“Integration” refers to multiple arenas in German migration politics, including journalistic discourse, public policy, and cultural logics about incorporating immigrants and refugees into the nation. This article examines two non-fiction narratives, Das Ende der Geduld by Kirsten Heisig and Muslim Girls by Sineb El Masrar, to explore how each author characterizes integration from opposite sides of the political spectrum. In integration politics, adolescence is often construed as a problem, which—when improperly managed—leads to the criminalization or radicalization of youth of color. Comparative analysis of these two texts shows that institutions such as the school and the criminal justice system produce adolescence as a problem for integration and as a way to avoid acknowledging institutionalized inequity. These two examples exist as part of a longer genealogy of authors using mass-market paperbacks to comment on integration politics.
Johanna Schuster-Craig is an Assistant Professor of German and Global Studies at Michigan State University. She has previously published articles about integration politics in German Life and Letters, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, German Studies Review, and the edited collection Cultural Topographies of the New Berlin. She is currently at work on a book about the development of integration politics.