Importance of the Marginalized Groups in Germany

Importance of the Marginalized Groups in Germany



Importance of the Marginalized Groups in Germany

Marginalized communities are those that are socially excluded and their access to liberties that the general population enjoy is strained .This presents a challenge if these groups aspire to integrate with the larger society. Most often, the uncomfortable conditions are meant to frustrate these efforts. Since the 19th century, Germans have relied on foreign labor immensely starting out with Polish farmhands in Prussian farms. Immigrants comprise the marginalized minority in this country. The myth that they are either burdensome refugees draining the countries resources or ambitious workforce taking locals employment opportunities is prevalent. Xenophobic tendencies are also exacerbated by the historically rooted self-hatred. (Mueller, 2006) If you cannot take pride in your own identity, embracing others will present a challenge. The early stability of the steel and coal industries can be attributed to Polish and Italian citizens who provided cheap labor. This goes a long way in confirming that minorities are crucial stakeholders of the economic growth process.

Gays unlike most countries do not fall under this category in Germany, who has proved most tolerant. Immigrants and asylum seekers bear majority of this brunt. The main issue to be addressed is how to deal with foreigners objectively. There are several impediments to the daunting task of integration. Germans outlook on integration requires assimilation of foreigners into their culture, transforming them into Germans; multiculturalism is not given a second thought. (Mueller, 2006) Conservatives initially proposed that Leitkultur (defining or guiding culture) be used for smoother integration before dropping the notion altogether. Leitkultur comprised of the core tenets of German culture. . “The concept conveys
the notion of a society with cultural homogeneity in contrast to the idea of a
multi-cultural society with ethnic and/or religious configurations shaping
components of an individual’s identity. In a multi-cultural society various
groups can co-exist with the integrating component provided not through
culture but through adherence to universally valid principles, such as those
embodied in a democratic social system.”(Mueller 2006)

This goes against the very definition of integration, which implies a society tolerating multiple differentiated lifestyles. The reason pluralism is approached with such apprehension is the thought of giving equal status to other cultures and their religions which are viewed as fundamentalist. Difficulty arises as majority of Germans can trace their roots to Christian background.Majority of learned immigrant perceive this period as auspicious to raise question about moral inclusion. Immigrants share the sentiments of the natives in regard to religion, being absorbed into the natives ‘superior culture’ is of least importance. Religion is the strongest support system to immigrants that cushion them from the harsh realities of second-class citizens.This explains why majority of Turkish youth take up religions as opposed to the worrying statistics in their German counterparts.

Despite proof that immigrants have a positive effect on the economy; the media has been in the forefront in reinforcing negative stereotypes. The fact to the locals, Islam is synonymous to extremism can be attributed to them. This has undermined the integration process. For example, in crime reporting the perpetrator is identified according to his ethnic background. In the mind of the viewer, he becomes a representative of the whole ‘criminal’ group. (Williamson, DeSouza, 2006) Media holds a lot of influence as an education tool and promotes fluency in the languages that it airs. This may help in fixing linguistic deficiencies that exist in the country. However, this is not possible as most immigrants subscribe to programs from their countries edifying their mother tongue at expense of the national language. Restrictions to entry into the education system do not help this cause .The urgency of educating the populace on the need for foreign labor cannot be overemphasized. The media and politicians share in this serious failure. Immigration laws should become more fluid; this is to offset the low birth rate and aging population in the country. Otherwise, the country will remain in a permanent state of recession.

According to Howard (2008), Germany’s stand on dual citizenship makes the country unattractive to desperately needed skilled workers who opt to go the United States, Canada among others. Majority of immigrants want to enjoy the benefits of a citizen of both states that is while living in the country and sending money back home to their families. Attainment of a green card is mired by bureaucracy and xenophobic sentiments of the ignorant public. The country has a vacancy of knowledge jobs. The structural unemployment is present because the government is not keen in improving the quality of education for immigrant’s children who comprise the bulk of students in institutions. (Elger,  Kneip,  Theile,  2009) Most of them are third generation Germans who up until recently had constraints attaining citizenship. Poor grasping of content matter can be attributed to language barrier.

Family is a value held in high esteem by most immigrants. In fact, in the Turkish community it tops the list of desired things finishing with a good occupation. Immigrant families mostly have stable extended families as opposed to nuclear German families that foster individualism. The former also have lower divorce rates (Mueller 2006). Foreigners rarely intermarry with locals and when they do it ends up in divorce, therefore the potential of using this strategy of integration is futile.

            Germany has come along way from the Nazi Dark Age this tremendous achievement is commendable. The immigrants are not demarcated off into camps, they are free to reside where they please. However, it should take steps that are more concrete in public awareness of the need for immigrants and that they should be as hospitable as possible towards them. This will translate in to a more productive workforce stimulating economic growth. As much as it cannot be an overnight change, only a conscious effort with the politicians, media and most importantly grass root citizens at the helm  will this emerge successful.


Williamson, A., and DeSouza, R. (2006). Representing ethnic communities in the media: Aotearoa Ethnic Network Journal Williamson,

Howard, M.Mark (2008).The Causes and Consequence of Germany’s New Citizenship Law: German Politics, Vol.17, No.1, March 2008, pp.41–62

Mueller, Claus (2006). Population research and policy review :Integrating Turkish Communities: a German dilemma .

Elger, k., Kneip, A., Theile M. (2009) Immigration: Survey Shows Alarming Lack of Integration in Germany. . November 7 2014.

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