89.5 Between trivialization and accusation - Different patterns of experiencing racism in Germany

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:25 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Anna RANSIEK , Center of Methods in Social Sciences, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
My paper is based on empirical research for my PhD project which is entitled: The Construction of the Self in Relation to Racism - Experiencing and Processing of Racialized Discourses and Practices by People of Color in Germany.

The research is concentrated on the reconstruction of different ways of experiencing racism by People of Color in Germany in interrelation with other mechanisms of exclusion. To approach this interest I employ two different focuses.

  1. I conduct biographical-narrative interviews combined with a reconstructive approach of analysis (see Rosenthal 1995) in order to gain insight not only into the current perception of racism but also into the genesis of strategies of dealing with experiences of racism.
  2. Moreover, my project also draws attention to the discourses of racism in Germany as well as to existing power relations and the ways in which these interplay with the life history of individuals.

Within this interdependency of life-history and discourse different patterns of handling racism can be defined: E.g. depending on where you are from- on whether someone is born in Germany, comes to Germany as a student from an African country or as a refugee. Other factors, amongst others gender or social status, also influence the way of dealing with experiences of racism. The complex interrelation of these factors on the level of biography necessarily provides a potential for an intersectional perspective.

In my presentation I will therefore introduce different cases from my research to exemplify strategies and patterns of biographical work of experiencing and dealing with racism.