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Back to the Postindustrial Future
An Ethnography of Germany's Fastest-Shrinking City
How does an urban community come to terms with the loss of its future? The former socialist model city of Hoyerswerda is an extreme case of a declining postindustrial city. Built to serve the GDR coal industry, it lost over half its population to outmigration after German reunification and the coal industry crisis, leading to the large-scale deconstruction of its cityscape. This book tells the story of its inhabitants, now forced to reconsider their futures. Building on recent theoretical work, it advances a new anthropological approach to time, allowing us to investigate the postindustrial era and the futures it has supposedly lost.
Subjects: General Anthropology Urban Studies
Bloom and Bust
Urban Landscapes in the East since German Reunification
Cliver, G. & Smith-Prei, C. (eds)
More than two decades of deconstruction, renovation, and reconstruction have left the urban environments in the former German Democratic Republic completely transformed. This volume considers the changing urban landscapes in the former East — and how the filling of previous absences and the absence of previous presence — creates the cultural landscape of modern unified Germany. This broadens our understanding of this transformation by examining often-neglected cities, spaces, or structures, and historical narration and preservation.
Subjects: Urban Studies General Cultural Studies
Pious Muslims in a German City
In the southern German city of Stuttgart lives a pious Muslim population that has merged with the local population to create a meaningful shared existence. In this ethnographic account, the author introduces and examines the lives of ordinary residents, neighborhoods, and mosque communities to analyze moments and spaces where Muslims and non-Muslims engage with each other and accommodate their respective needs. These accounts show that even in the face of resentment and discrimination, this pious population has indeed become an integral part of the urban community.
Subjects: Urban Studies Religion
Narratives in the Making
Writing the East German Past in the Democratic Present
Despite the three decades that have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the historical narrative of East Germany is hardly fixed in public memory, as German society continues to grapple with the legacies of the Cold War. This fascinating ethnography looks at two very different types of local institutions in one eastern German state that take divergent approaches to those legacies: while publicly funded organizations reliably cast the GDR as a dictatorship, a main regional newspaper offers a more ambivalent perspective colored by the experiences and concerns of its readers. As author Anselma Gallinat shows, such memory work—initially undertaken after fundamental regime change—inevitably shapes citizenship and democracy in the present.
Subjects: Postwar History General Anthropology
Difference and Diversity in a Changing Germany
Bock, J.-J. & Macdonald, S. (eds)
The arrival in 2015 and 2016 of over one million asylum seekers and refugees in Germany had major social consequences and gave rise to extensive debates about the nature of cultural diversity and collective life. This volume examines the responses and implications of what was widely seen as the most significant and contested social change since German reunification in 1990. It combines in-depth studies based on anthropological fieldwork with analyses of the longer trajectories of migration and social change. Its original conclusions have significance not only for Germany but also for the understanding of diversity and difference more widely.
When Will We Talk About Hitler?
German Students and the Nazi Past
For more than half a century, discourses on the Nazi past have powerfully shaped German social and cultural policy. Specifically, an institutional determination not to forget has expressed a “duty of remembrance” through commemorative activities and educational curricula. But as the horrors of the Third Reich retreat ever further from living memory, what do new generations of Germans actually think about this past? Combining observation, interviews, and archival research, this book provides a rich survey of the perspectives and experiences of German adolescents from diverse backgrounds, revealing the extent to which social, economic, and cultural factors have conditioned how they view representations of Germany’s complex history.