Zakariás Ildikó, Feischmidt Margit: ‘We Are That In-Between Nation’: Discourses of Deservingness of Hungarian Migrants Working in Institutions of Refugee Accommodation in Germany

A tanulmány elérhető: ITT.


The article elaborates on the role of deservingness discourses in regulating membership of non-citizen groups in Germany. Specifically, it focuses on Hungarians working or volunteering in institutions of refugee accommodation in Germany. It asks how personal migration experience and migrant statuses and identities of Hungarian workers are mobilised when recreating discourses of refugee-deservingness. Performance expectations on refugees related to education and employment evoked references to similarities of migration experience, strengthening an empathetic perspective towards refugee clients and students. Deservingness frameworks related to culture were more ambiguous. A ‘mission civilisatrice’, that is educating Muslim Others to European, non-Muslim ways of behaving and thinking, often tied to gender relations, was paralleled by a continuous attempt to challenge and dismantle such discourses of difference and disciplining. These ambivalences of empathetic identification and disciplinary racialisation draw the contours of a characteristic place of (Hungarian) migrant workers in the governance of refugee accommodation in Germany.