"Be authentic": Authenticity Norms in German Politics and Self-Idealizations of Members of the Bundestag
The Qualitative Report
This contribution goes back to a study of the formative power of identity norms in professional fields of occupation (fine arts and politics). In this article, we focus on the understanding of identity norms that members of the German Bundestag have to meet and/or to cope with. Thus, our research question is which demands professional politicians encounter and which ways of dealing with them are established. Operating at the intersection of governmentality studies, subjectivation analysis and
... tion analysis and qualitative inquiry, and based on narrative interviews with MPs, this paper demonstrates how in the field of German politics (at federal level) the MPs orientate their professional praxis towards the identity norm of an authentic self and conform to the expectation of a contradiction-free relationship between professional and private lives. In the process, the MPs develop idealizations of their selves in which aspects of their habitus become reflexive. We especially discuss these results against the backdrop of the emergence of modern parliaments and, methodologically, regarding the relation between habitual-implicit and reflexive-explicit structures of knowledge which are especially relevant in subjectivation analysis.