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Belonging in the Two Berlins : Kin, State, Nation - John Borneman

Belonging in the Two Berlins

Kin, State, Nation

Paperback Published: 14th December 1992
ISBN: 9780521427159
Number Of Pages: 408

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Belonging in the two Berlins is an ethnographic investigation into the meaning of German selfhood during the Cold War. Taking the practices of everyday life in the divided Berlin as his point of departure, Borneman shows how ideas of kin, state, and nation were constructed through processes of mirror-imaging and misrecognition. Using linguistics and narrative analysis, he compares the autobiographies of two generations of Berlins residents with the official version of the lifecourse prescribed by the two German states. He examines the relation of the dual political structure to everyday life, the way in which the two states legally regulated the lifecourse in order to define the particular categories of self which signify Germanness, and how citizens experientially appropriated the frameworks provided by these states. Living in the two Berlins constantly compelled residents to define themselves in opposition to their other half. Borneman argues that this resulted in a de facto divided Germany with two distinct nations and peoples. The formation of German subjectivity since World War II is unique in that the distinctive features for belonging - for being at home - to one side exclude the other. Indeed, these divisions inscribed by the Cold War account for many of the problems in forging a new cultural unity.

Industry Reviews

' ... a study that not only is theoretically sophisticated but also constitutes a major contribution to the anthropological study of modernity in Europe ... It contributes in novel and methodologically intriguing ways to our understanding of the complex relationships among state, kinship and narrative, and it throws refreshingly critical light on received ideas about the current state of German society and culture.' Michael Hersfeld

List of figuresp. x
List of tablesp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Naming, categorizing, periodizingp. 8
Clarification of conceptsp. 36
Demographics of production and reproductionp. 57
State strategies and kinshipp. 74
Victimization, political reconstruction, and kinship transformations in East Berlin: Generation Ip. 119
Sentimentalization, fear, and alternate domestic form in East Berlin: Generation IIp. 155
Hausfrauenehe and kinship restoration in West Berlin: Generation Ip. 202
Politicized kinship in West Berlin: Generation IIp. 237
Marriage, family, nationp. 284
Postscript: unityp. 313
Notesp. 335
Referencesp. 356
Indexp. 372
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521427159
ISBN-10: 0521427150
Series: Cambridge Studies in Social & Cultural Anthropology
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 14th December 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.71 x 15.14  x 2.11
Weight (kg): 0.54