Can a population or community be “taught” to feel and act differently through an externally imposed politico-cultural paradigm? What kinds of unexpected feelings (at odds with behavioral norms and expectations of the educator/observer) emerge from the collision of different political histories and cultural orientations? This paper examines American and West German social theories concerned with democratizing West Germany in the context of the Cold War and in the wake of initial US-Allied attempts at “reeducation” in the postwar period. Based on an analysis of Theodor W. Adorno's radio broadcasts and writings on the possibility of an “education to autonomy” after Auschwitz, this paper explores how West Germans came to “feel differently” through the gradual and contradictory negotiation of a democratic “habitus”, ultimately demonstrating the agonistic and ambivalent processes constitutive of substantial democracy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology