© C.T. Henry
Prof Dr Achim Goerres
Achim.Goerres “at” uni-due.de
University of Duisburg-Essen
Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science
Phone +49 (0) 203 379 – 3615 (direct), -1385 (secret.)
A Political Sociological CV
I am the descendant of a family of daily labourers and uneducated individuals. My oldest known ancestor, Dahm Joeres or Dahm Gores, was born around 1680 in Brandenberg, a small village with about 600 inhabitants today in the middle-range German mountains of the Eifel about 50 km from Cologne. I was born in Dueren, which is only about 15 km from Brandenberg. So, it took my family 300 years to come down the mountains because they lacked any economic and social and thus geographical mobility.
The educational level of my ancestors improved somewhat once Prussia took over the Rhineland and introduced basic education for all. My great grandparents were house wife, wine farmer, train conductor, home decorator (Stuckateur) or assistant accountant. Only my grandmother's family (on my mother's side) were members of the small bourgeoisie in Dueren before World War I as their crafts business could benefit from decorating the homes of the growing upper class in Dueren. However, they lost most of their fortune in the 1923 inflation. My parents were the first in their families to go to university.
Funnily enough, I am less sure about my grand-parents (born around 1910). But judging from their religiosity and the CDU's ability to garner support among previous Zentrum voters, my hunch would be that they also voted Black (CDU). None of them was self-employed or educated to higher than Realschule (O Levels). Thus, any liberal vote seems unlikely. My parents broke this barrier between secular and Christian parties. They grew up during times of increasing secularisation and social emancipation. As my father was self-employed and my parents had friends in the local branch of the FDP, I am convinced that they voted liberal.
When I was first allowed to vote in the national election in 1998, I voted for the liberals. I was just about to start my studies and my level of political sophistication was very low. Thus, according to the expectations of David Butler and Donald Stokes, I cast my vote for my parents' party or what I thought their party was. However, I became more involved in current affairs and (hopefully!) matured in terms of my political values, so that I have changed my vote several times since 1998.