Being German: examining national identity as a collective experience
Nigbur, D. and Franz, A. 2019. Being German: examining national identity as a collective experience.
|Nigbur, D. and Franz, A.
National identity is a complex topic requiring multi-methodological research and close attention to everyday, banal nationalism. Our aim was to examine the lived experience of being German, combining the natural interaction of a group discussion with the experiential focus of phenomenology. Two focus groups with German participants were conducted in an industrial town in the west of Germany. One discussion involved a group of five friends,the other a group of four work colleagues. Both were moderated by a German national in the German language. Conversation topics included occasions where national identity was especially salient, the meaning of being German, and making sense of national history. The discussions were transcribed and analysed using a qualitative approach based on interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Several important themes centred on the difficulty experienced by Germans in feeling or displaying national pride (with tentative exceptions for cultural and sporting achievements). A second superordinate theme was the value placed on stability in German culture, and how people understood this as historically determined. The study shows how our approach can add a unique and ecologically valid perspective to research on national identity, focusing on everyday shared experience rather than measurement or discourse.
|National identity; Germany; interpretative phenomenological analysis; qualitative research
|17. Tagung der Fachgruppe Sozialpsychologie
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© 2019 Nigbur & Franz
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|02 Dec 2019
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