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

Chapters 1 › Unit 1: Do you feel like part of the 'Us' or the 'Them'? View instructions Hide instructions

Do you feel like part of the 'Us' or the 'Them'?

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Tell us: Where do you fall on the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ spectrum?

In this chapter, you've seen many examples of how diversity is understood and contested in Germany and Canada. We imagine you may want to comment on what you've heard and maybe even share your personal experiences. The 'Us' & 'Them' course community would love to hear from you:

Here are some guiding questions to draw from:

  • How is diversity perceived in your country?
  • How are the communities you identify with (race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender...) represented in media and public life?
  • What examples can you mention or find that indicate your inclusion or exclusion from mainstream society?
  • What experiences have you had where others perceived you in a certain way based on how you look or where you come from? Were these correct or incorrect?
  • Does your country recognize itself as a country of immigration and in which ways? Do you see your country as a country of immigration?

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.

Identification as "us" and "them"

1 comment

I'm working with refugees for nearly 2 years now. For me, people in first are people, no matter where they come from. But in my daily work I had to learn, that there are really differences in behavior and sights on daily questions, depending on where people grew up. Mostly, I'm trying not to identify with a special group, but try to understand and accept they backgound. My background is German. I was born here and lived here all my life. So, it seems, I habe to be a German. And that's how I look like: blond, casual dressed. "My" refugees don't have any problems with that. Problems I just hear by Germans: you can't go there like this,... So, for me, often Germans are "the others", because they are afraid of differences. Working with foreign people, I don't feel that differences. People from Africa, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraque and so on showed me their lifestyle, without any prejudice. So, in a special way, I feel, as I belong to them closer thank to my own german people with their prejudices.


Hi Daniela, I had a similar experience volunteering in a refugee shelter in Berlin. I have to admit I was a bit careful about not wearing very revealing clothing but I generally dressed normally for me and didn't have any problems during my year volunteering there. Actually, the opposite - I found with time, the women I volunteered for were curious about my lifestyle and background and wanted to discuss differences openly (for instance dating in Germany vs. Iraq).

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