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

05 Jul 2017, 08:25 AM
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.

Us and Them

1 comment

New Zealand is only just waking up to diversity. The last census showed that one in four in Auckland were not NZ born. Diversity seems to be focused on ethnicity mainly as this is the 'problem' the media has been highlighting.
I am white and English speaking. There were plenty of people similar to me when I started living in NZ in 1987. There were a few Chinese, Fijian Indian, Maori and Pacific Islanders. I was the white European who, being form London was disappointed at the limited ethnic diversity in NZ at that time. It was easy to outwardly fit in, but I often had to work hard at fitting in with the culture of New Zealand. I say I am an English person living in NZ.I realize I am accepted more easily than other migrants, but I still don't want to be a New Zealander.It is not me. So I am both us and them.
Assumption is made that as NZ and UK have the same Govt structure and language, they are the same. They are not. Histories and cultures are very different. NZ is Pasifika in many ways. UK is traditional.
NZ is a country of immigration. It cannot deny it. The change has been rapid. It is trying to get the mix right, but I feel the emotional benefits achieved through more integration, acceptance, and an anti-rumour strategy could be focused on more.


"one in four in Auckland were not NZ born." - sounds like Berlin (where our team is based)!

You bring up the important point of privilege and how diversity is perceived depending on where you are from, what color skin you have, what language you speak, etc. This is something that comes up in later chapters of the course in regards to youth in Germany with particular migration backgrounds and integration courses in Germany being mandatory for some groups and not others.

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