Germans with Parents from Vietnam: Affective Dimensions of Parent-Child-Relations in Vietnamese Berlin

The contribution addresses the challenges Vietnamese parents and their children have to meet in the context of their immigration to Germany.
Based on a first explorative study of how the children of former Vietnamese contract laborers, who worked in the former GDR and are now living in Berlin, experience their family life, I will describe the intergenerational conflicts arising in these families and depict in what ways these dissonances are on the one hand entangled with the socio-political structures of this particular migration regime and on the other hand with Vietnamese parenting values and practices. The aim of my contribution is to reflect the affective dynamics evolving between children and parents within the transnational social field of Vietnamese Berlin in order to gain a better understanding of the reconfigurations of family relations, attachment formations and emotion repertoires in the context of migration.

Birgitt Röttger-Rössler is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Director of the newly established Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies. Dynamics of Sociality in a World in Motion” at Freie Universität Berlin. She studied Cultural and Social Anthropology, Romance studies, Malay Languages and Literatures at the universities of Göttingen, Zurich, Cologne and Bonn. She received her PhD 1988 at the University of Cologne and her post-doctoral degree (habilitation) 2001 at the University of Göttingen.
Birgitt Röttger-Rössler is deeply engaged in interdisciplinary work: from 2003 -2006 she was head of the research group “Emotions as Bio-cultural Processes” at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Bielefeld; she acted as Vice Director of the interdisciplinary Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion” (2013-15) at FU and as Dean of the Faculty for Political and Social Science (2011-13). For the last years her research focused on emotion research, primarily dealing with the cultural modeling of emotions in Southeast Asian societies. She conducted several years of fieldwork, mainly in Indonesia.Her current projects deal with the socialization of emotions in cross-cultural comparison, with the connection of emotion and memory as well as with conflicting feeling rules in the context of migration. Amongst her publications including two monographs and numerous articles, the co-edited books Feelings at the Margins. Dealing with Violence, Stigma and Isolation in Indonesia (2014) and Empathy (Emotion Review) (2012) are the latest.