Home > Events > Event archive - Event information

European Social Science History Conference

Referentin: Dr. Maren Hachmeister
15/04/2023 - 08:30
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg

Description of the event

Dr. Maren Hachmeister will be giving the paper "The Home in Social Relations. What the “Old-old” Disclose about “Heimat” in a Transforming Society" as a part of the panel ""Heimat” and Identity in a Transforming Society". Germany since the 1970s" at the European Social Science History Conference in Gothenburg.

Old people are believed to be advocates of “Heimat”, either they spent their entire lives in the same place or they had to leave it behind. How do people fit into this image, who lost their home while never leaving the place they live in?

This paper focuses on the experiences of East Germans aged between 80 and 95, the so called “old-old” of the society, who literally remained unmoved when the villages and towns changed around them after 1989. As their previous notions of “Heimat” dispersed, social relationships seem to have become more important to them.

The paper will discuss how personal interactions and relationships of the elderly shaped the transforming East German society and how these produced contemporary narratives of “Heimat”.

two old ladies dancing

© Deutsche Fotothek / Hauswald, Harald