Globalization and Ethnicity: Construction of Hybrid Indentit(ies) in North America and Great Britain

This project researches some of the connections between "globalization" and its impact on diasporic cultures (shaped by migration) in a world-wide context. These cultures come into existence through hybridization in so-called contact-zones, that is, in the "third space" between residential national cultures in the USA, Canada and Great Britain and the migrating cultures of the Caribbean. The identities that emerge from these cultural forms (alterity/subaltern, gender, community vs. individuum) are examined under the conditions of globalization as a paradigma for new concepts of ethnicity and raise the following questions: How does the relationship between classical instruments of liberal human rights of national states and the "community of communities", which is a social conglomerate due to globalization and migration, develop? Which "narratives" give structure and destine collective memories of ethnic/national/migrant communities in Benedict Anderson´s sense of "imagined communities" and how are these narratives read and understood in the "host country"?
The aesthetic or rather autobiographical representations of ethnicity are seen in relation to medial constructions of publicity and aim at a societal description of self (liberal, humanist, human rights-oriented, neo-liberal, neo-conservative, racist) and can therefore be seen as a "reflection of internal social system boundaries".

Duration of Funding: 2001-2003

Associate Prof. Carmen Birkle (American Studies)
Prof. Wolfgang Riedel (English)
Co-operating Partners:
Dr. Paul Gready (Lecturer in Commonwealth Politics and Human Rights, University of London)
Prof. Erna Brodber (Sociology, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica)

Birkle, Carmen (2004): Caribbean and Irish (De)Colonizations in Comparison: Dionne Brand’s and Evan Boland’s Recovery of the ‘Lost Land’. In: Sites of Ethnicity: Europe and the Amercias. Hrsg. von Carmen Birkle, William Boelhower und Rocio Davis. Heidelberg. S. 347-360.

Riedel, Wolfgang (2000): Die ethnischen Minderheiten im Vereinigten Königreich (UK). In: Ausländer in Deutschland. Probleme einer transkulturellen Gesellschaft aus geographischer Sicht. Hrsg. von Anton Escher. Mainz. (= Mainzer Kontaktstudium Geographie, Bd. 6)