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Ostalgie: DDR-nostalgi i det återförenade Tyskland
Örebro University, Department of Social and Political Sciences.
2007 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay is a case-study of a phenomenon called “ostalgie” which could be described as GDR-nostalgia. “Ostalgie” is a compound of the two German words “ost” (east) and “Nostalgie” (nostalgia.) It is, like a similar phenomenon referred to as “communist nostalgia”, a type of nostalgia. However, if one were to define “ostalgie” as “communist nostalgia” important aspects of the phenomenon would be left out. Despite the vast research (mainly by German scholars) on the reunification process of the two German states, little has been said about the positive retrospective evaluation of the former GDR among eastern Germans. The purpose of this study is to examine what constitutes “ostalgie” and what it could lead to. To answer what ostalgie is I examine research literature and analyze so called “ostalgie” consumption products such as movies and souvenirs with GDR-symbols. Drawing on two alternative hypotheses, one related to political socialization and one related to unification related hardships, I discuss the possible explanations for the emergence of “ostaglie”. To answer what ostalgie could lead to I also analyze and discuss existing research and make my own interpretations based on personal experiences with the reunification process. This study is thus mainly based on a qualitative literature analysis but is also illustrated by quantitative measurements of “ostalgie-related” attitudes among Germans. I argue that “ostalgie” should be considered as an outcome of political socialization as well as unification related hardships and that it would be misleading to assume that “ostalgie” could be explained exclusively by one of the hypothesis discussed. “Ostalgie” is an expression for eastern Germans’ will or need to reminisce about the good aspects of the GDR. The consequences of “ostalgie” are first and foremost that it trivializes the GDR dictatorship. It has also been noted that nostalgic people have more negative attitudes towards the German democracy than non-nostalgic people. I conclude the paper by discussing the difficulties of measuring how widespread “ostalgie” sentiments are due to the problems of definition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
ostalgie, nostalgia, German reunification, communist nostalgia, GDR, German reunification, Eastern Germany, Germany, democracy, socialism, socialization
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-986ISRN: ORU-SAM/STK-C--07/0017--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-986DiVA: diva2:137518
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2007-02-21 Created: 2007-02-21

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Department of Social and Political Sciences
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf