By Stefanie Börner (auth.)
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Extra resources for Belonging, Solidarity and Expansion in Social Policy
1 The empirical analysis will show that even the image of the local communities of equals should not be taken for granted. This chapter develops an understanding of solidarity based on a slightly extended constructivist perspective that also takes into account actors’ interests. The second part sheds light on the theoretical relationship between solidarity and social policy and closes with a simple heuristic containing the theoretically derived orientations solidarity builds on. Dynamic notion of solidarity Most scholars think of solidarity as a sense of community based on shared understandings, feelings of togetherness and common interests Solidarity and Social Policy 37 or values.
Thus, it provides a detailed and historically informed empirical basis for comparison across time and place. These objectives are key elements of the historical sociology of European integration in the making. In contrast to the former waves of historical sociology, a main feature of this recent approach is its inherently comparative character and, linked to it, the fact that historical insights are geared towards present processes of European integration. It accomplishes what the macro-historical sociologists in the past often claimed but hardly did.
It is a historico-genetic study that takes the historicity of categories seriously as well as the claim of basing the findings on one’s own empirical studies. So with the help of theoretical concepts and categories, it aims to relate gained historical insights to present events and thus advances an inter-temporal dialogue that enables us to make theoretical insights about past processes fruitful for the explanation of current and future developments. Lots of studies, although operating within constructivist terms such as contingent, multiple or fluid, paradoxically continue to theorise the phenomena in terms of natural, ahistorical and fixed categories (Somers 1994; Brubaker and Cooper 2000).
Belonging, Solidarity and Expansion in Social Policy by Stefanie Börner (auth.)