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The Democratic Gap - Transcultural Confrontations of German Immigrants and the Promise of American Democracy

English, German · Hardback

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Why has the promise of American democracy been so persuasive to immigrants despite prejudice regarding cultural inferiority, a history of slavery and genocide, violations of human rights, media manipulations, and imperial self-righteousness? How can we analyze, understand, and evaluate the response patterns of immigrants, which evolved after the shock of arrival in the United States and the encounter with severe democratic shortcomings? This book investigates patriotic dissent of naturalized German immigrants to overcome what I call the democratic gap, namely the discrepancy between democratic ideals and practices. By turning to six force fields (abolitionism, female emancipation, cultural pluralism, patriotic performance culture, the civil rights movement, and Holocaust consciousness), a comparison of democratic criticism between German immigrants and African American writers reveals the underlying premises of transcultural confrontations and hidden motives behind declarations of Americanness. The response patterns discussed are also relevant for other immigrant groups such as Asian Americans, Arab Americans, or Hispanic and Latino Americans.

About the author

Frank Mehring, geboren 1970. Studium der Anglistik, Geschichts- und§Musikwissenschaften. 2001 Promotion in Giessen. 1995/96 Visiting Scholar an der University of Wisconsin-Madison. 1997/98 Visiting Fellow an der Harvard University. Derzeit Forschungstätigkeit am John-F.-Kennedy-Institut für Nordamerikastudien der Freien Universität Berlin.

Summary

Why has the promise of American democracy been so persuasive to immigrants despite prejudice regarding cultural inferiority, a history of slavery and genocide, violations of human rights, media manipulations, and imperial self-righteousness? How can we analyze, understand, and evaluate the response patterns of immigrants, which evolved after the shock of arrival in the United States and the encounter with severe democratic shortcomings?

This book investigates patriotic dissent of naturalized German immigrants to overcome what I call "the democratic gap," namely the discrepancy between democratic ideals and practices. By turning to six force fields (abolitionism, female emancipation, cultural pluralism, patriotic performance culture, the civil rights movement, and Holocaust consciousness), a comparison of democratic criticism between German immigrants and African American writers reveals the underlying premises of transcultural confrontations and hidden motives behind declarations of Americanness. The response patterns discussed are also relevant for other immigrant groups such as Asian Americans, Arab Americans, or Hispanic and Latino Americans.

Product details

Authors Frank Mehring
Publisher Universitätsverlag Winter
 
Languages English, German
Product format Hardback
Released 01.05.2014
 
EAN 9783825361709
ISBN 978-3-8253-6170-9
No. of pages 419
Dimensions 139 mm x 213 mm x 29 mm
Weight 620 g
Illustrations 38 farbige, 20 s/w Abbildungen
Series European Views of the United States
European Views of the United States
Subjects Humanities, art, music > Linguistics and literary studies > English linguistics / literary studies

Weill, Kurt, amerikanische Gesellschaft, Alterität, Transkulturalität, Naturalisierung, Reiss, Winold, Assing, Ottilie, Ahrend, Hanna, Einbürgerung /U.S.A., Immigration /U.S.A., Sozialgeschichte /U.S.A., Einwanderung /U.S.A., Massaquoi, Hans J.

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