• Germany's news in English
 

Study: Older, educated Germans fill protests

The Local · 2 Feb 2013, 12:37

Published: 02 Feb 2013 12:37 GMT+01:00

The “Institute for Democracy Research” sent investigators out to the occupy movement tent cities and to the Stuttgart 21 anti-railroad protest as well as to citizen’s initiative protests against construction projects and to anti-nuclear energy demonstrations, said newspaper theFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The group found that engineers had replaced social workers in demonstrations and more often than not the activists were male, pensioners or about to be, well educated and either not religious or at most protestant. The group released its report on Wednesday.

“Protestors in Germany come from those who do not have children,” the report said. It said this group was expected to expand between 2015 and 2035, as hundreds of thousands of highly motivated and educated pensioners take to the streets.

The study showed that protests – except when they are about educational topics – are dominated by men. Whoever expected protestors to mainly include those from the lower ranks of the socio-economic rankings would be disappointed.

The researchers found that the average German protestor is “above all a person with a high level of education, with a regular, normally good, income with good social connections and often with a challenging career.”

More than half of those queried were university graduates. It was hard to find the so-called underprivileged, the researchers said.

This is quite different than the protest scene of the 1970s, which was dominated by social science professions. The institute theorized that since many of today’s protests deal with energy, city planning and construction projects, people with technical professions, like engineers, are more likely to protest.

They can show up not only as objective experts, but through their training can produce confident and precise alternatives to what is trying to be pushed through, the report said.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:36 February 2, 2013 by pepsionice
In a perfect society, why would anyone bother to protest?

If you walk around a hundred Germans....ninety of them would have almost no reason to protest anything. The remaining ten? The folks might protest on something like Stuttgart-21, or taxes, or expansion of the Frankfurt airport, or foreigners in the country, or jobs....but that's just about it. The under-21 crowd have little to complain about.
13:47 February 2, 2013 by smart2012
Pepsionice is Deutschland über alles. There are plenty of things to complain in Germany. Work conditions got worse and worse, and temp agency and 400 euro jobs are crap. Money are less, and housing price is so high that u can hardly survive.

Dictators always tried to keep their people uneducated. Cause they knew that te problem could be represented by educated people. This easily explains the article.

Second, Germans are not a protestor country, as they just follow. This is good for the politician, not good for the people. Example. Hitler
13:50 February 2, 2013 by Eric1
Only people with too much time on their hands, living on the labor of others, have time for such non-sense.
21:33 February 2, 2013 by melbournite
"Second, Germans are not a protestor country, as they just follow."

You obviously have never heard of the Rotfrontkämpferbund or the Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund or know that the German Greens were the first Green party in the world in government
00:13 February 3, 2013 by smart2012
Melbourneville, sorry but it is a fact that Germans are followers, history told it already many times. And if 70% of Germans read Bild without telling Bild is crap there will be a reason
00:16 February 3, 2013 by GuidoGoth
Pensioners are the only group with enough time to protest.

HtH
01:51 February 3, 2013 by yllusion
@smart2012 These arguments that date back to Hitler are starting to be unfair and outdated, since today's generation has little to do with people from those times. And the world has changed quite significantly since. It is fairly clear to me that the germans are a very proactive society compared to others in Europe. I see gatherings, reunions, manifestations and protests about many different topics, even morally questionable topics such as the one we have seen recently here at the Local about zoophiles. In many other countries people just sit on their couches and say "meh.. this is the country we have, life sucks". And that is exactly the reason why they are lagging behind countries like Germany.
04:17 February 3, 2013 by vonSchwerin
"more likely an older, well-educated engineer or scientist"

Maybe they are bored '68ers and young pensioners, looking to spend their silver years trying to recapture the enthusiasm and idealism of their youth.

Meanwhile, German Gen-Xers are busing working hard to establish themselves in their jobs, raising families, and dealing with the everyday issues.
08:35 February 3, 2013 by melbournite
@smart2012 I just gave you three examples of years long struggle by Germans against their government (including one against the NAZIs), and you just gave an unsupported assertion. As if people anywhere are in control of their governments. Are Italians to blame for Mussolini, or the Spanish for Franco?
10:57 February 3, 2013 by raandy
melbournite or martin, those were good examples, thanks for the info.
19:32 February 3, 2013 by Englishted
Sadly nearly every protest in German is a green issue ,and judging from who they say protest no wonder social issues don't get a look in.
05:25 February 4, 2013 by RainerL
Yeah! Obviously out of a Job or being paid to do nothing but being neusance. If these People where earning their crust then they would not have the time to do what they are doing.
22:47 February 4, 2013 by zeddriver
If they feel guilty about their success. They should buy their neighbor a Prius.

Of course they have a lot of time on their hands. Don't they have about 2 months worth of holidays here. Nobody seems to be at work in August.
Today's headlines
Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase
Photo: DPA

Criminal had time for pit stop in 20-cop-car chase

37 minutes ago

With 21 police cars and a helicopter hot on his heels, it seemed unlikely that police in Düsseldorf would fail to catch one rogue motorist. But after a two-hour pursuit, that's exactly what happened in the early hours of Friday.

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?
The Greek debt crisis has been haunting German dreams. Source: Wikipedia

What's keeping Germans awake at night in 2015?

18 hours ago

Having to cough up for the excesses of spendthrift southern Europeans is the fear most likely to haunt German nightmares in 2015. But getting caught up in a natural disaster isn't far behind, an annual survey shows.

This Week in History
The death of a great humanitarian
Schweitzer spent most of his later years at Lambaréné. Photo: DPA

The death of a great humanitarian

23 hours ago

On September 4th 1965, the world lost one of its most dedicated and tireless humanitarians, as Albert Schweitzer died in the African hospital he had created and cherished for over 50 years. A hospital that continues to save lives today.

Refugee crisis
Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1
Die Ärzte singer and drummer Bela B. with a DVD titled "not interested in Nazis" in 2009. Photo: DPA

Pro-refugee group push punk classic to no. 1

2 hours ago

Under the banner of "Arsehole Action", activists campaigning against xenophobia and hatred of refugees have pushed a 1993 hit by punk band Die Ärzte mocking the far right to the top of Germany's charts.

Refugee Crisis
Orban: Muslims threaten European identity
Viktor Orban, guardian of Europe? Photo: DPA

Orban: Muslims threaten European identity

3 hours ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned Thursday that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent's Christian roots - an idea rejected by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare
Football fans set of a flare. File Photo: DPA

Football fan given 18 months for lighting flare

3 hours ago

Germany is continuing its zero tolerance approach to football supporters lighting flares in Bundesliga grounds after a Schalke supporter was jailed for 18 months on Thursday with no parole.

US Army workers found guilty of sexual assault
Ramstein Air Base. Photo: DPA

US Army workers found guilty of sexual assault

4 hours ago

Two American men working at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany sexually assaulted a German teenager in 2013, a US district court jury ruled on Thursday.

Whiff of foul play in Cologne mayoral election
An electoral poster next to Cologne Cathedral. Photo: DPA

Whiff of foul play in Cologne mayoral election

23 hours ago

Did the Social Democratic Party (SPD) deliberately skew voting slips in Cologne's mayoral elections to hand their candidate an advantage?

Refugee crisis
Five ways you can help refugees in Germany
Woman bring clothing donations to a German Red Cross station in Heidenau, scene of anti-refugee demonstrations last weekend. Photo: DPA

Five ways you can help refugees in Germany

21 hours ago

The Local's pointers for how to get started if you're interested in donating your money, unwanted possessions, time or skills to help refugees in Germany.

FC Bayern takes refugee kids under its wing
Players will walk into the Allianz Arena hand-in-hand with young refugees on September 12th. Photo: DPA

FC Bayern takes refugee kids under its wing

21 hours ago

FC Bayern Munich said on Thursday that it would help young refugees learn German and play football and donate €1m of the proceeds from an upcoming friendly match.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,888
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd