Hegemonic struggles or transfer of knowledge?
East and West Germans in job interviews
Job interviews are an important means for the selection of employees in Western industrialised countries. Thus, they may be decisive with regard to the future of the person seeking work, making the difference between successful social participation or marginalisation. After the German reunification, East Germans had to prove themselves in a communicative genre marked by West German standards hitherto unknown to them.The article analyses verbal sequences taken from job interviews between West German interviewers and East German job applicants in which genre specific knowledge is negotiated. It is shown that East German concepts of this genre are treated as knowledge deficits by the West German interviewers.There is a positive outcome in this, since this allows for a transfer of socially relevant knowledge. And from an analytical point of view, these sequences provide us with data showing how institutional agents pass procedural knowledge on to their clients. Nevertheless, these sequences often take an asymmetrical course which is linked with a high risk for the individual’s positive self presentation in the job interview. The fact that West German agents set their genre knowledge as being universally valid is based on their hegemonic claim.
Keywords: East/West German, job interviews, knowledge, hegemony
Published online: 24 August 2004
Cited by 6 other publications
König, Katharina & Qiang Zhu
Manroop, Laxmikant, Janet A. Boekhorst & Jennifer A. Harrison
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
1995 Hegemonialer Geltungsanspruch und konversationelle Realität: Anmerkungen zu einer vernachlässigten Perspektive auf die Ost/West-Daten der Forschungsgruppe “Nationale Selbst- und Fremdbilder”. In: Marek Czyzewski et al.. (eds). Nationale Selbst- und Fremdbilder im Gespräch, Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 379–383.
Auer, Peter and Kern, Friederike
Bergmann, Jörg and Luckmann, Thomas
Birkner, Karin and Kern, Friederike
Günthner, Susanne and Knoblauch, Hubert
Kurtz, Donald V.