Realising the self and 'developing the African': German immigrants in Namibia

Armbruster, Heidi (2010) Realising the self and 'developing the African': German immigrants in Namibia [in special issue: Examining Expatriate Continuities: Postcolonial Approaches to Mobile Professionals] Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36, (8), pp. 1229-1246. (doi:10.1080/13691831003687683).


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This paper is based on research among German immigrants in Namibia, a country with a long history of colonisation. After Germany, the first colonial power, ceded the territory as a consequence of the First World War, South Africa effectively ruled the country until 1990. Both former colonial powers established principles of white rule and initiated settler communities, whose descendants still live in the country. This article examines biographical narratives of German immigrants who have settled in Namibia since the 1950s. It focuses on their discourses of self-understanding in this postcolonial, post-apartheid context. The discussion follows two related issues: the cultural models of personhood that narrators use to represent their historical selves, and the ways in which these models are applied to recent historical change in Namibia. The article concludes by showing how both perspectives work to recycle colonial imaginations.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/13691831003687683
ISSNs: 1369-183X (print)
Keywords: expatriate, postcolonial, namibia, germans, identities

ePrint ID: 148237
Date :
Date Event
28 June 2010e-pub ahead of print
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2010 13:58
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 14:34
Further Information:Google Scholar

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