Evaluation of State-Mandated Immigrant Integration Courses in Germany
This research addresses the role of sociopolitical discourse, legislative reform, administrative implementation, and policy evaluation for integration course policy in Germany and analyses its effects on the Turkish female migrant participant, a key target group for this policy area. In the process of unfolding this I seek to also illuminate how interactions between political administrative levels and various sectors of society have contributed to reform of this policy. The methodology is qualitative in scope and utilizes biographical narrative interview excerpts with migrant participants and supporting external studies on integration policy.
Results show women benefit greatly from these courses on a practical level and courses do contribute positively to inclusion in society, though obstacles in the larger sociopolitical sphere remain. Increased marketization trends show a potential weakening of integration course quality long-term, and administrative complexity is still the greatest challenge to implementation overall. While some aspects of the Residence Act have benefited female course participants, intentionally vague legal definitions on the "obligation versus right" to attend a course and proof of "proficiency in German" allows for possible arbitrary application of the law which may have unintended negative consequences for those whose visa status is tied to participation in a language course. Appendix and bibliography included. [September 2016]