One Word Shapes a Nation
Integration Politics in Germany
One Word Shapes a Nation demonstrates that integration politics limit how immigrants, refugees, and their descendants can participate in German society and how Germans imagine their national future. By reconstructing recent polemic media scandals, re-interpreting historical narratives about migration after the Second World War, and conducting extensive fieldwork with social work organizations that implement "integrative" programs, Johanna Schuster-Craig explores the intersection between media, capital, nation-building, and human lives in contemporary German society.
The book reveals that while anti-immigrant tropes are long-standing in German post-war history, integration is not the only potential model. Schuster-Craig argues that "integration politics" in Germany is defined by a selective approach to who qualifies as a citizen, as well as beliefs about German national identity that require assimilation to cultural values beyond mere naturalization.
Drawing on media analysis of key public speeches and debates, historical analysis, and ethnographic observation and interviews, Schuster-Craig examines the nature and impact of an integrative apparatus. One Word Shapes a Nation ultimately asks what it would take to reimagine immigrant incorporation as a form of citizenship that applies to everyone.
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