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Accepted Paper:

"Have we finally arrived here?": stories of second generation Serbian migrants from Hamburg, Germany  
Ivana Randjelovic (Swinburne University of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

Second generation whose parents were guest workers in Germany were denied the citizenship rights. Accordingly, their identity and sense of belonging became more related to their parents’ homeland. This paper argues that better policies and citizenship rights ensure greater integration of migrants.

Paper long abstract:

Lives of second generation migrants are conditioned by national migration policies, and the settlement rights and experiences of their parents. State policies towards migrants and their legal status likewise influence their sense of nationhood, identity and belonging. This paper examines second generation migrants of Serbian background living in Hamburg, whose parents were guest workers (gastarbeiter) in the late 1960-s' and early 1970-s'. Though their parents were supposed to reside in Germany for a limited time, they eventually settled there and had families. The data for this paper derives from fieldwork in Hamburg, Germany where I conducted semi-structured interviews as a part of my PhD thesis research.

Fieldwork findings suggest that the denial of full legal status to second generation Serbian migrants has led them to identify with their parents' homeland more than with Germany. They were born, educated, made their careers, and started their own families in Germany. Nonetheless, continuing perceptions of their foreign (auslander) status mean that identification with Serbia and its culture remains strong.

It is argued that while they do not perceive themselves as isolated from the host society, they stay within ethnic social circles through friendships, marriages, cultural events and tradition. Strong identification with their roots is maintained through the language so as through unconscious usage of phrase "going back home" or referring to the language as to "ours". This paper argues that inclusive policies toward migrants and granting them citizenship would give second generation migrants a greater sense of belonging in Germany.

Panel P143
Complicating contemporary understandings of citizenship and belonging
  Session 1