'Good foreigners': second generation German Koreans in Germany, Germanness, foreignness and the limits of integration
Simone Hary (University of Sussex)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
West Germany recruited South Korean nurses and miners during the 1970s as labour migrants. Today, they and their children constitute the largest South Korean minority in Europe. Until recently Germany's immigration policies were based on the notion of descent, defining 'Germanness' in terms of sanguinity, whilst working towards cultural integration of migrant groups. On the surface German-Koreans have integrated successfully. They may be contrasted positively with the Turks, but both groups are, ultimately "foreigners". Nowhere does this become so apparent as in incidents where non-ethnic Germans become aware of the majority society's implicit belief in a racial definition of Germanness (as white), and consequently, the degree to which they are excluded from recognition as fully German because of their phenotypical distinctiveness. These experiences of non-ethnic Germans reveal the limitations and insufficiencies of the integration discourse and the prevailing definitions of Germanness, which identify them as 'the other'. Hence, while they are 'good', they remain 'foreign' and never quite arrive in Germany.
One face, one race? Rethinking race and citizenship in a changing Europe