Theses Doctoral

Inclusive National Belonging - Intercultural Performances in the “World-Open” Germany

Burnside, Bruce Snedegar

This dissertation explores what it means to belong in Berlin and Germany following a significant change in the citizenship laws in 2000, which legally reoriented the law away from a “German” legal identity rooted in blood-descent belonging to a more territorially-based conception. The primary goal is to understand attempts at performing inclusive belonging by the state and other actors, with mostly those of “foreign heritage” at the center, and these attempts’ pitfalls, opportunities, challenges, and strange encounters. It presents qualitative case studies to draw attention to interculturality and its related concepts as they manifest in a variety of contexts. This study presents a performance analysis of a ceremony at a major national museum project and utilizes a discursive analysis of the national and international media surrounding a unique controversy about soccer and Islam. The study moves to a peripheral neighborhood in Berlin and a marginal subject, a migration background Gymnasium student, who featured prominently in an expose about failing schools, using interviews and a text analysis to present competing narratives. Finally it examines the intimate, local view of a self-described “intercultural” after-school center aimed at migration-background girls, drawing extensively on ethnographic interviews and media generated by the girls.These qualitative encounters help illuminate how an abstract and often vague set of concepts within the intercultural paradigm becomes tactile when encountering those for whom it was intended.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Ewing, Katherine
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 28, 2020