Prompt: Based on the readings from last week and for this upcoming week, what are your thoughts about the following four narratives of the city of Berlin:
Berlin as a city of the Wall, as a global city, as a city of the European union, and Berlin as a city of immigrants.
How do you see these narratives as a reflection of German identity? How does this compare to an American identity?
The globalized city narrative can be taken further when considering Berlin as a part of the European Union. This collection of countries and the diplomatic, political, and economic bonds they share are evidence of the "opening" of Berlin and it's new role as, as Castles and Miller note, a multicultural, multiethnic center that indicates a global city. This narrative will undoubtedly continue to be shaped by the very people who make the international distinction possible: immigrants. This requires looking at Berlin through yet another lens, that of migration. In this reading, and from others we have looked at, Germany holds a very strict immigration policy that actively works against the settling of new immigrant families. I think it's interesting to compare and contrast the attitudes towards immigration between the United States and Germany. In the States, at least historically, immigration was viewed as building the country towards some larger goal, with the melting pot of different identities falling under the umbrella of the "American Dream." However, times have changed this outlook, and now it more closely resembles Germany's more hardline stance. You hear both side justify it by separating immigrants as "others" who are not fully German/American. I do think the distinction remains that in the States, one can "become" an American, either legally, through time, or assimilation. The difficulties that German citizenship presents immigrants results in them carrying their "migrant background" into the narratives of Berlin. Thus, the city is once again subject to division, just without the physical barrier.