In between states: National identity practices among German Jewish immigrants

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Abstract

Recent critiques of the identity literature have bemoaned the lack of clarity in conceptualizations of identity. R. W. Connell's (1987) theory of practice and Dorothy Smith's (1987, pp. 88-97) notion of "the everyday as problematic" provide the foundation for articulating the construct of identity practices. Identity practices refer to the routine actions and ways of thinking, as well as the representations of those acts and thoughts, that enable people to claim collective identities. Although identity practices mark group membership, they also signal marginality to or exclusion from other groups. This paper explores the importance of understanding identity practices at micro levels of interaction as well as macro-level structures and dominant culture narratives. The specific empirical focus - on German Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany and arrived in the United States by 1945 - enables an interrogation of the meanings associated with national identity practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-198
Number of pages20
JournalPolitical Psychology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science and International Relations

Keywords

  • Collective identity
  • Identity practices
  • Identity theory

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