Perceived Anti-Germanism in Austria

Greth, Julia; Köllen, Thomas (2016). Perceived Anti-Germanism in Austria. Studies in ethnicity and nationalism, 16(1), pp. 40-62. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/sena.12165

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Germans working in Austria are confronted with several subliminal resentments. Research on nationalism, racism, and diversity has overlooked this topic up to now, as Germans, as well as other Northern American or Western European citizens, are very rarely analysed as marginalized groups. Furthermore, the situation of migrants from geographically, linguistically, and culturally close countries, has received scant attention and been deemed of little importance up to now. The anti-German sentiments in Austria are primarily based on the Austrian self-perception of being non-German as a constitutive element of ‘Austrian-ness’. Related to that, negative attributions ascribed to Germans simultaneously mean a positive attribution of ‘Being Austrian’. Based on a content analysis of ten narrative interviews, conducted with Germans working in Austria, it appears that they permanently experience being categorized as ‘the Germans’, which leads to several types of exclusion, demotion, and also discrimination in the workplace. Differences in hierarchy level and perceived competition seem to moderate this effect. It appears that workplace superiors of Germans tend also to put an emphasis on positive stereotypes related with Germans, whereas Austrian colleagues on the same hierarchy level tend to performatively construct and reproduce ‘Being German’ as a deficit that they associate with negative stereotypes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Organization and Human Resource Management > Human Resource Management

UniBE Contributor:

Köllen, Thomas


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations








Thomas Köllen

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2018 09:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:10

Publisher DOI:





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