Confronting the Logic of a Nation-State


The article explores the increasing gap between the cultural dynamics of transnationalisation in Germany and the national self-perception of the German society. While concepts of “in-migration” (Zuwanderung) and “integration” still stick to notions of the nation-state as being a “container” embracing and controlling a population and a culture of its own, the various processes of material and imaginary mobility across the national borders contradict and challenge this notion as well as its political implications. By drawing on the transnational lifeworlds and the cultural productivity of migrants, anthropological research has made important contributions to render visible this challenge. It is argued, however, that an all too exclusive focus on migration may, in fact, rather conceal the wider effects of transnationalisation and cultural globalisation on the society and its cultural fabric as a whole.

How to Cite

Röhmhild, R., (2003) “Confronting the Logic of a Nation-State”, Ethnologia Europaea 33(1), 61-72. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


Download PDF



Regina Röhmhild (Universität Frankfurt)



Publication details



All rights reserved


File Checksums (MD5)

  • PDF: d86fb1723f0519f9b3c30758e7138953