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Viola-Donata Rauch

Lupe [1]

viola.rauch@metropolitanstudies.de [2]

Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS)
TU Berlin
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, TEL 3-0
10587 Berlin

  • Dissertation
  • Lebenslauf
  • Publikationen, Vorträge etc.


"Me, Myself and the City: Urban Identifications and Negotiations of Belonging of Children of Immigrants in Berlin"

Children of immigrants and their position in society have become the subject of both public concern and academic scrutiny in recent years. More than their immigrant parents, they have come to represent the diversity of contemporary societies and the challenges associated with this. In the German context they have become a focal point of the broader „integration debate".

This debate, especially so with regard to children of immigrants, is characterized by an abundance of negative urban images, resulting in a conceptualization of the city as ghetto (Vgl. Stehle 2006), site of failure of integration or stage for conflict and crime. Somewhat surprisingly, children of immigrants have developed a counter-narrative by increasingly making use of urban identifications to position themselves in the discourse. By stressing their self-identification as Berliners, they are countering the popular image of the generation „sitting on the fence" and ascribe a central role in their identity construction to the city.

Even though such urban identifications have been surfacing in numerous studies on children of immigrants (among many, Kasinitz et al 2008, Mannitz 2006, TIES Study) little is known about nature, characteristics and potentials of them, as Schiffauer has noted recently (2008, chap.4).

The study examines expressions of identifications as Berliners, such as autobiographical text, song lyrics, public statements in politics, representations in online communities and other narratives. In a next step, those identifications are further explored through biographical interviews focusing on construction processes and the linkages to (othering) discourses on the group and other identifications available to them.

It is argued here that the self-identification as Berliner offers a way to reconcile elements that are routinely conceptualized as contradictory and expressions of either German or Turkish „culture", and to constructively deal with ambivalence and conflict resulting from marginalization as Others. Furthermore, it offers an individual mode of representation as alternative to or complementation of national, religious or ethnic identifications that are often exclusive and predefined in their nature. The Berlin identifications are analysed as boundary making (Alba 2006, Wimmer 2008) as they challenge the existing topography of ethnic boundaries and open up alternative spaces for negotiating of belonging.


ab 2011
Stipendiatin des Migration Studies Programms der Bucerius- ZEIT-Stiftung Hamburg
Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin DFG Dissertations-Stipendium im Transatlantischen Graduiertenkolleg

Stipendiatin der Deutsch-Türkischen Zukunftswerkstatt für Geisteswissenschaftler II des Goethe-Instituts und der Middle East Technical University in Ankara.

Fellow im EU Programm FUTURE: "Future Urban Research in Europe"
zum Thema 2008: "Ethnically Diverse City" an der Bauhaus-Uni Weimar. FUTURE ist ein europaweites Forschungsnetzwerk zur Zukunft der europäischen Stadt.

UN HABITAT Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya
Projektarbeit, Carlo-Schmid- Stipendium (DAAD / Deutsche Studienstiftung)

Technische Universität Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin
Magisterabschluß in Soziologie und Ethnologie

Stipendiatin der Studienförderung

United Nations Headquarters Office, UN HABITAT Office, NYC, USA
Praktikum, DAAD-Stipendium

Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie
Tutorenstelle mit Lehraufgaben

New School University, NYC, USA
Graduate Study am Department of Sociology, mit Schwerpunkt Urban Ethnography, DAAD-Jahresstipendium

Freie Universität Berlin
Grundstudiumsabschluß in Soziologie und Ethnologie

Kreuzberg Museum Berlin (Senat Berlin)
Praktikum und Projektassistenz, Planung und Koordination einer Quartiersausstellung

Publikationen, Vorträge etc.


"Be Berlin? Perspektiven mit Migrationsgeschichte auf das heutige Berlin" im Rahmen der Sommerakademie "Städtische Minderheiten in Europa" der Leibniz-Universität Hannover, September 2010.

"A Berliner is not a Berliner- Investigating urban identifications of descendants of immigrants", RC21 session: "The Impact of Im/migration on Urban Culture, Public Arts and Public Space", International Sociological Association World Congress, Gothenburg, July 2010.

"You talkin' to me? Narratives of belonging and protest"
European City Project 2010: Ethnicity in the City, organized by Multicultural Center Prague, Berlin, June 2010.

"Berlin als Antwort. Stadt als individuelle Positionierung und diskursiver Raum der Aushandlung von Zugehörigkeit heute", Emergeandsee-Festival 2010, Berlin, June 2010.

"The m-word: urban identifications of Berliners with 'migration background' ", City&Migration Seminar 2010, CMS/Finland Institute, Berlin, May 2010.

"Close Proximity, Contiguity, Neighborhood. Notes on concepts of German-Turkish Nachbarschaft and belonging" Symposium, Goethe-Institut, Middle-East Technical University, Ankara, Dezember 2009.

"Negotiating a different Germany: children of immigrants from Turkey engage in current discourses around integration and diversity" at Deutsch-Türkische Zukunftswerkstatt II des Goethe-Instituts, Middle-East Technical University, Ankara, Dezember 2009.

"Belonging vs. 'Integration': discourses around and positionings of descendants of immigrants today", at "Migration In Cities: Focus on ethnic groups" Conference, Finland Institute, Dublin, November 2009.

"Whatever Happened to the City? On the Urban Dimension of Second Generation Research", at City Matters Symposium, AHRC  / CRONEM Conference 2009: "Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions", University of Surrey, June 2009.

"When the Other Side of the City talks Back -
Urban identifications of children of immigrants as mode of intervention in othering discourses", Workshop "All quiet on the wrong side of the tracks?", CMS, June 2009.

"Turkish? German? Berliner! The second generation negotiates belonging and self-representations in the city" at "Self-Representation & the City" at City Session, Second Generation Research Dialogues, CMS, January 2009.

"More Than An Urban Stage. The City's Impact on Self-Representation of Children of Immigrants in Berlin", FUTURE Research Network Konferenz, Bauhaus Universität Weimar, November 2008.

„Migration and Integration. Diskurse in Deutschland und den USA“ im Rahmen des Seminarprogramms der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Bonn, 2005.

„Women Migrants in Germany“ Input statement beim UniFemme IA meeting, UN Headquarters, New York, 2005.

„Second generation Turkish migrants in Berlin“ auf der SASE (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics) Jahrestagung, Budapest, 2005.


"Rethinking the Future of the German-Turkish Nexus", Organisation und Moderation der Dritten Deutsch-Türkischen Zukunftswerkstatt, veranstaltet vom Goethe Institut Ankara und der Middle East Technical Universität Ankara, Kappadokien, September 2010.

"Multicultural Capital, Diversity Celebration, Integration Machinery? Exploring Berlin." Research workshop with students, European City Project 2010: Ethnicity in the City, organized by Multicultural Center Prague, Berlin, June 2010.

"Living in the City: Children of immigrants in Dublin, Berlin, Helsinki", City & Migration Seminar 2010, cooperation of Finland Institute Berlin, Finnish Institute London, CMS Berlin, Berlin, May 2010.

"All quiet on the wrong side of the tracks? Inquiries into the interrelation of the Other and the City today" , interdisciplinary workshop held at CMS in June 2009.

Second Generation Research Dialogues: Comparative Perspectives on Children of Immigrants Today, CMS in January 2009. The workshop facilitated interdisciplinary and international exchange among senior and junior researchers involved in research on descendants of immigrants and focused on two main themes: "Second generation and the city" and "Second generation in school".

"Empowerment, Recognition and Participation. Inclusive History, Inclusive Museums." Workshop-Moderation im Rahmen der Tagung "Migrations in Museums" des Netzwerks Migration / ICOM Europe, Berlin, Oktober 2008.


"Gestatten, Berlinerin! Zum Verhältnis von Zugehörigkeit und Stadt bei Nachkommen von MigrantInnen aus der Türkei" (20101) in: Färber, Alexa (Hrsg.): Stoffwechsel Berlin. Urbane Präsenzen und Repräsentationen", Berliner Blätter 53/2010, Panama Verlag.

More Than an Urban Stage for Conflict-The city's impact on self-representation of second generation immigrants in Berlin (forthcoming, 2009) in: The Ethnically Diverse City Reader, Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin.


Tutor of the CUNY/ Humboldt DAAD Summer School 2010
"Multiple Forms of In/Exclusion. How Urban Forms and Institutions Create and Reflect Patterns of In/Exclusion: Comparing Notes on Berlin and New York"
June 2010

Berlin 2.0 Die Bedeutung der Stadt für Identität und Selbstrepräsentation der zweiten Generation Migranten. Seminar am Institut für Europäische Ethnologie der HU Berlin, Sommer-Semester 2009.


Mitglied von IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion, European Research Network)

Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE)

Foreigner.de (Fremdsein und Kunst)

Friedrich-Ebert Arbeitsgruppe “Migration”

Ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit am Kreuzberg Museum Berlin

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