The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 reunited factions of not just one, but two formerly divided countries: Germany and Vietnam. Utilizing this theoretically unique case of Vietnamese refugee and immigrant resettlement in Germany, I ask: How do ethnic Vietnamese individuals’ perceptions of coethnics complicate or reinforce social divisions? This essay is based on participant-observation in various sites across Berlin and semi-structured, in-depth interviews. In noting how respondents at times naturalize or reject differences among Vietnamese from varying regions of origin and migration streams, I consider how they reproduce coethnic divisions, at times to protect their societal standing in Germany.
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