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Struggling for Recognition
The Alevi Movement in Germany and in Transnational Space
302 pages, 16 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-478-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (May 2008)
eISBN 978-0-85745-014-2 eBook
“…the book is an important guide in finding our way in the evolving Alevi transnational landscape.” · Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration
“…the book is well written and gives a rich account of Alevi identity construction and group formation in Germany. Struggling for Recognitionis an important book and a must read.” · Journal of International Migration and Integration
“This book is based on rich data that is not easily accessible. It is also theoretically well-grounded and the author successfully brings his data in conversation with the theories on the anthropology of identity, transnationalism, and migration. This is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and their changing identities in Europe.” · American Ethnologist
“...presents fascinating and well-balanced case studies.” · International Migration Review
“ …provides an important and nuanced study of one particular group, the Alevi, and in so doing creates space for broader and more careful considerations of different minority communities within Germany…Sökefeld’s choice of the gerund for the title underlines that identity is an ongoing, complicated process rather than a fixed status. For this reason, this study is useful not only for what it illuminates about minorities within contemporary Germany, but also for what it tells us about Germany today.” · H-German
“Martin Sökefeld’s book provides an important and nuanced study of one particular group, the Alevi, and in so doing creates space for broader and more careful considerations of different minority communities within Germany. Sökefeld's book does not offer a definition of what Alevis are and where they fit in, but rather, as he states, ‘a refusal to do so’. The difficulty of both defining and acknowledging Alevis within the various intersecting Turkish communities of Germany is the driving force behind this book--an exercise that provides an important lesson for minority studies within and beyond German studies.” · H-Soz-und-Kult
“By placing at the heart of the book the politics of recognition and the formation of a social movement, Martin Sökefeld raises interesting and under-studied questions concerning the relation of the latter with the emergence of diasporas. In this way, he overcomes often essentialist discourses about home and belonging.” · JRAI
“…the book is well written and gives a rich account of Alevi identity construction and group formation in Germany. Struggling for Recognition is an important book and a must read.” · International Migration and Integration
“Overall this is an excellent and very readable book about a complicated subject matter that for many, who are not very familiar with the situation in Anatolia, contains highly confusing aspects. Thanks to its solid theoretical framework this book offers, beyond its specific theme, an important contribution to current debates on identity politics, Diaspora, social movements, and migration.” · Zeitschrift für Ethnologie
As a religious and cultural minority in Turkey, the Alevis have suffered a long history of persecution and discrimination. In the late 1980s they started a movement for the recognition of Alevi identity in both Germany and Turkey. Today, they constitute a significant segment of Germany’s Turkish immigrant population. In a departure from the current debate on identity and diaspora, Sökefeld offers a rich account of the emergence and institutionalization of the Alevi movement in Germany, giving particular attention to its politics of recognition within Germany and in a transnational context. The book deftly combines empirical findings with innovative theoretical arguments and addresses current questions of migration, diaspora, transnationalism, and identity.
Martin Sökefeld is professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Munich, Germany. He previously taught at the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In 1997 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen and his Habilitation from the University of Hamburg in 2005. Sökefeld has also done fieldwork on ethnicity in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.