Placing identities: Transnational practices and local attachments of Turkish immigrants in Germany

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237 Scopus citations


This paper examines the ways that Turkish immigrants create places of belonging in a German city. I suggest that transnational ties enable immigrants to forge local attachments through the production of place. Drawing on a neighbourhood case-study of Duisburg-Marxloh, I show how immigrants' transnational ties and practices visibly transform their current place of residence through transnational consumption, mass media, and the establishment of communal places such as mosques and teahouses that also contribute to conflicts between groups. Their placing of identities also forms an engagement with the receiving society, as immigrants are actively carving out belonging in the face of often hostile attitudes from German residents. Viewing immigrants' attachments from the perspective of places they create teases out the complexities of multiple and sometimes conflicting attachments of contemporary migrants, and allows for an understanding of transnational ties and engagement with the host society as complementary rather than contradictory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-364
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a US National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (BCS-0000282), the Association of American Geographers, and the Graduate School and the Department of Geography of the University of Minnesota. The author wishes to thank Bruce D’Arcus, Helga Leitner, Richa Nagar, David Conradson and Alan Latham for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Germany
  • Place identity
  • Transnational belonging
  • Turkish immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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