Continuity and discontinuity of East German identity following the fall of the Berlin Wall: A case study

Book chapter


Andrews, M. 2003. Continuity and discontinuity of East German identity following the fall of the Berlin Wall: A case study. in: Gready, P (ed.) Cultures of Political Transition: Memory, Identity and Voice Pluto Press.
AuthorsAndrews, M.
EditorsGready, P
Abstract

Nietzsche once commented that it is typically German to ask what it is to be German (McFalls 1995:143). Interest in German identity, or “the German identity problem” has endured for more than a century (Gilliar 1996:20), and indeed the project of forming a German identity is said to have begun in the 18th century, with the campaign to establish a ‘cultural nation’ (Jarausch et al 1997: 42). However long ago this fascination began, it is clear that the events of the autumn of 1989 have given it new life. In the ten years since the unification of the two Germanies, questions about German identity have increasingly permeated national consciousness. Despite the early optimism of many – epitomized by Willy Brandt’s now famous statement of
November 1989, “Now grows together what belongs together” (quoted in Minkenberg 93:53) – the challenges of unification (economic, political, social and political) persist.i Even Chancellor Helmut Kohl has commented: “… inner unity … will admittedly take longer and cost more than most, including myself, had originally assumed” (quoted in Steininger 2001:27).

Significantly, the passage of time has not simplified the question of national identity. Rather, it has prompted many, as Nietsche might have predicted, to think more deeply not only about what it means to be a German, but to be a German from a particular part of Germany. In this chapter, I will examine the effect of the changes of 1989 on East Germans’ sense of their national identity. The picture I will paint is one of apparent contradictions as East Germans continue to probe, explore and struggle with who they are and where they belong.

Book titleCultures of Political Transition: Memory, Identity and Voice
Year2003
PublisherPluto Press
Publication dates
Print2003
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Mar 2015
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Permalink -

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/86918

  • 22
    total views
  • 101
    total downloads
  • 7
    views this month
  • 37
    downloads this month

Related outputs

Biographical interviews and imagined futures essay writing: users of two methods in conversation
Crow, Graham and Andrews, M. Biographical interviews and imagined futures essay writing: users of two methods in conversation. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 22 (6), pp. 557-569.
Narrative Research
Squire, C., Andrews, M. and Tamboukou, M. 2019. Narrative Research. in: Atkinson, P., Delamont, S., Cernat, A., Sakshaug, J. W. and Williams, R. A. (ed.) SAGE Research Methods Foundations SAGE Publications.
Imagining the 'baffling geography' of age
Andrews, M. 2018. Imagining the 'baffling geography' of age. Journal of Aging Studies. 47, pp. 90-95.
Remembering East Germany's Peaceful Revolution
Andrews, M. 2018. Remembering East Germany's Peaceful Revolution. The University of East London. doi:10.15123/DATA.00000219
The Narrative Architecture of Political Forgiveness
Andrews, M. 2018. The Narrative Architecture of Political Forgiveness. Political Psychology. 40 (3), pp. 433-447.
Narrative, imagination and extending visions of the possible
Andrews, M. 2016. Narrative, imagination and extending visions of the possible. Sociétés. 133 (3), pp. 15-20.
Enduring ideals: revisiting Lifetimes of Commitment twenty-five years later
Andrews, M. 2017. Enduring ideals: revisiting Lifetimes of Commitment twenty-five years later. Contemporary Social Science. 12 (1-2), pp. 153-163.
Popular Representation of East Germany: Whose History is It?
Andrews, M. 2017. Popular Representation of East Germany: Whose History is It? in: Meretoja, Hanna and Davis, Colin (ed.) Storytelling and Ethics: Literature, Visual Arts and the Power of Narrative Routledge. pp. 174-190
The Unbuilding of East Germany: Excavating Biography and History
Andrews, M. 2017. The Unbuilding of East Germany: Excavating Biography and History. University of East London. doi:10.15123/DATA.00000213
Political Narratives and "Abraham Obama"
Andrews, M. 2017. Political Narratives and "Abraham Obama". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.
Text in a changing context: Reconstructing lives in East Germany
Andrews, M. 2000. Text in a changing context: Reconstructing lives in East Germany. in: The turn to biographical methods in social science: comparative issues and examples Routledge.
Generational consciousness, dialogue, and political engagement
Andrews, M. 2002. Generational consciousness, dialogue, and political engagement. in: Turner, B. S. and Edmunds, J. (ed.) Generational consciousness, narrative, and politics Lanham, MD Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 75-88
Exploring Cross-cultural boundaries
Andrews, M. 2007. Exploring Cross-cultural boundaries. in: Clandinin, J (ed.) Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a Methodology SAGE. pp. 498-512
East Germany: The contested story
Andrews, M. 2007. East Germany: The contested story. in: Shaping history : narratives of political change Cambridge University Press. pp. 114-147
Against Good Advice: Reflections on conducting research in a country where you don't speak the language
Andrews, M. 2009. Against Good Advice: Reflections on conducting research in a country where you don't speak the language. in: Life Story Research SAGE.
Narrating Moments of Political Change
Andrews, M. 2014. Narrating Moments of Political Change. in: Nesbitt-Larking, Paul, Kinnvall, Catarina and Capelos, Tereza (ed.) The Palgrave handbook of global political psychology Palgrave. pp. 353-368
Beyond narrative: The shape of traumatic testimony
Andrews, M. 2014. Beyond narrative: The shape of traumatic testimony. in: We shall bear witness: life narratives and human rights Madison, WI. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 147-166
The nice Stasi man drove his Trabi to the nudist beach: Contesting East German Identity
Andrews, M. 2015. The nice Stasi man drove his Trabi to the nudist beach: Contesting East German Identity. in: Marked Identities: Narrating Lives between Social Labels and Individual Biographies Palgrave. pp. 43-57
Fighting for the finest image we have of her: Patriotism and Oppositional Politics
Andrews, M. 1997. Fighting for the finest image we have of her: Patriotism and Oppositional Politics. in: Bar-Tal, Daniel and Staub, Ervin (ed.) Patriotism in the life of individuals and nations Chicago Nelson-Hall.
Narrative Research
Andrews, M. 2004. Narrative Research. in: eds Qualitative Research Practice London Sage pp.
Maternal counter-narratives reconsidered
Andrews, M. 2004. Maternal counter-narratives reconsidered. in: Considering counter-narratives: Narration and resistance Amsterdam John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 51-59
Life review in the context of acute social transition: The case of East Germany
Andrews, M. 1997. Life review in the context of acute social transition: The case of East Germany. British Journal of Social Psychology. 36 (3), pp. 273-290.
One hundred miles of lives: The Stasi files as a people's history of East Germany
Andrews, M. 1998. One hundred miles of lives: The Stasi files as a people's history of East Germany. Oral History. 26 (1), pp. 24-31.
Truth-telling, justice, and forgiveness: A study of East Germany’s Truth Commission
Andrews, M. 1999. Truth-telling, justice, and forgiveness: A study of East Germany’s Truth Commission. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. 13 (1), pp. 107-124.
Grand national narratives and the project of truth commissions: a comparative analysis
Andrews, M. 2003. Grand national narratives and the project of truth commissions: a comparative analysis. Media, Culture & Society. 25 (1), pp. 45-65.
Tackling problems of qualitative social research: A conversation
Ruppel, Paul Sebastian, Dege, Martin, Andrews, M. and Squire, Corinne 2007. Tackling problems of qualitative social research: A conversation. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 9 (1).
Biographie und Geschichte: Dynamiken individueller und kollektiver politischer Erzählungen [Problems of biography and history: Dynamics of individual and collective political narratives]
Andrews, M. 2010. Biographie und Geschichte: Dynamiken individueller und kollektiver politischer Erzählungen [Problems of biography and history: Dynamics of individual and collective political narratives]. in: Können Marginalisierte widersprechen? Sozialwissenschaften und politisches Handeln Gießen Psychosozial-Verlag.
Against Good Advice: Reflections on conducting research in a country where you don't speak the language
Andrews, M. 1995. Against Good Advice: Reflections on conducting research in a country where you don't speak the language. Oral History Review. 22 (2), pp. 75-86.
Criticism/self-Criticism in East Germany: Contradictions between theory and practice
Andrews, M. 1998. Criticism/self-Criticism in East Germany: Contradictions between theory and practice. Sociology.
The Seduction of Agelessness
Andrews, M. 1999. The Seduction of Agelessness. Ageing and Society. 19 (3), pp. 301-318.
Forgiveness in Context
Andrews, M. 2000. Forgiveness in Context. Journal of Moral Education. 29 (1), pp. 75-86.
Feminist research with non-feminist and anti-feminist women: Meeting the challenge
Andrews, M. 2002. Feminist research with non-feminist and anti-feminist women: Meeting the challenge. Feminism & Psychology. 12 (1), pp. 55-77.
Breaking down barriers: Feminism, politics, and psychology
Andrews, M. 2006. Breaking down barriers: Feminism, politics, and psychology. Feminism & Psychology. 16 (1), pp. 13-17.