This sample paper on Multiculturalism In Germany offers a framework of relevant facts based on the recent research in the field. Read the introductory part, body and conclusion of the paper below.
Multiculturalism is the presence of many cultures in one place by having same political rights as other citizens regardless of their differences in private lives. In a multicultural society, the citizens must embrace immigrants who have different values, beliefs and religions. Besides, the government must accept immigrants as their own citizens and they must give political rights as well as civil and social rights.
Thus, the integration of distinct cultures can be completed and ultimately it can be seen that multiculturalism works in this country.
However, multiculturalism does not work in every place and Germany which is one of these places. The reasons of the failure of multiculturalism in Germany are the restricted political rights for immigrants by government, integration problems between Turks and Germans and also cultural changes in second and third generations.
This essay examines the history of Turks in Germany and the reasons why multiculturalism does not work in Germany also it briefly provides some suggestions in order to achieve multicultural success in a society.
The migration of Turks to Germany in 1961 was the fundamental turning point for multicultural society in Germany. Turks who are the largest minority group, nearly 2. 4 million, migrated to Germany due to the recruitment of labor by German government in order to strengthen their industry. (Hochmuth, 2006) After the defeat in WW2, German economy collapsed and they need workers from other countries because there were more available jobs than their unemployed people.
Therefore, the agreement with Turkey was made by the German government.
According to this agreement, Turkish workers had to stay in Germany at least 2 years because Germany wanted to guarantee the attendance of foreign workers. However, this period was extended because of the wishes of two sides. The German government did not want to lose skilled workers because training new workers would take a long time. Also, Turkish immigrants did not want to come back to Turkey because they did not have enough money to start new business in their motherland; therefore they wanted to earn more.
In addition, they brought their families to Germany from Turkey. Their children who are the members of second generation of Turks were born there, and families did not want to interrupt their education. (Hochmuth, 2006) In 1973, Germany stopped the recruitment of labor from other countries. After that year, Turks preferred to stay in Germany permanently because they thought that if they came back to their motherland, the Turkish government would not allowed them to return to Germany again. Hochmuth, 2006) Since 1973, nobody has migrated to Germany as a worker, but the population of Turks in Germany continued to increase through births and now the third generation of Turks is residing in Germany too. The first reason why multiculturalism does not work in Germany is the restricted political rights for immigrants. Multiculturalism supposed that there is not any inequality between people whether they are immigrant. However, immigrants had to struggle with the lengthy and difficult process of having political rights in Germany because the government did not give them political rights without acquiring German citizenship.
Citizens of other nations cannot vote in Germany even if they have lived there for 20 or 30 years. (Powell, 1995) In Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany’s constitution separates the rights into two as general and reserved. General rights are approved for all individuals in the country. These rights consist of liberty of person, freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. (Kaya, 2002) However, reserved rights are valid exclusively for German citizens. These rights include political rights, freedom of movement, freedom of association, and freedom of occupation.
The separation of rights is determined with respect to people’s ethnic origin. Therefore, it can be seen as tragically associated with Nazi’s policy which is based on ethnic nationalism. (Kaya, 2002) If Turks want to acquire political rights, they must acquire German citizenship first. There are some ways of acquiring German citizenship. According to Article 116 of the Basic Law, Turkish people have to live in Germany at least 15 years for naturalization but this effort is not enough to be naturalized. They also have to accept to renounce their previous citizenship.
Therefore, the requirement of relinquishing Turkish nationality blocked the integration of different cultures in Germany. In addition, until the new law in January 2000, which contained some modifications, children who were born and raised in Germany could not automatically have German citizenship. In order to acquire citizenship, foreigners between the ages of 16 and 23 are required to be resident for more than 8 years, attend school for at least 6 years and have not been convicted of serious offences. (Kaya, 2002) After the new law, the rules of naturalization had little changes.
According to the new law, children who are born in Germany can acquire German citizenship at birth if one of their parents have lived lawfully in Germany for at least 8 years, holds entitlement to residence or has an unlimited residence permit for at least 3 years. (Kaya, 2002) There is however a problem about their dual citizenship because they have to choose one of their nationalities within five years between 18 and 23. This application which is prepared by the German government seems to be in contradiction with the essential principles of multiculturalism.
The German government constrains Turks to renounce their Turkish citizenship and this damages their cultures too because unless Turks are Turkish citizen anymore, they become distant from their culture which is belong to Turkey. Therefore, it is hard to say that multiculturalism works in Germany. The second reason for the failure of multiculturalism in Germany is the integration problems between Turks and Germans. Turks in Germany are seen as foreigners and migrants by the Germans although Turks search for equality and they wanted to contribute as a part of the German society.
Therefore, discrimination is one of the main problems why Turks cannot integrate with the German society. Although Turks have same the civil and social rights as the Germans, their jobs are less prestigious with respect to the German’s. Also, they work for less payment and their profits are identically lower than the German’s. (Powell, 1995) In addition, their education is not adequate for better jobs. Hence, they have to work as blue-collar workers who generally work on manufacturing and mining while Germans work as white-collar workers related to management because blue-collar workers do not require high education.
In 1970’s, there were more jobs for unskilled and semiskilled workers like Turks. However, the rate of unemployment among Turks increased since 1980’s because job opportunities in manufacturing industry declined in Germany and education became more important for jobs. (Ozcan, 2004) Turks are not capable of solving the problems which are associated with discrimination in job, lack of employment and fewer educational opportunities. (Powell, 1995) This situation makes the integration of Germans and Turks more difficult.
Under these conditions, Turks do not feel accepted by society therefore they also do not want to be accepted. (Hochmuth, 2006) They begin to develop strong ethnic structures and maintain ethnic boundaries hence the integration of these two distinct cultures become more troublesome. The last reason which supports the argument that multiculturalism does not work in Germany is cultural changes in second and third generations of Turks who lived in Germany. In contrast to their parents, the 2nd and 3rd generations speak German better than Turkish.
Although their roots were in Turkey, they learn Turkish as a foreign language. (Waldhoff & Tan, 1996) This is the indication of the existence of assimilation between two cultures because they are starting to lose their connections with their real homeland. In addition, when they use Turkish, they mix it with a German accent, dialect or words. However, the usage of both languages can cause understanding problem for an outsider. They also use some German words such as Tschu? , which means bye in English, when they speak Turkish and they mixed German and Turkish sentences such as ‘Urlaub ald? ’ which means having holiday in English. This type of blending violates the rules of both languages in terms of the semantics, phonetics and syntax. Also, it damages the characteristics of languages. Their music is another field which is affected by cultural struggle. They create their own cultural synthesis by blending two different cultures. For instance, they mix break-dance and Turkish folk dance. Thus, they show that the ambivalence which they had because they are sandwiched between upholding tradition and assimilation. Waldhoff & Tan, 1996) Due to these confusions between Turkish and German culture, it is clear that multiculturalism does not work in Germany because it is based on the respect to different cultures but in Germany, Turks suffer to protect their culture from German effects. Therefore, the diversity of culture can be reduced and the imagination of multiculturalism can end for ever. Multiculturalism is an integration process which is so difficult to work in any place. It supposed that the cultures can be consistent, unified and tructured in a place. (Kaya, 2002) However, multiculturalism is not a melting pot which absorbs cultures. It always supports the diversity of cultures in one place. Through multiculturalism, people can expand their horizons by comparing different cultures and they can make judgments upon their lifestyle, belief and values. (Malik, 2002) In order to allow multiculturalism to work properly, first of all discrimination among people should be stopped because if people learn to live together peacefully and equally, multiculturalism can work.
Also, the governments should take some responsibilities about this issue. They should protect the immigrants’ rights and struggle with problems of immigrants such as education and job. In addition, they should promote integration by means of counseling and language. (Powell, 1995) Xenophobia is other important obstacle for multiculturalism. The organizations, festivals, seminars should be arranged among immigrants and citizens in order to get rid of this fear.
If these suggestions are applied, multiculturalism can work and thus the world can become more tolerable and peaceful place.
REFERENCES Hochmuth, H. (2006). Turks in Germany. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www. turkishweekly. net/articles. php? id=146 Kaya, A. (2002). The hyphenated Germans: German-Turks. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www. tusiad. us/content/uploaded/pw11Hyphenated_Germans. pdf Malik, K. (2002). Against multiculturalism. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www. kenanmalik. com/essays/against_mc. html Ozcan, V. 2004). Turks in Germany: aspects of their socio-economic integration. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www. ces. boun. edu. tr/papers/feb/veysel_ozcan. pdf Powell, E. V. (1995). Notes from Hamburg: immigrants challenge Germany’s “social net”. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www. ssa. uchicago. edu/publications/advforum/v2n3/advocates2. 3. 12. html Waldhoff, H. P. , & Tan, D. (1996). Turkish everyday culture in Germany and its prospects. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www. ish. uni-hannover. de/Dateien/staff/hw/turkish_hw. html