„Wer darf Deutsch sein?”: the Racialization and Integration of Refugees in Germany
Opitz, Ellen Christina
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This thesis addresses problems with the integration of refugees in Germany, specifically focusing on refugees as the constitutive other to a popularly perceived white German identity. The purpose of this thesis is to highlight the resiliency of refugees and suggest ways refugees and Germans can successfully live together. The qualitative data in this thesis consists of anecdotes from refugees collected through ethnographic participant-observation research conducted in August 2017. A review of German literature and current articles represents the governmental and public German perspective. The theory of performativity is used to analyze the bordering practices of racialization and othering. In addition, the author argues that refugees engage in acts of citizenship as a way to resist racialization and xenophobia. The author believes that white ethnic German citizens should actively investigate their own Whiteness and the isolation from integration efforts that their privilege affords them. In order for Germany to collectively move forward, all members of German society, whether white or person of color, immigrant or ethnic native-born German, asylum seeker or German citizen, must attempt to identify in solidarity with their fellow neighbors and demand equitable treatment and equal access to rights under German law.