Being both German and Other: Narratives of contested national identity among white and Turkish German young adults

Ursula Moffitt, Linda P. Juang, Moin Syed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent discursive research has built on Michael Billig's theory of banal nationalism, arguing that minoritized individuals who explicitly claim adherence to a national group may be further marginalized from a perceived majority who view such acts as socially undesirable. In Germany, a master narrative of muted national pride precludes hot nationalism, while a narrative of integration calls for overt national allegiance from anyone perceived as Other. Integration is demanded not only of recent immigrants, but also of the second generation and beyond, bolstering a related narrative of unquestioned Germanness as ethnically based. We conducted narrative analysis of interviews with white and Turkish German young adults to explore these master narratives, examining national identity through the lens of banal and hot nationalism. We found it is not only hot nationalism that marginalized Turkish German participants, but also the unrealizable narrative of integration. Situated within research into exclusionary notions of German identity, we argue that the integration demand reiterates the narrative of Germany as ethnically homogenous while fostering a feedback loop of contested belonging. With the recent increase in refugees and other immigrants, this critical examination of identity and belonging in Germany offers a timely and underexamined perspective to an important discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-896
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • German identity
  • National identity
  • Turkish German
  • banal nationalism
  • master narratives
  • narrative analysis

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