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«A Comparative Case Study of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and Ireland by Melanie Liese B.A. School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies ...»

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Although over the last decade steps have been taken with regard to the integration of migrants into Germany, positions on this differ greatly within the German political system and integration is still a highly debated topic. For example, when referring to the newly passed Zuwanderungsgesetz (Immigration Act), the Integrationsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung [Commissioner for Integration of the German Federal Government], Marieluise Beck, announced in 2005, “dass Deutschland ein Einwanderungsland ist und sich auch den integrationspolitischen Herausforderungen stellt” [that Germany is a country of immigration and faces up to the political challenges of Integration] (Beck 2005, in Kohlmann 2005). However, the German Bundesinnenminister (Minister of the Interior) Wolfgang Schäuble at the opening of an Integration Congress in 2006, opposed Beck‟s position saying: “Wir waren nie ein Einwanderungsland und wir sind‟s bis heute nicht." [We were never a country of immigration and we are not one even today.] (Schäuble 2006, in Dernbach 2006). Justifying his statement, “Schäuble sagte, niemand werde bestreiten, dass es Migration nach Deutschland gebe. Anders als ein Einwanderungsland wie Kanada habe sich Deutschland aber nie Migranten gezielt ausgesucht und um Menschen mit gesuchten Berufen geworben.” [Schäuble said, no one would deny that there is migration to Germany. But, unlike a country of immigration such as Canada, Germany has never selectively targeted migrants or campaigned for people in sought-after professions] (Dernbach 2006).

As the Bundesministerium des Innern 2009 [Federal Ministry of the Interior] indicates, today around 15.1 million people in Germany have a migration background. This accounts for 18 per cent of the total population in Germany.

Nearly 10 per cent have German citizenship, which they have either acquired or received more or less automatically upon their arrival without the process of naturalisation as for example in the case of „ethnic Germans‟, known as Aussiedler (see Graph 1).

Ethnic Germans have lived outside Germany due to displacement after the Second World War. Since 1950 more than five million ethnic Germans have returned to Germany from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (Schneider 2005).

Because ethnic Germans acquire German citizenship relatively quickly, they are not detected statistically after a short period of time, but rather included under the German majority (Currle 2004, p.55) However, many ethnic Germans, and in particular the younger generations, have lived for so long outside of Germany that they often have adopted the culture and language of the respective host countries and “haben nur wenig Bindung zur deutschen Sprache und Kultur” [have only little connection to the German language and culture] (Schneider 2005). Furthermore, within German society they frequently face a lack of acceptance on the basis of language and cultural difference (ibid). Therefore, although the author fully acknowledges the status of ethnic Germans as officially German, for the purpose of this study and for the afore-mentioned reasons, ethnic Germans have been included in the group of the ethnic and cultural „other‟. Another ethnic minority, included in the group of the ethnic and cultural „other‟, are the Sinti and Roma in Germany. Sinti and Roma are thought to be originally from the region of Northwest India and Pakistan. In 1407 Sinti and Roma communities were first recorded to be present in the German region (Germany did not exist as a country then), (Landesverband Deutscher Sinti und Roma NRW 2009). Today the number of Sinti and Roma in Germany is about 70,000 (Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrum Deutscher Sinti und Roma).

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People with a Migrant Background living in Germany 30% 54% 16% Foreigners Naturalized Citizens People, who have aquired German citizenship without the process of Naturalisation (Aussiedler).

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1.2.1.1 Migration in North Rhine-Westphalia The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is situated in the west of Germany, bordering Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the federal states of Lower Saxony, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. Altogether 17,933,064 people live in North RhineWestphalia (IT.NRW 2010a). Around 10.5 per cent of the population do not hold German citizenship (IT.NRW 2010b). This does not include people, such as naturalised citizens and ethnic Germans, known as Aussiedler, who have acquired German citizenship but have a migrant background. North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populated Federal State (IT.NRW 2010a) and as Graph 2 shows, it has also the highest number of migrants. Furthermore, almost every fourth resident there has a migration background (LAGA 2005).

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Graph 3 shows that out of the 1,886,864 million migrants in North RhineWestphalia, the Turkish community makes up the largest minority with around 30 per cent. Migrants follow this from Italy with 7 per cent, Poland with 6 per cent and Greece with 5 per cent and the Netherlands with 4 per cent.

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North Rhine-Westphalia is also diverse in religious terms. According to a study by Volkhard Krech (2006), for example, 42.24 per cent of the population in North Rhine-Westphalia are Roman Catholics, 28.35 per cent are Protestant, 2.78 per cent are Muslim while many other religious groups are also present there.





The linguistic diversity of North Rhine-Westphalia is not statistically recorded. In

this regard, Luchtenberg (2002) points out:

In der Bundesrepublik Deutschland leben zurzeit ca. 9% Menschen mit einem nichtdeutschen Pass. Diese statistische Größe sagt allerdings noch erst wenig über sprachliche und kulturelle Vielfalt in Deutschland aus, denn mit diesen Daten werden die Einwanderer, die inzwischen einen deutschen Pass haben, ebensowenig erfasst wie diejenigen, die als deutschstämmige Aussiedler und Spätaussiedler in die Bundesrepublik gekommen sind. Auch regionale Sprachminderheiten – wie Friesen, Dänen oder Sorben – finden keine Berücksichtigung (p.27).

[About 9% of the people currently living in Germany have a non-German passport. However, this statistical fact says little about linguistic and cultural diversity in Germany, as migrants, who now have a German passport, as well as those who came into Germany as ethnic Germans are not recorded. Also regional linguistic minorities – such as Frisians, Danes or Sorbs – are not considered.] However, based on the percentage of migrants represented there, a presumption can be made that other languages are spoken in North Rhine-Westphalia including Turkish, Italian, Polish, Greek and Russian (see Graph 3).

1.2.2 Migration in Ireland The population of Ireland today is around 4.2 million (CSO 2007a, p.37). Diverse minorities, such as the Traveller community, who account for about 0.5 per cent of the total population, have always been present in Ireland (CSO 2007b, p.32).

However, Ireland has been historically known as a country of emigration. “Between 1871 and 1961, the average annual net emigration from Ireland consistently exceeded the natural increase in the Irish population, which shrank from about 4.4 million in 1861 to 2.8 million in 1961” (Ruhs 2009). This did not change until the early 1990s when the number of migrants coming to Ireland dramatically increased (ibid). Due to the improvement of the economic situation in Ireland, many Irish emigrants and their families returned (ibid). Furthermore, the number of people seeking asylum in Ireland rose from only 39 in 1992 to 11,000 in 2002 (NCCRI 2003b, p.2) The number of migrants living and working in Ireland grew further as a result of the EU enlargement in 2004. Ireland‟s subsequent decision to allow citizens of the ten new EU countries to work in Ireland and a dramatic increase in economic prosperity during the Celtic Tiger6 era (Ruhs 2009), resulted in the non-Irish population almost doubling from 224,000 in 2002 to 420,000 in 2006 (CSO 2002, CSO 2007b).

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The „Celtic Tiger‟ describes a period of dramatic economic growth in Ireland between the mid 1990s and 2007( Loyal 2009, p.112).

Work migration played a big part in the recent increase in the number of migrants, with non-Irish people being employed in all sectors, but especially in the health service, in the construction sector, in sales and commerce and the service industry (Office of the Minister for Integration 2008, p.21). As more than 180 nationalities (OECD 2009, p.39) are represented in Ireland, Irish society is also religiously diverse. The 2006 census recorded that there are at least 23 different religious groups including 87 per cent Roman Catholics, 3 per cent Protestants, 1 per cent Muslims and others (CSO 2007, p.23).

A study at the Language Centre in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth shows that Ireland is also linguistically diverse. It “put[s] the number of languages currently used in Ireland to at least 167” (Gallagher 2006). The ethnic and cultural diversity in Ireland is politically widely acknowledged. For example, in 2007 the Irish Government for the first time appointed a Minister of Integration, whose main objective was “to integrate people of much different culture, ethnicity, language and religion so that they become the new Irish citizens of the 21st century” (Lenihan 2008, in Office of the Minister for Integration 2008, p.10).

Having established the diverse ethnic and cultural make-up of both North RhineWestphalia and Ireland respectively, this study now seeks to look at the normative function of textbooks in relation to society. This is explored in the next section.

1.3 Society and Textbooks - The Normative Function of Textbooks Although Germany and Ireland have different migration histories, the social reality of a very diverse society in both countries is quite similar. The information in relation to migration in both contexts given above shows that migrants from all over the world, who build their lives in the two countries and thus become part of society, bring with them a rich variety of languages, traditions and religious beliefs.

According to Thiong‟o, 1997 (in Anderson 2002, p.1) “education is truly a mirror unto a people‟s social being and it is also the means by which that being is reproduced and passed onto the next generation”. Because education, as a medium of transferring the knowledge, norms and values of a society from one generation to the next, reflects society, this study asks how the ethnic and cultural „other‟, which forms a permanent part of society in Germany and Ireland respectively, is reflected in the “klassische multifunktionale” [classical multifunctional] tool (Schiller 2005) of education, namely the textbook.

According to Stray and Sutherland 1987 (p.263) “the modern notion of „textbook‟ as a book designed for a teaching situation, often with an adapted or specifically targeted text and/or with pedagogic additions (questions and answers, vocabulary, exercises, notes) seems to have solidified around 1830 “. According to Stein, 1977 (in Spinn 2008, p.8) the textbook functions in three ways: as an „Informatorium‟, a „Paedagogicum‟ and a „Politicum‟. It is an „Informatorium‟ because it conveys educational knowledge and facts. As its structure is developed in consideration with learning processes it is also a „Paedagogicum‟. The normative function defines the textbook as „Politicum‟ by which societal norms and values are conveyed to students.

Drawing on Stein‟s textbook functions, the textbook as „Informatorium‟ and „Politicum‟ are the main functions considered in this study. The intention is to analyse how the ethnic and cultural „other‟ is presented, i.e., what knowledge and facts about the „other‟ are portrayed in textbooks. The „Politicum‟ is informed by the „Informatorium‟, i.e., with the help of „how‟ conclusions can be drawn in relation to what norms and values are being communicated. The textbook as „Paedagogicum‟ has only been considered partially in the concluding chapter of this dissertation, where limits of the textbook as a medium of intercultural education are touched upon.



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