Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 521 items for :

Clear All
Full access

Rob Burns

Just as Berlin as a political, social, ethnic, and material entity has undergone considerable change since 1989, so too the cinematic representations of the new capital over the last twenty years or so have projected a diverse set of images of the city. This article considers a selection of fiction films that can be grouped together under three broad thematic category headings: those dealing with Berlin's past, those addressing the city's multicultural identity and, most substantially, those films in which the capital of the new "Berlin Republic" can be read as a metaphor for postunification Germany. What all three categories have in common, it is argued, is that the image of Berlin that emerges from most of these films remains an overwhelmingly negative one, with the city portrayed predominantly as a site of either conflict or disorientation.

Full access

Barbara Thériault

How does one deal with diversity in an organization known to be hostile to it? Drawing on a Weberian perspective I present in this article one case occurring in actual historical practice: that of Inspector Bobkowski, a teacher, chief of the political education unit at the Berlin police academy and training center, and a hobby historian. With an eye to the case at hand as well as other efforts to deal with difference under the Weimar Republic encountered during my fieldwork, I attempt to uncover the motives underlying the action of officers who contributed to the promotion of diversity within the police force in Germany. Inquiring into their motives enables me to construct an ideal type of a “carrier of diversity,” which, I argue, shares affinities with a liberal agenda of civic equality.

Full access

Margit Mayer

German nonprofits active in support work for unemployed and marginalized groups have undergone significant transformation in the context of recent social and labor market reforms. Drawing on the findings of a three-year research project on such local work-insertion organizations in Berlin, the article discusses some of the problems and potentials of nonprofits in the reshaping of welfare and employment policies. It shows how the service providers implementing these new policies and delivering the new benefits face a new competition from private, for-profit agencies as well as constraints set by the formal contracts which the new instruments entail. As they now have to deliver enhanced self-activity of their clients, are called upon to nurture and make use of "social capital" in their work fields, and are involved, as civil society "stakeholders," in new local partnerships between the municipality, the employment office and private sector actors, they lead us to question prevailing views in the voluntary sector scholarship.

Full access

Wolfgang Kil and Hilary Silver

Ethnic enclaves in West Berlin and now, East Berlin are located in denigrated areas of high unemployment, poverty, and devalued or high-rise public housing, but they are also places where immigrants are slowly integrating into the larger city and German society. Despite different national origins and different conditions and periods in which they arrived, socially excluded Vietnamese, Russian, and other migrants to East Berlin are following local incorporation paths surprisingly similar to those of the Turks in West Berlin. In both Kreuzberg and Marzahn, the rise of multicultural forms and events, economic niches, and ethnic associations make local life attractive and ultimately, contribute to immigrant incorporation and neighborhood revitalization.

Free access

Hilary Silver

Despite its highly visible physical reunification, Berlin has social fault lines that seriously challenge the city?s integration. This article reviews the multiple cleavages that crisscross Berlin?s social fabric and assesses whether and how these divides are being bridged. East-West, neighborhood, religious, national/ethnic, and socioeconomic fractures remain wide. Even the social construction of the city?s history and the embedding of collective memory in the built environment are occasions for division. Hopeful signs of increasing social integration, however, are found in the new memorials, creative multicultural forms, vibrant and diverse immigrant neighborhoods, ethnic intermarriage, and other indicators. Under conditions of severe fiscal crisis, policies such as housing renovation, the Social City Program, local nonprofit labor market initiatives, and expanded language instruction are among the deliberate attempts to promote social integration in the "New" Berlin.

Full access

Jennifer Ruth Hosek

The West Berlin anti-authoritarians around Rudi Dutschke employed a notion of subaltern nationalism inspired by independence struggles in the global South and particularly by post 1959 Cuba to legitimate their loosely understood plans to recreate West Berlin as a revolutionary island. Responding to Che Guevara's call for many Vietnams, they imagined this Northern metropolis as a Focus spreading socialism of the third way throughout Europe, a conception that united their local and global aims. In focusing on their interpretation of societal changes and structures in Cuba, the anti-authoritarians deemphasized these plans' potential for violence. As a study of West German leftists in transnational context, this article suggests the limitations of confining analyses of their projects within national or Northern paradigms. As a study of the influence of the global South on the North in a non-(post)colonial situation, it suggests that such influence is greater than has heretofore been understood.

Full access

Janice Bockmeyer

Both Berlin and the European Union are transformed by global migration trends that are creating extraordinary ethnic diversity. Social inclusion is now one of the top priorities of the EU's URBAN II program. Berlin's Social Cities/Neighborhood Management program stands at the vortex of joint EU, German and city-state efforts to achieve social inclusion in low-income, ethnically diverse communities. This article assesses the impact of Social Cities/Neighborhood Management on inclusion for Berlin's large Turkish minority in two immigrant neighborhoods. It focuses particularly on the level of incorporation of Turkish nonprofit organizations into Neighborhood Management decision making. Finally, the article asks what role ethnic nonprofits should play in community revitalization, and whether social inclusion can be achieved where their role is diminished.

Full access

Jennifer A. Jordan

How do groups of people produce particular markers of the past in the urban landscape? The terrain of markers in a given neighborhood, city, or country can result from the top-down vision of a centralized elite-or the relatively diverse, even contradictory, layers of multiple eras and multiple interest groups and actors. In post 1989 Berlin, the memorial landscape is a heterogeneous collection of statues, plaques, and conceptual memorial projects relating to various eras in the city?s nearly eight centuries of existence. More widely known sites may be created in somewhat top-down ways, and be the responsibility of federal and state officials. But, much memorial work happens at the district level, and in the hands of an array of local activists. This local responsibility clearly indicates the active involvement of both easterners and westerners in local democratic and civic processes in general, and in activities that shape the memorial terrain in particular. Despite the inequality of unification and the extensive institutional transfer that happened in many sectors of the political and economic arenas, many eastern Berliners play active roles in the civic life in general and memorial culture in particular of their neighborhoods and districts. These local practices result from the civic participation (and arguably social integration) of a range of Berlin?s residents, in both the eastern and western halves of the city.

Full access

Berlin

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Albert H. Friedlander

During the summer of 1999 the 'Süddeutsche Zeitung' ran a long series of articles entitled 'The Future in the Present'. This text (Number 28 in the series, somewhat altered) was entitled Der Bär kann noch viel Lernen – The Berlin bear still has a lot to learn.

Full access

Elizabeth Strom and Margit Mayer

National and world events shape all cities, but in Berlin they have a

physical presence. For Berliners, the Cold War was tangible, manifested

as a wall and death strip guarded by armed soldiers and attack

dogs. Today that wall is gone and, if national power brokers and the

real estate development community have their way, Berlin will soon

be a “normal” European city and German capital. Not only will the

ghosts of the Nazi past be exorcised, but any tangible inheritance of

the postwar period—in East Berlin the legacies of state socialism, in

West Berlin the strange fruits of a subsidized economy—will disappear.