“Please be as we would like to be”

The German course in the migration societies Germany and Austria between disciplinary action and empowerment - A critical analysis from the standpoint of educational science and the concept of 'hegemony'

Still, the number of refugees in Germany and Austria is growing daily. Not only the question about adequate accommodations and basic maintenance are virulent. Also, the necessity of enough space and trained staff to teach basic German language skills is claimed as a requirement over and over again. The ability to speak the language of the receiving country is one of the foundations for migrants and refugees in Austria and Germany to expand their own scope. At the same time, the high requirements on those who have just arrived, to learn German immediately also serve to stabilize hegemonic conditions and are thereby at least ambivalent.

In the context of the qualitative study, the current situation of German teaching and learning under full and voluntary conditions in the context of institutionally anchored courses in Germany and Austria are examined under various questions of critical hegemony. The aim is to uncover at the macro level (the organization) the balance of power within which the system of German courses is set up. On a micro level (in the course room)  the idea is to understand which assumptions of 'normality' are currently negotiated and mediated under the heading "German courses for migrants and refugees". These questions are explored in volunteer as well as in professional contexts.

Theoretical perspectives of the analysis include postcolonial theoretical approaches by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, considerations of hegemony by Antonio Gramsci, and Michel Foucault's power and discourse analysis.

Empirically, three different perspectives are used as the basis for a method triangulation. Thus, a) interviews with staff responsible for the organization of German language courses, as well as with honorary and institutionalized German course instructors are conducted, b) German language courses are observed, and c) textbooks that have been licensed by the state for German language courses are analyzed.

The extensive data material is evaluated with critical discourse analysis (Wodak). The results are published continuously in individual articles.

Thematically assigned articles (cumulative habilitation):

Theoretical Framework:

State of Research

Heinemann, Alisha; Mecheril, Paul (2016): Erziehungswissenschaftliche Diskriminierungsforschung in: Scherr, Albert; El-Mafaalani, Aladin (Hrsg.): Handbuch Diskriminierung, S. 117-131

The Perspectives

Postcolonial Theory

Heinemann, Alisha M.B. (in press): Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Adult Education - Rearranging desires at both ends of the spectrum in Postcolonial Directions in Education, VOL 8, No 1, University of Malta open access

The Critic of Hegemony and Racism

Heinemann, Alisha; Ortner, Rosemarie (2018): Hegemonie- und Rassismuskritische Perspektiven in der Erwachsenenbildung in: Dausien, Bettina; Holzer, Daniela; Schlögl, Peter (Hrsg.): Forschungsinseln. Beobachtungen aus der österreichischen Erwachenenbildungsforschung. Bd. 3, , ÖFEB - Reihe Beiträge zur Bildungsforschung, Münster/New York Waxmann Verlag, S. 55 -70

Heinemann, Alisha M.B.; Mecheril, Paul (2014): Institutioneller Rassimus als Analyseperspektive. Zwei Argumente in: Weiterdenken - Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Sachsen, Kulturbüro Sachsen e.V. und Antidiskriminierungsbüro Sachsen (Hrsg.): Alles im weißen Bereich? Institutioneller Rassismus in Sachsen. Erweiterter Tagungsband in der Reihe Demokratie. Dresden, S. 17-25 open access


Castro Varela, María do Mar; Heinemann, Alisha M. B. (2017): Ambivalente Erbschaften. Verlernen erlernen! In: Trafo.K. (Hrsg.): Strategien für Zwischenräume. Ver_Lernen in der Migrationsgesellschaft. (Schulheft 1/2017) open access

Heinemann, Alisha M.B. (2015): Risiken und reflexive Anforderungen des sogenannten "kulturellen Lernens" im Deutsch als Fremd- und Zweitsprachenunterricht, ÖDaF-Mitteilungen Informationen des Vereins "Österreichischer Verband für Deutsch als Fremdsprache / Zweitsprache", 31, 1/2015, S. 75-83 peer-reviewed

Language and Affects

Heinemann, Alisha M.B.; Dirim, İnci (2016): "Die sprechen bestimmt (schlecht) über mich" - Sprache als ordnendes Prinzip im Bildungssystem in: Arslan, Emre/Bozay, Kemal (Hrsg.): Bildungsungleichheit und Symbolische Ordnung in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft, Springer VS, S. 199-214

Castro Varela, María do Mar; Heinemann, Alisha M.B. (2016): Mitleid, Paternalismus, Solidarität. Zur Rolle von Affekten in der politisch-kulturellen Arbeit in: Gritschke, Caroline; Ziese, Maren: Geflüchtete und Kulturelle Bildung, transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, S. 51-66

Data Analysis:

Heinemann, Alisha M. B. (2018): Alles unter Kontrolle? - Der Deutschkurs in der Erwachsenenbildung in: Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung, DIE, Bonn peer-reviewed - open access

Heinemann, Alisha M. B. (2018): The Making of 'Good Citizens': German Courses for Migrants and Refugees, in Studies in the Education of Adults, Special Issue: Migration, Adult Education and Learning, Taylor & Francis online, S. 177-195 peer-reviewed - open access