[…]scholars like Kien Nghi Ha and Markus Schmitz raised objections about the very establishment of the German integration program and argued that it extended the colonial legacy of seeking to control immigrants arriving in Germany.7 This was not an objection to or condemnation of genuine efforts to resettle refugees through language and culture classes, but rather a recognition that the nature of the program had colonial baggage. “8 Even if we were to briefly set aside the concerns raised by these scholars about both the symbolism and effects caused by establishing an integration program, the models of intercultural learning would still have crucial implications in relation to learner subjectivity. The nature of cultural content in the orientation course has not always centered learners’ experiences, and as Rebecca Zabel demonstrated, included specific/standardized conceptualizations about German culture.9 Upon critically analyzing the state-approved curriculum and sanctioned textbooks using multimodal critical discourse analysis, my preliminary findings indicate that intercultural knowledge tends to be framed using nation-state ideologies and that racial, ethnic, and religious minorities are positioned as eternal outsiders in the textbooks—a positioning that constrains transnational views about Germany and limits the ways in which arriving immigrants might design their social futures.

DOI: 10.1353/gsr.2023.0009
ISSN: 0149-7952