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New publication on the entrepreneurial habitus of East Germans for the Deutschland Archiv

Jarina Kühn, Anna Steinkamp and Anna Schwarz working in the Mod-Block-DDR Research Association have written a new contribution on the entrepreneurial habitus of East Germans before and after 1990. They consider the controversial question in the literature as to the extent to which entrepreneurial orientations for action could already be developed during the GDR and what possible changes they underwent during the transformation phase after 1990. Presented are the first qualitative interview results with two East German entrepreneurs with regard to Bourdieu's habitus concept and Lettke's approach of a changeable secondary habitus. They conclude that some elements of an entrepreneurial habitus were already created in the GDR and persist during the transformation phase (as primary habitus), such as self-confidence, the will to perform, and problem-solving skills. Other elements of the habitus, however, show changes (secondary habitus), also due to the disruptive character of the transformation phase, as can be seen in the examples presented in a changed relationship with employees and stronger self-control.

A link to the article from November 2020 in the Online Deutschland Archiv (German Archive) of the Federal Agency for Civic Education can be found here.

The trio of researchers forms the sub-project of the BMBF-funded project network Mod-Block-DDR on entrepreneurial habitus and identity constructions.

Anna Schwarz, Jarina Kühn und Anna Steinkamp