Integrating the Other

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Muro, Denise R
discourse; Germany; integration; refugees; Other International and Area Studies; Politics and Social Change
thesis / dissertation description
While Europe has become a destination goal for millions of displaced persons, Germany is unique for the drastic growth of their accepted refugee and asylum seeker population over the past few years. The influx of asylum seekers and refugees has sparked public conversation about belonging and integration, and this research investigates to what extent discursive framings of citizenship, nationhood, Self, and Other impact the integration of contemporary asylum seekers and refugees in Germany. Based on fieldwork in Berlin during 2016, participant observation, 44 interviews with asylum seekers, refugees, and those who work closely with them, and discourse analysis, findings suggest that the challenges of integration are further complicated by assumptions about identity that are communicated through discursive framings of citizenship, nationhood, Self, and Other. Within this context, refugees are consistently patronized or criminalized to such an extent that they cannot become part of German society, despite constant pressure to integrate.