Ordinary Places of Postmigrant Societies: Dealing with Difference in West and East German Neighbourhoods

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Ordinary Places of Postmigrant Societies: Dealing with Difference in West and East German Neighbourhoods


  • Karin Wiest Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany


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Abstract:  The starting point of the contribution is the question of how the dynamics of social encounters in the city are shaped by specific migration histories, local discourses, economies and policies. Against this background, the article analyses the perceptions and localised practices in dealing with social difference and diversity in a comparison of East and West German neighbourhoods. However, this is not about a hierarchizing evaluation, but about understanding urban encounters in the migration society as contestations of social and class recognition, which are played out at different levels and in specific urban places. Based on narrative interviews and field observations, it is shown how urban coexistence is experienced and negotiated in everyday settings between routines and new conflicts. A postmigrant perspective—as a heuristic point of entry—aims to take hegemonic understandings of societal belonging and exclusion under migration-related conditions into question.

Keywords:  diversity; East Germany; encounter; postmigration; West Germany

Published:   28 July 2020


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v5i3.2960


© Karin Wiest. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.