Junctions, Pathways and Turning Points in Biographical Genesis of Right-Wing Extremism


  • Thomas Gabriel Zurich University of Applied Sciences
  • Samuel Keller Zurich University of Applied Sciences


Right-Wing Extremism, Biographical Research, Turning Points, Care Leavers, Case Analysis


This article adopts the hypothesis that the primary organizational structures of the family and immediate social environment play a decisive role in explaining the genesis of racist attitudes and behavioral disposition. Processes of upbringing and socialization are always to be un-derstood as products of active subjective interaction and thus to be reconstructed as such within the framework of social work research. In the context of the research this article is based on, it was of special interest to scrutinize the biographies of young people by analyzing junctions and relevant turning points on their pathways to right-wing extremism. This bio-graphical junctions and turning points are seen as timeframes where agency and biographical meaning gets evident and can be re-constructed. This method is supported by more recent findings which unanimously warn against relying on the results of socialization while neglecting that the acquisition of social disposition is a process which is highly individual in characteristic. To make the model of junctions and turning points understandable, the second half of this article discusses a generic case of a young man and his subjectively relevant meanings of becoming and being right-wing extremist.




Special Issue: "Turning Points"