The article discusses how a practice perspective, inspired by Wittgensteins concept of language-game, can enable analysis of the formation of identity and individuality. The discussion is related to an empirical study, in which Norwegian teenagers were asked questions about their clothing preferences (and that of their peers) through questionnaires and conversational interviews. Although clothing preferences could be linked to the different characteristics of the teenagers, comparison between the questionnaire and interview data revealed considerable variations in how each teenager answered. From a practice perspective, the diversity can be explained by variations in the different communicative contexts in which clothing preferences were expressed. Patterns emerging may in turn be explained by how certain communicative contexts are stronger in forming unified narratives than others. Examples are presented of how contexts influence the identity formation of these teenagers and show the extent to which their in/dividuality can vary empirically. The analysis suggests that it cannot be taken as given that young people are consistent in their relation to clothing or to other matters across contexts and that investigations into the extent to which they are may contribute to our understanding of identity formation processes.
The massive growth in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) is one of the most important features on the international scene. In the literature, there are two main approaches to INGOs as a phenomenon, one of them arguing that these organizations represent social processes «from below». Conceptualized as part of (global) civil society, INGOs are important because they represent an alternative to the political system. The other approach is a more critical perspective of INGOs and of the normative argumentation that characterizes this field of research, especially the parallel that is constructed between these organizations and the civil society. Here, I argue that both the civil society tradition and the critical approach provide important insights into research on INGOs, but they do not adequately explain the growing importance of the phenomenon. Hence, I suggest a reinterpretation of INGOs based on the relation between an emerging world society and a political system that is differentiated in nation-states. Through the concepts resonance and semantic interoperability, I illuminate how expectations on collective problem-solving are created. My thesis is that INGOs must be understood as a response to a growing need for global collective action.
In this article we investigate whether there are class differences in sickness absence and, if so, whether they are dependent on different measures of social class. The class schemes made use of in our analyses are those of Erikson, Goldthorpe and Portocarero (EGP), Oesch, Hansen and Esping-Andersen, and the analyses are based on data from the Norwegian Level of Living Surveys from 2000 and 2003. Even though certain class differentials are uncovered in each of the analyses, none of the class schemes contributes satisfactorily to improving the predictive ability of the model.