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Abby Day

Research into the religious beliefs and behaviors of children, young people, adults, and elderly people prompts questions about the way “generation” is understood in the social scientific study of religion. What seem to the researcher at first to be shared values and beliefs on broad moral issues appear, at least to older people, to be lacking amongst the young. Such a difference in perception could be an example of a “generation” gap where generation is perceived by theorists such as Mannheim to be a shared identity of people who have a social history in common. Extensive literature in both anthropology and sociology is explored to find how such concepts are understood and operationalized. Detailed ethnography amongst elderly Anglican women begins to problematize how such notions as boundaries of “generation” blur with gender.

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Tali Tadmor-Shimony and Nirit Raichel

This article discusses the role of teachers in the formation of Israeli society, from the First Aliyah until the 1968 integration reform. The period studied is comprised of four sub-periods, during each of which teachers filled different roles. These roles included a contribution to reviving and spreading the language, creating educational and establishment tools, ideological training, and integration of the new immigrants into Israeli society. The study is based on Mannheim's generation theory, and seeks to use it to demonstrate the formation of the group of teachers in the Land of Israel and their influence on the creation of an imagined community, while also making comparisons with the activities of teachers in other societies.

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Bridging the Political Gaps

The Interdiscursive Qualities of Political Romanticism in the Weimar Republic

Christian E. Roques

Political romanticism is one of the keys to accessing the intellectual debates of the Weimar Republic. This article tries to adopt a radically historicized approach centered on the concept of reception. Such an approach allows it to focus on the strategic nature of the different uses that were made of the romantic paradigm between 1918 and 1933. This article contends that one of the main features that romanticism offers in the German context is its interdiscursive quality that renders it able to transcend traditional political divisions like left /right and conservative/progressive. This idea is illustrated in this article with a series of examples covering the entire lifespan of the Republic and the entire political spectrum therein, which can be represented by such figures as Sigmund Rubinstein, Thomas Mann, Hans Freyer, Carl Schmitt, Karl Mannheim, Othmar Spann, Wilhelm von Schramm, and Paul Tillich.

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Indicators of Social Quality

Outcomes of the European Scientific Network

Laurent J.G. van der Maesen and Alan C. Walker

In October 2001, the Network Indicators of Social Quality started the process of creating social quality indicators. This project of the European Foundation on Social Quality was supported by the European Commission (DG Research) under Framework Programme 5 (van der Maesen et al. 2000). The Network consisted of representatives of universities from 14 partner countries and two European NGOs. Over its forty-two-month life the Network held four meetings. Three plenary meetings were organised with all assistants thanks to the financial support by the Dutch Scientific Foundation (NWO). Also through the creation of unique national reference groups on social quality, the Network has engaged more than a hundred scientists and policy makers in its work. The project was completed in April 2005. The intriguing question was how to theoretically legitimise the choice of social quality indicators compared to the indicators constructed in the context of 'quality of life' approaches, as developed for example by ZUMA of the University of Mannheim (Noll 2000; Berger-Schmit et al. 2000) and the European Foundation on the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions in Dublin (Fahey et al. 2002).