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Representing German Identity in the New Berlin Republic: Body, Nation, and Place


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This study examines the multiple and conflicting ways in which German national identity is spatially expressed through the material and metaphor of the human body. In particular, it describes the various gendered, sexed, and raced constructions of Germany, as they emerged in the capital city of Berlin since 1989. Based on two ethnographic case studies situated in neighboring urban environments, the Love Parade and the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe, the author shows how bodily representations of post-1989 Germany are fluctuating between the sexualized, demasculinized celebration of multiculturalism and the repeatedly racist, masculinist and even anti-Semitic reconstruction of German nationhood. While the German government is making active efforts to situate the future Berlin Republic within a network of increasingly integrated European nation states, and is involved in sponsoring both the Love Parade and the MMJE, social movements in Berlin are actively supporting and contesting such politics. It is this struggle between government efforts and grassroots politics, and the role of the human body in the political process of constructing collective identities that this book ultimately explores.



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Kuhlke, Olaf Representing German Identity in the New Berlin Republic: Body, Nation, and Place. Mellen Press. 2004:  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-ger104