Identity Politics and Belonging. Life Stories of People with Afghan Origin Living in Iran and Germany
Afghanistan has been recently recognized to be either the second or the third main refugee producer in the world. Pakistan, Iran, and Germany have been respectively the first three main destinations of Afghans. In this project, I will focus on the lives of Afghans in Iran and Germany and try to see how they identify themselves and how the given societies define them. The reasons behind choosing these two contexts are firstly because of the high number of Afghans living in these two countries and secondly, this project provides information about the second migrations of Afghans towards Europe. I want to show that the issue of identity and self-perception is a significant motive behind second migration of Afghans, the very fact, which has been neglected in international laws and treaties concerning the issue of forced migration. Even though Iran has been a favorite destination for Afghans due to the geographical adjacency or the commonalities such as religion, language, and culture, there have always been many Afghans, who have decided or decide to leave this country either for their own country or other countries, especially European ones. 2015, the year in which the Europe’s open border policy took place, made clear that a large number of Afghans left Iran for a better life. In this project, I make use of a wide range of identity theories such as G. H. Mead’s symbolic interactionism, Erving Goffman’ dramaturgical presentation of self, Erik Erikson’s 8 stages of psychosocial development as well as other poststructuralist approaches to the Subject and structure to see how Afghans define themselves according to the societies in which they live. Narrative interviews with informants, legal and archival texts as well as other secondary literature comprise my data for this research.
Azimi, Morteza. 2019. “The Identity of Identity”. KULT_online, no. 60 (November 2019).