Dissertation Abstracts

German Integration and a New Way to create National Identity "Jus Educatio": The Case of German Adult Education

Author: Sano, Atsuko , sanoatsu@hotmail.com
Department: Doctoral Program in Social Design Studies
University: Rikkyo University, Japan
Supervisor: Yukie OSA (Rikkyo University, Association for Aid and Relief (AAR))
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: Japanese

Keywords: Identity , Integration , education , Germany
Areas of Research: Comparative Sociology , Migration , Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations


My doctoral thesis discusses national identity in the era of globalization; specifically, I elaborate on a concept that I call “Jus Educatio”, derived from a study of how national identity is recreated through German adult education. "Jus Educatio" has strong relationship with “cosmopolitan state”, which Anthony Giddens referred to that Germany shall realize in the context of Europe.

“Jus Educatio” means that citizenship is decided mainly by education rather than by place of birth (i.e. "Jus soli" or right of the soil) or by parents' citizenship [i.e. "Jus sanguinis" or right of blood). The study of German Adult education, and particularly, integration course offered to immigrants, I found Germany has invented a new principal of nationality in an effort to foster a more acceptable and “comfortable” identity both for the native German and immigrant residents.

To illustrate this point, I examined how deeply implicated adult education is in nationality and citizenship. Adult education, which is related to immigrant integration, draws on four main points regarding the renewal of German identity and education. First, the new identity is based on an awareness of German history (particularly, the culpability of Nazis and the union of East and West Germany) as well as constitutional law (Grundgesetz). Second, these educational courses function as a way to determine citizenship; newcomers are obligated to take them along with a citizenship test (?Einbürgerungstest), which tests if a candidate has enough knowledge of German society to be a German. Third, German identity can be easily adapted to European identity by expanding historical recognition (an awareness of the culpability of Nazis transforms into an emphasis on the importance of diversity, while the unity of East and West Germany is broadened to the European Union, etc.) and constitution (human rights, diversity, sexual equality etc.). However, the same does not hold with Islamic identity. Lastly, new identity is understood to be fostered through education and designed to be acceptable both for the native and non-native Germans. For these reasons, I argue that German identity is determined by education with the new concept of “Jus Educatio”, while German revised nationality act (enacted in 2000) is represented by blood and birthplace.

A fruitful area of further inquiry is to examine “Jus Educatio” in other nation-states; I’m now pursuing this possibility as a postdoctoral study. In particular, this comparison should be with a country with a large immigrant population, and where there is a desire to become a “cosmopolitan state”. The comparisons, I believe, will either show that “Jus Educatio” is a completely novel concept in the global era. Or it can show that "Jus Educatio" is a intermediate system, as the nation transitions from "Jus sanguinis" to "Jus soli".

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