Rethinking 'Us' & 'Them': Integration and Diversity in Europe

Chapters 2 › Unit 2: Who to you is a 'real German' (or anything else)? View instructions Hide instructions

Who to you is a 'real German' (or anything else)?

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Tell us: Who to you is a 'real German' (or Spaniard, Brit, Canadian, or anything else!)

In this chapter, you've been given a lot of food for thought on identity and belonging as it is understood on the personal and academic levels in Europe, Canada, and beyond. This is a topic that has likely hit home for many of you who may or may not be tied to particular borders, have questions or concerns about who belongs in your society, or may still be unsure about the whole thing. The 'Us' & 'Them' course community would love to hear from you:

Here are some guiding questions to draw from:

  • What do you think the criteria should be for becoming a 'real' citizen or resident of your country?
  • What makes you a 'real' anything? (German, American, Spaniard, Turk, etc.)?
  • Do you see a cognitive vs. emotional dissonance in the way your society sees immigration, belonging, citizenship, etc.?
  • How do you identify with the word 'multiculturalism'? Do you see yourself or your society as multicultural?
  • Who is represented as nationals or residents of your country in public life?
  • How do politicians and public figures in your society or country portray multiculturalism? As a good, bad, or normal thing? What about schools and museums?
  • What type of language do you use to talk about the 'Other' or what kind of language do you prefer others use in reference to you? (e.g. migration background vs. migration history, 'Turkish-German' or 'German with Turkish roots', etc.)

Now what?
Click 'Start in Journal', and fill out the entry. How you do this is up to you: You can use just words, or add pictures or links to articles or videos to highlight your point!

Is this journal assignment required?
No! Nothing in our course is 'required', and there are no grades, but we encourage you to reflect on these topics and share if you feel comfortable, so that others in the course can benefit from your experiences.

Real Brazilian?


What is a real brazilian is a really funny question. "real" identities can exist but hardly be identified. In Brazil we have indigenous people, african people, european people (fro Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland and Netherlands, for instance), we have Sunni and Shiite Arabs living together, we have the second most japanese largest population outside Japan. Well, commonly think that the Brazilian is lazy and smart, the "malandro", and that he likes soccer and carnival. I personally live in a region where almost anybody likes samba or carnival. Finally i don't think tthat exist a real brazilian or real german


over 1 year ago

Oi Carolina, tudo bem?
I also think that Brazil is such a big and rich country, it's more like a hole continent! Love for football, music and carnival is a good point where Brazil and Germany meet (at least in the Western regions where carnival is also considered the "fifth seanson").

These are all interesting observations. Based on what you're saying, Brazilian is a complicated thing. But what comes to mind when you close your eyes and think of Brazil? Then, of a Brazilian? Sometimes stereotypes are more powerful than we think, and pulling out our stereotypes can be a good exercise.

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