What Conchita Wurst Tells Us About EU Identity (RELS 348)

I found Georg Diez’s story “What Conchita Wurst Tells Us About EU Identity,” International Herald Tribune, 23 May 2014 interesting as it was able to describe the direction European countries were following, with either being more accepting of people outside the socially normative standards put in place by society, or still continuing with the traditional belief system. This article wanted to determine if Europe was similar to how it was portrayed in various media contents.

In Georg Diez’s news source, the depiction of European countries finally coming to terms with common beliefs and practices after years of not having a common identifier can be seen in a positive light. Europe has been portrayed in various media outlets as having a government that has total control over sectors as well as adopting views that promote degenerate moral rules and dignity. However, the author believed Europe had started to take on a new identity of a more liberal, carefree and calm view of life and rule, after many years of war and turmoil headed by the prejudice elite. There is a sense Europe is still in the stages of finding its identity and has not fully come to a completely shared value system. This can be seen through certain countries denial of basic human rights and not fully adopting the new accepting North American way of thinking. This can also be seen by the lack of changes promoted through unemployment rates and inequality issues due to the policies set out by corrupt governments. When putting this into a Marxist perspective, the idea the world is brought into a modernized state can only be done through the historical process to encourage change. History is used to help the newer generations learn from their past mistakes and grow in a better direction. Such as not being prejudice to certain ethnic groups as was done in the past.

The European Union was founded after World War II due to nations fearing one another. Some may believe the Union is doing well keeping the identity of Europe, while others such as Vladimir Putin believe the opposite. Putin wants the Union to represent the entire world with policies put in place to make a more unified Europe, as he believes there is a decline in culture and morals. While others believe the victory of Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, a transsexual bearded singer, at the Euro Vision song contest was a step in a unified Europe. This can relate to Gandhi’s view of imperialism, where the higher elite hold the power relations together. Putin wants the European Union, the structure put in place to have a common ground for all of the European countries, be the power to hold unity and have place policies representing a worldly joined belief system. Imperialism holds the view that there is a responsibility by the elite powering forces to allow their people to do well in the world. This can be seen through an acceptance of all groups and no stigma associated with someone’s sexuality.

It is believed European countries do not learn from their historical misconducts, referring to Europe engaging in similar political uncertainties and turmoil, including past wars and the Hitler regime. This point is described by some right winged leaders who believe the acceptance of the non-normative gendered standards is a decline in the culture, political leaders and moral duties of the European peoples. Through history Europe had held imperial rule through both hegemony and dominance. Dominant rule can be seen through the dominance of past wars of conquest and control of military power and threat. People accepted the rule of the elite encouraged through cultural acceptance and dominance between the relations of fear and politics. Hegemonic rule can be historically described through the trading positions between different European countries. Conchita is not replacing foreign policy of tolerance and a new way of thinking as Europe is still struggling with the identity of what to accept and what history has denied in the past to be acceptable.

Everyone has a particular bias on certain issues. This article showed that although historically and through religious affiliation the normative standards of gender ideals were set out, certain countries are changing their belief systems to a more unified worldly order to be more accepting and tolerant of differences. This is showing a true identity call for the European countries to help promote unification and botch past historical down falls.

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