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Humanitarian immigration and German national identity in the media

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Immigration can be an important component in the formation of national identity. I draw on Hegelian dialectics to interpret media debate of the recent German immigration law and the role of humanitarian immigration in constructing Germany's national identity. A discourse analysis examines 609 articles published in five daily newspapers between 2001 and 2005. The media represents the German state as safeguarding human rights and international law, but a truncated dialectical process fails to resolve the boundary between the national self and the refugee and asylum seeking Other.

Keywords: Germany; Hegel; dialectics; humanitarian immigration; media; national identity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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