The I and the Socialist Personality: The Questioning of an Ideological Concept in Post-GDR Literary Autobiographical Discourse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch


This article will address the relationship between the individual and the discursive concept of the socialist personality in GDR totalitarian discourse, starting from Michel Foucault’s views on the relationship between the subject and the power–knowledge complex. Foucault’s findings will be set against Georg Klaus’s notions of official discourse in the GDR and the concept of the socialist personality as emanating from these. These theoretical considerations form the starting point of a more detailed analysis of two biographical narratives by Jens Bisky and Claudia Rusch respectively that deal with the confrontation of the self-conscious individual with this rigid and disindividualizing GDR–concept of the socialist personality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTotalitarian and Authoritarian Discourses
Subtitle of host publicationA Global and Timeless Phenomenon?
EditorsLutgard Lams, Geert Crauwels, Henrieta Anisoara Serban
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherPeter Lang 
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9783034309080
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this