Christoph Schwarz (Philipps Universität Marburg) studied sociology and pedagogies (MA), Spanish and civics (1st state exam) at the universities of Freiburg, Porto (Portugal), and Frankfurt a.M.. He worked as a high school teacher in Eschborn, before he started his Ph.D. in sociology on adolescence in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, funded with a scholarship from the Hans-Böckler foundation. His interest in questions of adolescence and integrational relations in the Global South and in post-colonial societies dates back to his community service with students from indigenous communities in Guatemala. As a research and project coordinator at the Department of Social Work and Health at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, he managed a DAAD-funded academic exchange program with the University Ibn Zohr, Agadir. In April 2014 he joined the CNMS Research Network Re-Configurations as a post-doc research fellow.
His research interests include adolescence and intergenerational relations, gender and education, political socialization and activism, questions of migration, and methodology. He’s currently organizing a panel on “Faces of Uncertain Transitions to Adulthood across Cultures” for the World Congress of the International Sociological Association in Yokohama, in the research committee on sociology of youth.
Christoph Schwarz’ project:
Political Activism and Moral Economy under Authoritarian Rule. Historical and Family Narratives of Young Protesters in Morocco and Tunisia
The societies of Morocco and Tunisia share some characteristic structural traits, i.e. a similar demographical and economic development; however, historically their political regimes have relied on very different sources of legitimacy and strategies of authoritarian rule. Accordingly, the so called Arab Spring has had a very different repercussion in both countries. Departing form a perspective of biographical research and “history from below”, the project presented here aims to analyze the life stories of young political activists in both countries in order to reconstruct the moral economy (E.P. Thompson) their activism is based on. It focuses on the structures of biographical processes that motivated their political engagement, and the respective historical narratives of social justice and political legitimacy implied therein. Special attention is paid to intergenerational relations and the reconstruction of family narratives throughout the latest phase of socioeconomic and political development, in order to understand the repercussion these processes have had on the grassroots level in both societies.