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 German"


There is no "real German" or whatever "real something" there might be.
A person is born in a country, grows up in one or many and gets socialized by their family, friends and societies they live in. This gives each and every person a unique sociocultural background. One could actually say that each person is multicultural as soon as a person gets into contact with other people.
The only person who can decide whether or not he* or she* is a "real something" is the person itself!
I am German and feel German, because I am born in Germany, my parents and grandparents were born here, I grew up in Germany speaking just German and mostly hanging out with other German speaking people, I got socialized in Germany and although I lived abroad at least 3 years of my life I have so many characteristics that might fit to a "typical" Germany Person, but there are at least as many, that would not fit at all. Just to give you an example: I always try to be punctual and hate to be late, but I do not like Bratwurst or Beer.
So yes, I would define myself a German Globetrotter but I am just one German out of millions!
But what I am, just like every other peron on / from this planet is a real HUMAN BEEING!

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