International Studies (B.A.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Multiculturalism has met with opposition in Germany as many of its native citizens have expressed their dissatisfaction with the country’s immigrant population. The problem, however, really lies in the system of integration utilized by Germany. The German government claims multiculturalism has failed, yet the integration approach the country utilizes is actually somewhere between multiculturalism and assimilation. This research suggests that Germany has not attempted true multiculturalism. The supposed failure of multiculturalism is often blamed on the apparent unwillingness of immigrants to integrate, but Germans are hesitant to accept even the better integrated immigrant groups, such as the Vietnamese. To illustrate this reality, popular opinions of Germans towards both the Vietnamese and immigrants in general are analyzed via the distribution of surveys. Questions gathered demographic information of the survey-takers and examined opinions toward the Vietnamese and immigrants in general. Responses indicated that opinions towards immigrant groups varied based on the focus of the question. Responses to questions regarding the acceptance of immigrants as members of both the community and nation contradicted each other. Germans willingly accept immigrants as members of the community, but showed great hesitancy to accept them as a member of the German nation. If the level of assimilation dictates the ability of multiculturalism to function, better assimilated groups, such as the Vietnamese should be overwhelmingly well-received. The Vietnamese are viewed no more and no less positively than other immigrant groups, despite their evident assimilation, therefore, other factors must exist as to why multiculturalism is ostensibly “failing”.
Downs, Andrew C., "Identities and Inbetweens: The Vietnamese and Assimilation Strategies in Germany" (2014). University Honors Program Theses. 54.