The Changing Faces of Citizenship

The Changing Faces of Citizenship: Integration and Mobilization among Ethnic Minorities in Germany

Joyce Marie Mushaben
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 364
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  • Book Info
    The Changing Faces of Citizenship
    Book Description:

    In contrast to most migration studies that focus on specific "foreigner" groups in Germany, this study simultaneously compares and contrasts the legal, political, social, and economic opportunity structures facing diverse categories of the ethnic minorities who have settled in the country since the 1950s. It reveals the contradictory, and usually self-defeating, nature of German policies intended to keep "migrants" out-allegedly in order to preserve a German Leitkultur (with which very few of its own citizens still identify). The main barriers to effective integration-and socioeconomic revitalization in general-sooner lie in the country's obsolete labor market regulations and bureaucratic procedures. Drawing on local case studies, personal interviews, and national surveys, the author describes "the human faces" behind official citizenship and integration practices in Germany, and in doing so demonstrates that average citizens are much more multi-cultural than they realize.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-038-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. 1-10)

    In 1985, I began to explore the contours of national identity in the Federal Republic, based on the belief that generational change had played a compelling role in the democratization of German political culture after 1945. Few of my interview partners at the time believed that they possessed a West German identity, as Theo Sommer ofDie Zeitconfessed to me in 1992. In fact, I discovered a wide assortment of “FRG” identities, rooted in generational change.¹

    I secured funding for a parallel study of East German identity in 1988 but was unable to start that project until 1989. Few...

  6. CHAPTER 1 CITIZENSHIP, NATIONALITY, IDENTITY: Community Interfacing Reconsidered
    (pp. 11-43)

    Riding the Number 148 bus along Potsdamer Street to the newStaatsbibliotheknear the Wall, I started to notice dramatic changes in the neighborhoods I passed through daily during my two years at the Free University of Berlin (1977–1979). In 1983 I wrote an article on problems of sociocultural integration among “guestworkers” in Germany but moved on to research a burgeoning anti-nuclear movement. I found the article in a basement file cabinet when I returned to St. Louis in 2002, following six months of field research in Berlin. The essay stressed the German Catch-22 of migration, applied to anyone...

  7. CHAPTER 2 THE INVISIBLE MAN (AND WOMAN): Permanently Provisional Guestworkers
    (pp. 44-87)

    It wasn’t all that long ago that Turkish street-fighters took on neo-Nazis, soccer hooligans, and other “power boys” after unification to assert their manhood, demonstrate ethnic solidarity, and exercise a bit of neighborhood control. The last decade has seen new street clashes and a societal race to the bottom among Turkish, Arab, and post-Soviet “repatriate” youth. Used to occupying the last rung on the social-mobility ladder, Turkish gangs claim it’s their turn for special treatment, now that East Germans have gotten a piece of the pie. Despite questionable tactics, their claims seem justifiable, given their long residency, consumer habits, and...

  8. CHAPTER 3 BLOOD VERSUS BIRTHPLACE: Ethnic-German “Resettlers” from East/Central Europe
    (pp. 88-126)

    Since 1949, the Federal Republic has adhered to a concept of citizenship grounded in not one but two myths of return. The first, based on the assumption that guestworkers would return to their countries of origin once their labor was no longer needed, is actually the more recent of the two. Older still is the belief that a common German heritage, rooted primarily in language, would sustain a strong organic bond among peoples separated, inter alia, by two world wars.¹ Since its founding, the Federal Republic has admitted three distinct waves of coethnic migrants. These three groups have differed significantly...

  9. CHAPTER 4 CHANGING PLACES, TEMPORARY FACES: Religion, Refugees, and Diasporas
    (pp. 127-169)

    Elegant in its simplicity, Article 16 of the Basic Law proclaimed without qualification: “Persons persecuted on political grounds enjoy the right to asylum.” Rooted in efforts to atone for its crimes against humanity under National Socialism, Germany’s unqualified promise to harbor victims of persecution stood as one of the world’s most generous asylum laws for four decades. The practice of asylum was not immune to Cold War influences, however. Definitions ofpolitical persecutionvaried significantly from east to west. The Federal Republic opened its doors to persons oppressed for advocating free speech/assembly, the right to organize parties/elections, independent media, and...

  10. CHAPTER 5 LEARNING-BY-DOING: Ethnic Enclaves and Economic Integration in Berlin
    (pp. 170-221)

    The ubiquitous presence of pizza, döner kebab, and Asian-noodle stands throughout Germany makes it very clear that guestworkers have redefined the culinary tastes of most citizens since the 1960s. By 2001 there were more than fifteen hundred Italian, seven hundred Chinese, fifty-six Indian, and fifty Thai restaurants, not to mention fifty McDonald’s franchises in Berlin alone. Less apparent is the extent to which ethnic foods have generated a plethora of spinoff industries, leaving an even bigger mark on the German economy. Indeed, the country’s fiscal well-being relies heavily on the continuing economic activities of ethnic entrepreneurs, despite myths portraying them...

  11. CHAPTER 6 CHICKEN OR EGG? Citizenship, Social Integration, and Political Participation
    (pp. 222-271)

    The new millennium saw the enactment of a 1999 law entitling children born on German soil to automatic citizenship. The first person to benefit was Seyma Kurt, the daughter of Turkish parents Mesut and Saliha Kurt, born on 1 January 2000 in Berlin. Seyma’s father was likewise born and raised in Berlin, making her directly eligible and allowing her parents to naturalize under less restrictive conditions.

    Acquiring formal citizenship does not guarantee active political participation,however, as demonstrated by the Spätaussiedler. Participation has its own prerequisites: a sense of national identification, political loyalty, social commitment, and a belief in one’s ability...

    (pp. 272-316)

    The decade following German unification fundamentally redefined the attitudes of average citizens regarding the age-old question: What does it mean to be German? Three historical breaks with the past have triggered changes. in national identity at such a rapid pace that some citizens seek certainty by (re)imagining the nation as an immutable, cultural absolute. Others welcome an opportunity to exchange their Germannes—and the historical burdens it carries—in favor of EU passports. For the youngest cohorts, the reconfiguration of German identity has been breathtakingly normal. The first major break, effected in grand style when the Wall fell in 1989,...

    (pp. 317-318)
    (pp. 319-336)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 337-348)