Et spørgsmål om identitet: En analyse af LO-fagbevægelsens begrebsliggørelse

Jakob Bausager

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

applying the theory of Conceptual History by Reinhart Koselleck, the following thesis explores how concepts become the source of unity through statements by the LO-Trade Union. The overall problem that this thesis seeks to address is how the central concepts of struggle (kamp) and solidarity (solidaritet) construct the unity of the LO Trade Union via the union’s own statements about these concepts; and how these concepts in turn affect the general course of development of the LO Trade Union. Thus, the goal of the thesis is to show how the LO Trade Union produces and is produced through the change of concepts in the clash with social and political historic circumstances, and particularly idea of the welfare state. By its use of the concept of unity, this thesis adheres to the theory, addressed in Conceptual History, in which unity arises as statements addressing either side of the inherent contrasting difference in concepts. Thus, the LO Trade Union acquires unity through statements addressing the positive side of the concepts, struggle and solidarity, and consequently recognize themselves as either, or both, those who struggle and those who are solidaric, as opposed to those who don’t and are not. However, the historic conceptualization of these concepts must always be determined by the methodical investigation into how certain historic periods and their unique social and political environment affect the circumstances in which concepts become concepts. Hence, this thesis also seeks to discover how tension was created between differences in the historical emergence of the concepts struggle and solidarity, and their later use to unify the LO Trade Union. Thus discovering how the complexity of the current Danish labor market, and society in general, fragment the unity of the LO Trade Union by affecting how concepts attain and attract meaning. This as a direct result of the tension created between concepts’ historic meaning and their actualization in complex modern society. Thus, by seeking unity through the historic concepts of struggle and solidarity, the LO Trade union becomes torn between the historic heritage of the concepts and the way those same concepts, in a modern welfare state, have to apply to common interests. Because of this tension, and how it affects the unity of the LO Trade Union, the LO Trade Union seeks to reaffirm the concepts’ meaningfulness, by applying them to address the general, common Danish labor market’s struggle to maintain its competitive edge in the face of globalization. Thus plunging the LO Trade Union into an even more uncertain struggle for identity, because of the loss of the unifying concepts’ ability to define what the struggle is against, and towards whom solidarity is to be directed.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2009
Number of pages79