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Claiming Space

Documenting Second-generation Iranian Americans in Los Angeles

Amy Malek

In 2009–2010 I collaborated with four Iranian documentary photographers to document everyday lives of the second-generation Iranian-American community in Los Angeles (LA). This article offers an overview of that project and exhibition, along with a selection of images, and presents interview data that suggests several impacts of place and of representations of Iranians on second generation Iranian-American identity. Youth experiences of geopolitical, community and familial struggles have motivated many in this generation to re-mould the image of ‘LA Persians’ by claiming space in diaspora for themselves and their children, the growing third generation.

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Sandra Bucerius

Based on a five-year ethnography, this article looks at Germany's citizenship reform of 1999 from the perspective of a population that is often at the center of attention: second generation immigrant drug dealers. While the reform had the potential to make a significant difference for this group, with respect to both their legal status in the country and perception of Germany, the findings of this article show that the reform did not have such an impact. On the contrary, the reform seems to have had the opposite effect, alienating the young men even more from Germany by keeping citizenship out of reach for them. While some have argued that in the light of supranational citizenship norms and the discourse of citizenship rights as human rights, national citizenship becomes increasingly unimportant as new forms of post-national citizenship gradually emerge, this does not seem to hold true for the young men of this study.

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'Working through' and 'awkward poetics' in Second Generation Poetry

Lily Brett, Anne Michaels, Raymond Federman

Robert Eaglestone

The aim of this article is to explore a tension in understanding post-Holocaust writing, specifically Second Generation poetry, between the idea of ‘working through’ and the complexities of post-Holocaust writing that Antony Rowland describes as ‘awkward poetics’, the ‘noncathartic artistry of disaster’.

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Daniel Williams

Scholarship on citizenship-in its definition as nationality or formal membership in the state-has been both the basis for evaluating and comparing national citizenships as "ethnocultural" or "civic," and used to imply the meaning of citizenship to prospective citizens, particularly immigrants and non-citizen residents. Doing so ignores a perspective on citizenship "from below," and oversimplifies the multiplicity of meanings that individuals may attach to citizenship. This article seeks to fill this gap in scholarship by examining young adult second-generation descendants of immigrants in Germany. The second generation occupies a unique position for examining the meaning of citizenship, based on the fact that they were born and grew up in Germany, and are thus more likely than adult immigrants to be able to become citizens as well as to claim national belonging to Germany. Among the varied meanings of citizenship are rights-based understandings, which are granted to some non-citizens and not others, as well as identitarian meanings which may depend on everyday cultural practices as well as national origin. Importantly, these meanings of citizenship are not arbitrary among the second generation; citizenship status and gender appear to inform understandings of citizenship, while national origin and transnational ties appear to be less significant for the meaning of citizenship.

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Mythili Rajiva

In this article, I examine how second generation South Asian Canadian girls negotiate their racialized position in peer culture, through various strategies of accommodation, denial and resistance. I use feminist post-structuralist theories of discourse and positioning with feminist and narrative methods to analyze my interviews with ten subjects about their racialized adolescence. I argue that girls use certain strategies of accommodation—'passing', wannabe-ism, and strategic Otherness—to fit in without abandoning their ethnicized identities. Strategies of denial surface through girls' internalizing of dominant discourses of racism; this leads them to rationalize racism or invoke assimilationist narratives that hold minorities responsible for their own experiences of exclusion. Girls also use strategies of resistance in which they identify hegemonic discourses of belonging, speak openly about racism or criticize aspects of white culture in the context of South Asian community and family norms.

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Reframing European Diasporas in Contemporary France

'Second Generation' Subjectivity and the Road 'Home' in Portugal (2011) and La Commedia des ratés (2011)

Michael Gott

This article examines two graphic novels published in 2011, Portugal by Cyril Pedrosa and La Commedia des ratés [Holy Smoke] by Olivier Berlion, within the thematic and technical context of the French 'return' road movie, an increasingly prevalent category. Recent debates in political, cultural and academic spheres have focused on competing conceptions of Frenchness – traditional republicanism and multiculturalism – as well as the place of the 'second- or third-generation' descendants of immigrants. This article argues that Portugal and La Commedia des ratés, as quasi-autobiographic 'return' to origins narratives, represent compelling insight into the subjectivity of second-generation diasporic populations in France. I will also examine how these works employ the 'ninth art' to create fresh twists on the 'return' story. Finally, I will explore the graphic and narrative depictions of travel in each work, adapting Teresa Bridgeman's theory of 'world building' and 'world-switching' in bande dessinée. I argue that Portugal offers a compelling approach, re-creating on the page the effect of the cinematic 'traveling montage'.

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Evelyn Friedlander

As far back as can be traced, my father and his paternal ancestors were all born in Recklinghausen, and some of the ancestral graves can still be seen in cemetery on the Nordscharweg. Since the cemetery was only consecrated 1905, and my great-grandfather Isack died in 1893, his gravestone must have been one of the twenty or so stones which, along with the bones which still remained, were moved from the cemetery on the Börster Weg in the early 1930s, due to growing anti-Semitism. As it turned out, it was most fortuitous that Isack was reinterred, as the Nazis destroyed the first graveyard completely, eventually turning it into a children's playground. Having outlived her husband by forty years, my great-grandmother Henriette was buried close to him in 1933. These stones are of enormous importance to me as they mark the only prewar family graves I have in Germany

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Georgia Bianchi

Minister of Integration Cécile Kyenge, nominated in April 2013 and Italy's first black minister, has pushed for citizenship reform as the most important issue in her legislative agenda. This article provides an overview of Italian citizenship law and reform attempts, including the many draft legislations presented to Parliament in 2013. No comprehensive reform passed in 2013, due in large part to the fragile “grand coalition” between the Democratic Party and the People of Freedom party. Minister Kyenge's vocal support, a growing public consensus and municipal support, and a new governing coalition as of November 2013—all this points to a greater potential for comprehensive reform to pass in 2014.

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Stephen Elstub and Jean-Paul Gagnon

Editors' introduction to the interview: Stephen Elstub articulates that deliberative democracy, as a theory, can be seen as having gone through various distinct generations. The first generation was a period where the normative values and the justifications for deliberative democracy were set out. This prompted criticism from difference democrats who saw the exclusion of other forms of communication by the reification of reason in deliberation as a serious shortcoming of the theory. This in part prompted the growth of the second generation of deliberative democracy, which began to focus more on the theory's operability. These theorizations, from the mostly 1990s and early 2000s, have led to the third generation of the theory—one embodied by the empirical turn. Elstub uses this genealogy as a foundation from which to argue that the current focus of deliberative democracy is on implementing deliberative systems rather than only deliberative institutions and this could potentially represent a fourth generation of deliberative democracy.

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Christiane Katz and Gijs Mom

Scholarship in the history of the electric vehicle has covered the first wave of enthusiasm in this alternative propulsion system well. On the basis of this scholarship, we find that this wave consisted of three generations: first, before 1905, a pioneering generation of electrified carriages; then a second generation from 1905 to 1920 of vehicles also derived from horse drawn technology but now equipped with a sophisticated lead-acid battery and, most of all, supported by a management system based upon subscriptions for batteries and tires in cents per kilometer; and finally, from the 1920s on, a generation of would-be petrol cars on which the electric propulsion was hidden, as a silent recognition of the victory of the petrol car.