Instead of greeting cards…

… I would like to send out some words. If you are celebrating the birth of Jesus in one of the following days then I wish you a Merry Christmas. And if you are using the gregroian calendar as your preferred counting system, then I wish you a Happy New Year 2009. If you neither do the one nor the other, then I would like to wish you peaceful and prosperous times.


As I use the gregorian calendar the year 2008 is coming to its end. It was a busy year with lots of  impressions and experiences that changed my world in a more or less dramatic but surely intense way. This included personal as well as professional encounters and experiences. Actually I was travelling a lot to conferences and jobs in Paris, Moscow, Hamburg and to lovely holidays on the Island of Rügen with my beloved wife and children. And I was working on several issues as consumer culture and postmodern power structures, authoritarian political systems and their emergence and development in Russia and Venezuela, constructionist and phenomenological methods and theories in social research.

Looking forward to 2009 there will be some continuities in my work. Originating in an evening  in Paris, when I was discussing with Michael Arfken and Orsoyla (actually I do not know her last name, but she’s a psychologist from Budapest, Hungary)  in a little street café in St.Germain, we were – amonst other issues – talking about subjectivity, identity and intersubjectivity from our professions’ points opf view and were deciding to meet again in Dublin in 2009. This actually resulted in the proposition of two panels to the ISPP 2009 Conference dealing with intersubjectivity, identity and culture. Second, I will continue to work on authoritarian systems and a more sophisticated contribution to theory building in this area of research. Together with my collegue Holger Albrecht  from the American University in Cairo, I will prepare a workshop on authoritarian political systems. The aim of this workshop will be to discuss new and more functionalist, structuralist, institutionalist, and actor-centered approaches to the issue in a comparative perspective. The worksho will take place in June 2009 at the “Haus auf der Alb” in Bad Urach and will be supported by the “Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung Baden-Württemnberg”, namely Siegfried Frech. Third, I will try to do more theoretical and empirical research on postmodern culture and power structures in advanced societies. And last but not least, if can find some more time I will continue to read and study some of the interesting literature of Merleau-Ponty, Glasersfeld, Schuetz, Husserl… And at the end of 2009 we will see what has been realized.


Listening to Johnny Cash and his American Recordings cycle while writing this, it came to my mind that now I should stop writing about me and listen more carefull to this wonderful and affecting music. I hope to meet one or the other of you (again) in the future.  May there always  be a guiding light for you. Live long and prosper!

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