Imaginings of identity: the construction of national identity in German integration discourses in print news media, 2010-2015

Benedikt, Anja Christina ORCID: 0000-0001-5177-7854 (2020). Imaginings of identity: the construction of national identity in German integration discourses in print news media, 2010-2015. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the discursive constructions of national identity in (migrant) integration discourses in the German print news media between 2010-2015 and examines whether these constructions are inclusionary or exclusionary to migrants/ethnic minorities. Drawing on the interdisciplinary, multi-theoretical and multi-methodological framework of critical discourse analysis, I approach discourse as social practice and as a ‘discursive battlefield’, in which powerful actors construct national identity based on dominant ideologies and unequal power structures. Through an extensive analysis of the German media, I examine constructions of national identity and test two theories as to whether they can explain the inclusionary/exclusionary nature of identified boundary drawings. The key argument is that recent constructions of German national identity are rather exclusionary and show remarkable (historical) continuity despite different situational contexts. The findings further illustrate that constructions of national identity are inherently based on the co-constitutive nature of the ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’, and that a more inclusionary approach cannot solely focus on improving the representation of ‘Others’ but needs to break from existing dialectics. Moreover, while the explanatory value of the two theories is confirmed, I argue that a further mechanism for theorising the inclusionary/exclusionary nature of German reactions towards diversity is required.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races


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