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Muslims as a counter-image of the German majority? An analysis of mechanisms of symbolic exclusion by the German majority population

Müller, Romina LU (2010) SOCM02 20101
Sociology
Abstract
During the last decades, Germany has been experiencing an ongoing religious and cultural diversification. But despite this process, other groups are still excluded from dominant discourses of the German society. Especially the Muslim population is often presented as being different and oppositional in comparison to the German majority. Since Islam is of rising interest in the integration debate as a result of the growing Muslim population, it is considered important to find out about these assumed differences.
The aim of this thesis is to uncover the ways in which the German majority population differentiates itself from the Muslim population and which pictures of Muslims are reflected in these processes of differentiation. Within this... (More)
During the last decades, Germany has been experiencing an ongoing religious and cultural diversification. But despite this process, other groups are still excluded from dominant discourses of the German society. Especially the Muslim population is often presented as being different and oppositional in comparison to the German majority. Since Islam is of rising interest in the integration debate as a result of the growing Muslim population, it is considered important to find out about these assumed differences.
The aim of this thesis is to uncover the ways in which the German majority population differentiates itself from the Muslim population and which pictures of Muslims are reflected in these processes of differentiation. Within this thesis, to analyze the processes of differentiation, the theoretical concepts of the boundary literature are used. Symbolic boundaries reflect normative distinctions, cultural practices and attitudes or examples of likes and dislikes and reflect the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion of individuals into a community. The hypothesis of this thesis is that the processes of exclusion are not independent, but interrelated with the generation one grew up in, with the national identity and with the personal experiences with Islam. To research these assumptions, a dominant, sequential mixed method design where qualitative methods dominate over quantitative methods is applied. Survey analysis is used as an insight into possible boundaries and unstructured interviews to uncover the process of boundary drawing in more detail.
Boundaries towards the Muslim population were drawn because of their religion that appeared to the respondents as more violent, radical and intolerant than
Christianity. But not only having a different belief made Muslims appear to be different but also their different normative systems, lifestyles, customs and traditions. Further a generation affect was displayed with younger generations being less likely to draw symbolic boundaries. But on the contrary having a strong national identity and no contacts with Muslims increased the likelihood of symbolic exclusion. (Less)
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author
Müller, Romina LU
supervisor
organization
course
SOCM02 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
religion, symbolic boundaries, social exclusion, national identity, social identity
language
English
id
1600203
date added to LUP
2010-05-17 10:46:59
date last changed
2011-05-12 15:48:37
@misc{1600203,
  abstract     = {During the last decades, Germany has been experiencing an ongoing religious and cultural diversification. But despite this process, other groups are still excluded from dominant discourses of the German society. Especially the Muslim population is often presented as being different and oppositional in comparison to the German majority. Since Islam is of rising interest in the integration debate as a result of the growing Muslim population, it is considered important to find out about these assumed differences. 
The aim of this thesis is to uncover the ways in which the German majority  population differentiates itself from the Muslim population and which pictures of Muslims are reflected in these processes of differentiation. Within this thesis, to analyze the processes of differentiation, the theoretical concepts of the boundary literature are used. Symbolic boundaries reflect normative distinctions, cultural practices and attitudes or examples of likes and dislikes and reflect the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion of individuals into a community. The hypothesis of this thesis is that the processes of exclusion are not independent, but interrelated with the generation one grew up in, with the national identity and with the personal experiences with Islam. To research these assumptions, a dominant, sequential mixed method design where qualitative methods dominate over quantitative methods is applied. Survey analysis is used as an insight into possible boundaries and unstructured interviews to uncover the process of boundary drawing in more detail.  
Boundaries towards the Muslim population were drawn because of their religion that appeared to the respondents as more violent, radical and intolerant than 
Christianity. But not only having a different belief made Muslims appear to be different but also their different normative systems, lifestyles, customs and traditions. Further a generation affect was displayed with younger generations being less likely to draw symbolic boundaries. But on the contrary having a strong national identity and no contacts with Muslims increased the likelihood of symbolic exclusion.},
  author       = {Müller, Romina},
  keyword      = {religion,symbolic boundaries,social exclusion,national identity,social identity},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Muslims as a counter-image of the German majority? An analysis of mechanisms of symbolic exclusion by the German majority population},
  year         = {2010},
}