsdidaktik
ISSN 2192-4457

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 66;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: bourgeoisie | Bourdieu | values | society

Katharina Thielen highlights the structures of the 19th century societey. While carrying out her research she maintains a socio-historical perspective and furthermore focuses on the so-called social class of the 'Bürgertum' (bourgeoisie). As a new factor of power within the German Empire this diverse social group, consisting of civil servants, scholars, freelancers and merchants, had a decisive influence on the structural developments and social rearrangement of the contemporary time. A basic element in this process is represented through the genuine social norms and values of the bourgeoisie. These values expressed an universal validity. However, in the social realitiy these values could often not be realized. As a consequence, the concrete behaviour of members of the bourgeoisie diverted quite often from those given principles and norms of behaviour. The reasons for this ambivalence as well as the question wether the norms and values were at least in part enforced and live on in society to the present day are reviewed via the theories of Pierre Bourdieu. The habitus-concept of Bourdieu serves as the foundation of analysis of the culture of the bourgeoisie. The culture as such worked in a twofold way; excluding and unifying at the same time and therefore standing in harsh contrast to the actual values and norms. The value of education will serve as an example while showing the ambivalence of this concept. The approach to the new and universal „human education“ was significantly determined by the capital. Nevertheless, exactly this paradoxon was crucial when it came to achieving a position of power, which allowed the burgeoisie, as a social class, to realize its genuine social values and norms in society.
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