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Journal Articles Ethnicities Year : 2008

The ambivalent role of gender in redefining the German nation

Petra Rostock
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Sabine Berghahn
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Since the maxim of Germany as a non-immigration country was finally relinquished at the end of the 20 century, the country has struggled with redefining itself as an immigration society and inventing a modified national identity. Our article argues that gender has come to play a pivotal role in this process of redefining a `German' identity because it helps secure the `self' by creating the Muslim/migrant `other' as culturally different. Under the pretext of preventing women's rights violations, a renewed debate on integration and the duties of migrants is taking place. While we criticize the deployment of gender against the civic recognition of Muslims, violations of women's rights within minority groups do exist and must be combated. Our article offers some preliminary considerations as to how public agencies can intervene effectively against practices that are harmful to women, without in the process demonizing minority groups.
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hal-00571908 , version 1 (01-03-2011)



Petra Rostock, Sabine Berghahn. The ambivalent role of gender in redefining the German nation. Ethnicities, 2008, 8 (3), pp.345-364. ⟨10.1177/1468796808092447⟩. ⟨hal-00571908⟩


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