Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration

Humanitarian Immigration and German National Identity in the Media

TitleHumanitarian Immigration and German National Identity in the Media
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBauder, H.
Journal TitleNational Identities
Place PublishedLondon, UK
Type of WorkMonographic journal article
1) Abstract

Using the Hegelian concept of dialectics, the article investigates how German national identity is constructed and reinforced within the debate of humanitarian immigration. The research indicates that the media represents the German state positively whereas origin states of refugees and asylum seekers are constructed as deficient. Secondly, the integration of humanitarian immigrants is not debated in the media.

2.1) Publication LanguageEnglish
2.2) Type & Structure


2.3) Original Research or Not


3.1) Main Issues

The research found that there were two core narratives of humanitarian immigration: one of legal obligation and one of moral obligation. Within these narratives, the German state is constructed positively as protecting human rights and upholding international law and the origin state is constructed negatively as deficient (for example in protecting rights, allowing torture) which, in turn, also reinforces German national identity by negating the other. Furthermore, the German media do not look to consider the integration of foreigners and so, the boundary between self (German national identity) and other (refugees and asylum seekers) is maintained.

3.2) Media

609 articles from five daily newspapers (Bild Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and Die Tageszeitung Articles were taken from between July 2001 to August 2005 and were searched for using the keyword 'immigration law'. Articles were then coded so that only articles with a focus on humanitarian immigration could be selected.

3.3) Media Genres

Newspaper articles

3.4) Key Theories

Discourse analysis
Hegelian dialectics

4.1) Relevance

Moderate relevance. Although the article's focus is on German national identity, it may be useful in understanding the positioning of certain German newspapers on the topic of immigration.

Keywordscontent, discourse, discrimination, Germany, language, representation
Tagsdialectics, Germany, humanitarian immigration, National Identity