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Belgian Germans or East-Belgians?

posted Mar 12, 2016, 11:29 AM by Naomi Naghi   [ updated Jul 27, 2016, 1:52 PM ]

Petr Kokaisl[1] & Pavla Kokaislova

Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 6, Issue: 1
, Online First
Date: July 2015
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: This paper discusses the German-speaking community (DG) in Belgium and the transformation of its ethnic identity. On the territory of present-day Belgium there lived, for a long time, an indigenous population that speaks a German dialect. However, after part of the German territory was connected to Belgium following World War I, the ethnic transformation of the original German-speaking population changed, but there was also a change of ethnicity in the Germans who became nationals of Belgium. As the German population (or population speaking a German dialect) lives outside the autonomous region of DG, it is possible to examine the government’s influence in shaping ethnicity and language. The paper aims to answer a question concerning the derivation of their ethnicity: What constitutes the ethnicity of the German-speaking population? (E.g. language, location, historical traditions, and common historical origin) and another question concerning the development of language: What impact has the official status of the language had in its development and use?

 Keywords: Ethnic Minorities; German-Speaking Community; Belgium; Eupen; Malmedy; Ethnicity; Citizenship; Autonomy.

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