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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Submerged identitites : German Canadian immigrants (1945-1960) Paul, Jeanette Katharine

Abstract

This project explores the history of Germans in Canada: their experiences prior to, during, and after the Second World War. The primary focus of this project will be on the construction of the German Canadian identity in the years after the Second World War. I contend that German Canadian immigrants from the post-war years experienced discrimination and negativity which forced them to submerge their true identities. This submersion has left us with a weak German Canadian culture today-it is one based on the outdated notion of "oom-pa-pa" bands and Schuhplattler dancers. As this culture-and the people who perpetuate it-die off, we are left with a German Canadian culture and identity that is more and more Canadian. This project is primarily composed of a literature review and will use Erving GofFman's theory on stigma and spoiled identities.

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