Modernliğin Bireyciliği İle Yaşam Politikalarında Beliren Bireyselleşmenin Yansımaları Arasındaki Farkın İlişkiselliği
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This research discusses individualization and the related problem of “individual” from a sociological perspective with a view towards understanding and explaining essential the differences between individualization and modern individualism. This discussion is carried out by examining the nature of human actions exemplified in practices of life politics. The focal point of the study is to understand how people transform their imaginations of “a better and fairer” society into action, that is into life politics. The empirical data for the study have been collected by means of in-depth interviews conducted with nine individuals who carry out non-institutionalized social responsibility activities as their life politics. The findings of this research, which is handled with a relational approach, show that the individualization experiences of the participants correspond to the real, concrete aspects of human relations and are framed with a social and moral “good” understanding. The distinguishing feature of this understanding is that, the participants interpret the values they have acquired and internalized from their relations in their immediate social environment and traditional norms from a holistic perspective. Holistic approach to life considers each individual as member and thus a part of this totality. For this understanding, the term individual does not refer to an atomistic, isolated and undifferentiated part of the whole, it refers to the personal qualities that make an individual stand out as a singular, special entity who has the ability to exert his/her agency in a network of relations. Thus, individualization is an endless process of interaction in which the individual discovers his/her humane characteristics and power potential within and through a relational network between always interdependent people, weaving and expressing these with a personalized interpretation. It is therefore a process of dual structuration between self-development and cultural internalization. The social responsibility activities as actions of life politics serve the self-realized individuals’ hope of mutually producing each other in order to contribute to the construction of a better and more just society. These actions are not destructive, anti-establishment uprisings though they demand for rights, justice and freedom for the disadvantaged groups of society. The main goal is a claim to rights regarding the arrangement of social life and the amelioration of cultural values. These acts, as symbolic political participation in both public and private spheres in support of the alteration of values and attitudes concerning lifestyles, present an indirect strategy for policy change.
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