Cover: Forging Diasporic Citizenship: Narratives from German-born Turkish Auslander, by Gul Caliskan. photo: a mother and father, grandmother, and three daughters. The mother and grandmother wear headscarves. The image has various immigration stamps overlapping the faces, and is set on a cream-coloured background meant to resemble a passport page.
340 pages, 6 x 9
2 charts
Release Date:15 Jul 2023
Release Date:01 Dec 2022
Release Date:01 Dec 2022
Release Date:01 Dec 2022

Forging Diasporic Citizenship

Narratives from German-Born Turkish Ausländer

UBC Press

Around the world, social borderlands are developing as contested spaces for an emerging type of diasporic citizenship. Forging Diasporic Citizenship is a study of diasporicity – the social, cultural, and political awareness of diasporic people. This new kind of citizenship is forged through negotiating experiences of homesickness, homelessness, hostility, and hospitality. How do diasporic citizens reconcile difference with belonging? How is their experience and awareness expressed in political life?

Drawing on interviews conducted with German-born Berliners of Turkish origin over a fifteen-year period, Gül Çalışkan explores the dynamics of everyday life for Ausländer. These so-called outsiders, or foreigners, are obliged to define themselves by their Otherness, but it is their relatedness to German society that transgresses traditional concepts of both German and Turkish identity. Çalışkan analyzes their narratives to explore the tensions between their experiences of displacement and the politics of accommodation as they make claims to citizenship, express the ways they are rooted, and seek to achieve recognition.

Forging Diasporic Citizenship builds a theoretically sophisticated, transnationally applicable theory regarding the nature of modern citizenship and multiculturalism. By disrupting delimited notions of citizenship, this perceptive and important work highlights a broader basis for community.

This work will hold interest for scholars of transnationalism and migration, sociology, anthropology, political science, and globalization. It will also find an audience among government agency staff, NGO members, immigrant associations in Europe and North America, human rights groups, social workers, politicians, and activists.

In a period characterized by right-wing populism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, nativism, and humiliation, Forging Diasporic Citizenship reminds readers of the forgotten importance of socio-economic and political realities of inequality, injustice, deindustrialization, poverty, unemployment, and exclusion. Ayhan Kaya, Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University
This is an outstanding contribution to the current sociological literature on citizenship, with an in-depth analysis of how an increasingly diverse German society negotiates modes of belonging and social integration regarding German-born citizens of Turkish descent. Oliver Schmidtke, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria

Gül Çalışkan is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, located on the unceded and unconquered territory of the Wəlastəkewiyik. She is the editor of Gendering Globalization, Globalizing Gender: Postcolonial Perspectives. Çalışkan’s research and teaching focuses on the broad areas of citizenship (as a social practice) and global social justice within global and transnational sociology. Her research and teaching are informed by postcolonial studies. In her research projects, she engages in narrative inquiry to examine the complex relations between global processes and everyday realities.


1 The Model: Being and Belonging Together

2 Constituting Germans and Outsiders

3 Hostility–Hospitality: Accommodating the Ausländer

4 Homesickness–Homelessness: Negotiating Displacement

5 Borderlands

6 Forging Diasporic Citizenship

Conclusion: Becoming a Chameleon

Notes; References; Index

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