Author

Nadja Koening

Date Approved

2006

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

Committee Member

Michael A. Tew, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Gary L. Evans, PhD

Committee Member

Kathleen Stacey, PhD

Abstract

National identity and patriotism are very problematic and highly sensitive concepts in contemporary Germany. Many scholars agree that a positive national identity is crucial for a nation’s well-being. This research attempts to investigate the process of forming a national identity and the display of national pride in the intercultural communication context. One focus group was conducted to analyze how Germans construct and/or reinvent their national identity when communicating with individuals from other nations.

The results show that German national identity and national pride are strongly intertwined and poise a unique problem for every German. Germans have major difficulties in developing and expressing national pride, which consequently makes it even harder for the country to form a healthy and positive national identity. Thus, for Germany and its people, the connection between national identity and patriotism is a double-edged sword.

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