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Title: The unbearable closeness of the East: embodied micro-economies of difference, belonging, and intersecting marginalities in post-socialist Berlin
Authors: Matejskova, Tatiana
Keywords: Belonging
Embodied difference
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: © (Routledge) Taylor & Francis Group
Citation: MATEJSKOVA, T., 2013. The unbearable closeness of the East: embodied micro-economies of difference, belonging, and intersecting marginalities in post-socialist Berlin. Urban Geography, 34 (1), pp.30-52.
Abstract: This article examines micro-politics of belonging in the post-socialist outskirts of Berlin- Marzahn, one of new urban immigrant settlement areas in Europe. More specifically, it focuses on what locals perceive as an acceptance-precluding conspicuous presence of nominally white immigrants of German ancestry from the former Soviet Union, the Aussiedler (resettlers). Thus the paper outlines how long-term residents read and interpret these immigrants’ everyday embodiments, constructing what I call micro-economies of embodied difference, in order to mark the latter as Eastern-European and thus non-belonging. In order to make sense of such practices, the article examines the embeddedness of this suburban locality in extra-local politics of belonging, showing how Marzahn and its old-time residents have themselves become postwall Berlin’s (and Germany’s) internal Others, saturated with uncommodifiable traces of now denigrated state-socialist Easternness. I suggest that in such a context these residents’ practice of ascription of the unwanted Easternness to recent immigrants works to deflect it in order to buttress their own claims to full membership citizenship in the unified Germany they feel they have been excluded from so far.
Description: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Urban Geography on 11 Apr 2013, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02723638.2013.778630
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2013.778630
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12987
Publisher Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02723638.2013.778630
ISSN: 0272-3638
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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