EUS 301 • Germany and Globalization
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Globalization is a historical process of worldwide integration that has both economic and cultural dimensions. As Europe's largest economy and labor market, Germany has experienced both economic and cultural globalization in ways that have transformed a society long associated with mythic ideas about German nationhood and identity. The new economic order of the European Union,characterized by multinational corporations and the free flow of capital and labor, has changed German society by internationalizing the products, services, travel opportunities, and mass media that are now available to all Germans. One aspect of this process has been the arrival of foreign workers that began during the 1950s. Today the presence of 7,000,000 foreign residents, including 2,000,000 Turks, is forcing the German myth of national identity to change toward a more multiethnic model. The "Völkisch" view of nationality based on blood lines rather than a liberal, republican view of citizenship is in decline, even as conservatives lament the advent of the "multicultural playground." This protest against internationalization can be understood as the latest manifestation of the nationalist and racial ethnocentrism that culminated in Hitler's attempt to fashion a New Order in Europe by means of a genocidal imperialism. The postwar transformation of Germany's role in the world is evident in the fact that the prime mover of the European Union has been the (conservative) German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1982-98). The Social Democratic/Green victory of September 1998 is further evidence of German society's assimilation to international economic and cultural standards. Cultural globalization during the postwar period has been driven primarily by an American "cultural imperialism" that includes the sheer power of the English language to insinuate itself into virtually all aspects of the modern experience. Popular music, television programming, and Hollywood films exemplify the appeal of American cultural models in Germany and in other modern societies. The German language is absorbing American vocabulary ("Team," "Insider," "Know-How," "Power," etc.) at a breathtaking rate, a cultural process that has been accelerated in recent years by the ubiquity of a computer technology of American origin. All of these trends make German society an important case study in the epochal contest between cultural self-preservation and globalization that is taking place around the world.
Attendance 10% 2 4-page papers and 1 8-10-page paper 30% midterm 20% final 40%
The Lexis and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman Course Packet Readings