This research explores the experiences young 2nd generation Turkish migrants living in Germany have made with everyday multiculturalism. A special focus is laid on how this multiculturalism is reflected in different social layers, how it influences their feelings of belonging and the self-perception of their role in society. By conducting semi-structured interviews with five 2nd generation Turkish migrants, it was found that the interviewees generally perceived mundane multiculturalism as positive, but were aware of negative discourses and prejudices against immigrants prevalent in some layers of the German society. These were also partially reproduced in self-identifications and descriptions of other individuals with a migration background. It was illustrated how practices of othering are sometimes employed by both native Germans and the interviewees to distance themselves from each other, as well as to create a distance to other individuals of Turkish background. Social networks were found to include individuals with similar education levels and interests rather than those of Turkish descent. Despite often presenting the Turkish and German culture in dichotomous terms, the interviewees combined aspects of both cultures in their self-identifications through processes of negotiation, which led to individual hybrid conceptions of these cultures. The research ́s findings indicate the complexities of the interviewees ́ feelings of belonging.
Author: H. Wiegel (2014)