The Germans Love Oberwetter

I’ve heard unsubstantiated rumors that the Jefferson 1 was known to bust out a tune or two in her younger days. So should this whole flashmobbing thing not pan out, perhaps she has a future as a pop star overseas. In Germany, it seems, she’s the hottest thing since Hasselhoff.

Sven Borkert lays out the basics, decries America’s seizing the last imaginable shreds of liberty, and links to Jason’s blog post over at Sven’s Blog.

Writing at the site homo sociologicus, Martin Booker imagines the incident as a meditation on sociologist Erving Goffman’s theories of symbolic interaction.

It’s probably rare that the organizers of flashmobs actually have this sociological motivation, yet through their actions – some more, some less – they take the standard order and hold it up to a mirror. And because Web 2.0 makes everything so easy and new media is so cheap, the results can be published in no time at all, and made accessible on YouTube etc.. Were Goffman still among us, he’d probably spend a lot of time on the Internet!

Except, of course, he said it in German, a language I haven’t spoken regularly in more than a decade, so that translation may be spotty, at best. Anyway, here’s the original:

Die Organisatoren von Flashmobs haben zwar wohl nur selten diese sozialwissenschaftliche Motivation, dennoch zeigen die Aktionen – manche mehr, manche weniger – genau diese Normenordnungen auf und halten ihr den Spiegel vor. Und weil das Web 2.0 alles so leicht macht und neue Medien so billig sind, können die Ergebnisse in kürzester Zeit für alle zugänglich auf YouTube u.ä. veröffentlicht werden. Würde Goffman noch unter uns weilen, er würde höchstwahrscheinlich viel Zeit im Internet verbringen!

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