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Title: Perceiving Germanness : changing concepts of German culture and history as seen from abroad : Swedish and an American perspective
Author: Tellenbach Uttman, M. A. K.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2004
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The aim of this study was to investigate the dynamics of perceptions of Germanness during the last hundred years, from a Swedish and an American perspective, and how time and distance affect ethnic identity, as experienced from without and within. Field research was undertaken in two places during a year: Milwaukee in Wisconsin, United States and Sweden as a whole. These two choices were considered as good examples of different connections to Germany and Germans, and influences of Germanness, and constituted a relevant comparison. The material was collected through participant observation, interviews, archive material such as personal documents and old newspapers. The research was explorative through empirical methods, and the data collected is of qualitative character. This thesis has brought out some interesting and important aspects of identity, and more specifically about perceiving Germanness. Perceptions have emerged in both static images, and dynamic processes of events or developments in history. The world wars caused damage to German identity, especially the First World War to Germanness in America. The Second World War, and especially the Holocaust, has had a great effect in both countries. But also less dramatic events influenced perceptions of Germanness. At the same time as perceptions have changed completely due to certain events, there have been parallel perceptions upheld by different groups in society. Many of the stereotyped ideas of Germanness have been the same during the last hundred years, and changes in perceptions have often stayed within similar categories. Certain events or processes have made it difficult to be German at times, but expressing ethnic identity also depends on social developments such as multiculturalism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available