P22
Good life in times of change

Convenors:
Klavs Sedlenieks (Riga Stradins University)
Location:
Ăślikooli 16, 215
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel will explore how the circulation of old and new images and identities interacts with the experience of change in various contexts, paying particular attention to the circulation of ideas about good life and proper ways of behaviour

Long abstract:

While change and crisis (whether due to external political or economic processes or due to some actions of the actor him/herself) has the potential of destroying the meaning of human life, people often find ways how to bring that meaning back by inventing new approaches or re-evaluating the ones that already existed before. This panel will explore how the circulation of old and new images and identities interacts with the experience of change in various contexts, paying particular attention to the circulation of the images of good life and proper ways of behaviour. We invite the participants to explore the processes of identity-building by means of images that are taken from stories of various kinds (starting from legislation and ending with oral histories and folklore) and how these stories, images and ideas help overcome the problems of current changes and transitions. At the same time it is obvious that this process produces not only positive experiences. Identity-building can also trigger behaviours that are far from rational or adaptive in particular circumstances. Therefore the panel will also explore how the images of good or proper life and ideal human relationships may hinder the ability to survive in changing circumstances. The obvious candidates for such "laboratory of change" are the countries that in the previous century experienced socialism and in this century went through post-socialist transitions. However, similar - and no less thorough - changes have been experienced also elsewhere.