Aussiedler repatriation: Rhetoric, reproduction, and demography in the context of the welfare state
Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 131.2006:71-89
Keywords: Aussiedler, immigration, repatriates, demography, integration, symbolical incorporation, welfare benefits

##This paper addresses the repatriation of Aussiedler or "ethnic Germans" to Germany. It focuses specifically on the use of the rhetoric of "demography" and "reproduction" to show some of the ways in which Aussiedler are symbolically incorporated into German society. The paper argues that demographic discourse functions as a form of mimetic magic that serves to symbolically transform immigrants into family members. Such magical discourse, however, is challenged by German welfare-policy, which grants access to benefits to virtually all immigrants. The paper is based on fieldwork conducted in Berlin in 1994 and 1995.##