Das Grundgesetz als umkämpfte Ordnung. Deutungsmuster in der massenmedialen Berichterstattung anlässlich der Jubiläumstage des Grundgesetzes

Gary S. Schaal, Claudia Ritzi


The capitulation of the Nazi government on May 8th, 1945 marks the beginning of the German postwar-period, which is the subject of this article. This date is often called "Stunde Null" ("zero hour"), because it represents a new beginning for the German people after the total breakdown. As such, there remained very little on which they could build, or in which they could believe. In this situation, the "Grundgesetz" – the new German constitution – became an important symbol for the Federal Republic of Germany. We show with the help of a qualitative analysis of newspaper coverage from each of the constitution’s anniversaries that while in the beginning most people were doubtful about the Grundgesetz, it became more and more respected and is today widely appreciated. The results are theoretically positioned in the context of symbolic power and "Deutungsmacht" – the power to influence the general public’s interpretation of political institutions.


Nachkriegsordnung; Grundgesetz; Massenmedien; Deutungsmacht



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2010.3.1.700