In the subproject “Solidarity on the social level of local organized actors” we investigate which factors shape discourses about solidarity on the social meso level. Like the other subprojects we ask how crises and different kinds of crisis communication influence discourses about solidarity.

Based on the concept of solidarity introduced by Andrea Sangiovani (2015) we assume that solidarity between locally organized actors is challenged by adversities concerning the communal life.

Usually such adversities are handled by routinized and institutionalized forms of organized support in the local area – e.g. by locally or regionally settled associations, organizations and other groups of civil society which are not necessarily formally organized. We assume that there is a strong communicative and cooperative network between these actors in the local area which leads to the development of an  independent discourse. Such a local discourse is characterized by the increased chance of internal communication between the actors inside and around the organizations of the communal life.

Thus, we are interested (1.) in the question of how discourses ascertain solidarity on the level of local networks and determine social support on site. We intend to find out how adversities are identified by local networks and which these adversities are in concrete. Furthermore, we investigate the case of (2.) what happens if the routinized and institutionalized forms of organized support are affected by adversities that can not be resolved within this framework when crises occur. Finally, we deal with the question (3.) whether and in what sense the current discourse on refugee issues is perceived as a specific form of crisis of the established forms of social support and solidarity by locally organized actors and to what extent this has an impact on the local understanding of solidarity.

To this end, we will examine the local organization of solidarity in three selected regional clusters of the Federal Republic of Germany, in each case with the aid of two districts and one city.


Patrick Kahle (M.A.), Prof. Dr. Michael Corsten
Institute for Social Sciences
University of Hildesheim
Universitätsplatz 1
Room F303
31141 Hildesheim
Tel.: 05121/ 883-10778