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English  gk  Hessen  

eat  it.  

Jan  Oltmer  


Sehr  formal  halten,  anrede  und  verabschiedung  beachten  

Descriptive  tasks  



phrases,  connections,  useful  verbs  
Hinzufügen:  furthermore,  above  all,  in  addition,  also,  too,  moreover,  then,  apart  from  
that,  another  factor/problem  is...,    
Vergleichen:  compared  to/with,  equally,  in  comparison  with,  you  can/can't  compare  it  
with,  in  the  same  way,,  both...and,  either...or,  but,  despite/in  spite  of,  in  contrast  to,  
Verdeutlichen:  in  other  words,  to  put  it  in  another  way  
Bedingung:  if,  besides,  unless,  (al)though,  however,  still  
Textstruktur  /  Textstil  
The  author  begins  /  starts  with...  (Der  Autor  beginnt  /  startet  mit...)  
At  first  /  At  the  beginning...  (Zuerst  /  Am  Anfang...)  
The  text  divides  into  two/three/four  parts/paragraphs.    (Der  Text  ist  in  zwei/drei/vier  
Abschnitte  eingeteilt.)  
In  the  first/second/third/last  part  of  the  text  the  author...  (Im  
ersten/zweiten/dritten/letzten  Abschnitt  des  Textes...)  
The  author  uses  short  /  long  sentences  in  order  to...  (Der  Autor  gebraucht  kurze/lange  
Sätze,  um...)  
The  author  employs  main  clauses  to...  (Der  Autor  gebraucht  Hauotsätze,  um...)  
The  text  is  written  in  a  humorous  /  ironical  way.  (Der  Text  ist  in  einer  
humorvollen/ironischen  Art  und  Weise  geschrieben.)  
The  author  uses  metaphors  /  metaphorical  language  to...  (Der  Autor  verwendet  
Metaphern/macht  Gebrauch  einer  Bildersprache,  um...)  
The  author  makes  use  of...  (Der  Autor  macht  Gebrauch  von...)  
    repetition  (Wiederholung)  
    anaphora  (Anapher)  
    comparison  (Vergleich)  
    parallelism  (Parallelismus)  
    hyperbole  (Übertreibung)  
    understatement  (Untertreibung)    
At  the  end  of  the  text...  (Am  Ende  des  Textes...)  
Finally...  (Schließlich/Letztendlich...)  
Eventually...  (Schließlich/Letztendlich...)  
Position  des  Autors  
The  author  ...  
    suggests...(schlägt  vor/  suggeriert...)  
    states...(gibt  an/legt  dar...)  
    refers  to...(bezieht  sich  auf...)  
    supports...  (befürwortet...)  
    sides  with...  (steht  auf  der  Seite  von...)  
    sympathizes  with  (teilt  seine  Meinung  mit...)  
    alludes  to...  (spielt  
    deals  with...  (setzt  sich  mit...auseinander.)  
    argues...  (argumentiert/behauptet...)  
    underlines...  (betont/unterstreicht...)  
    believes...  (glaubt...)  
    discusses...  (diskutiert...)  
    implies...  (erweckt  den  Eindruck...)  
    points  out  that...  (betont/weist  darauf  hin/hebt  hervor...)  
    claims...  (fordert...)  
    illustrates  his  arguments...  (veranschaulicht  seine  Argumente...)  
    puts  forward  the  thesis  that...  (stellt/legt  die  These  auf...)  
    presents/defends  the  thesis  that...(präsentiert/verteidigt  die  These,  
    criticizes  sb.  for...  (kritisiert...  für...)  
    expresses  his  point  of  view...  (stellt  seine  Ansicht...dar.)  
    emphasizes...  (betont...)  
    highlights...  (hebt  hervor...)  
    stresses...  (betont...)  
    holds  the  view  that...  (vertritt  die  Ansicht,  dass...)  
    agrees  to/with...  (stimmt  mit...überein./teilt  die  Meinung  von...)  
    approves  (of)...  (stimmt  zu...)  
    is  in  favour  of...(ist  für...)  
    gives  an  objective  account  of...  (stellt  eine  objektive  Ansicht  von...vor.)  
    draws  the  conclusion  that...  (zieht  den  Schluss,  dass...)    
As  a  result...  (Infolgedessen/Demzufolge/Dementsprechend...)  
Consequently...  (Infolgedessen/Demzufolge/Dementsprechend...)  
Thus...  (Dadurch/Demnach...)  
Accordingly...  (Infolgedessen/Demzufolge/Dementsprechend...)  
I  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that...  (Ich  bin  zu  dem  Schluss  gekommen,  dass...)  
To  sum  up...  (Um  es  zusammenzufassen...)  
Therefore  I  would  say  /  can  agree  with...  (Deswegen  würde  ich  sagen.../  stimme  ich  
That  is  why  I  would  support  his/her  point  of  view...  (Deswegen  würde  ich  seine/ihre  
Ansicht  über...vertreten.)  
On  the  whole...  (Im  Großen  und  Ganzen...)  
All  in  all...  (Alles  in  allem...)  
The  photo  /  cartoon  by  ...  is  published  in...  
It  presents  /  shows  /  deals  with...  
In  the  foreground  /background  /  centre  ...  can  be  seen.  
On  the  left  /  right  /  at  the  top  /  bottom  ...  is  shown  /  depicted.  
The  photo  /  cartoon  expresses  ...  
The  intention  /  aim  behind  the  photo  /  cartoon  is...  
The  message  /  purpose  of  the  photo  /  cartoon  is...  
In  my  opinion  the  photo  /  cartoon  is  convincing  /  funny  /  impressive  ...  because  
Wunsch  /  Bitte  /  Befehl:  
auffordern   to  invite  
beabsichtigen   to  intend  
befehlen   to  order,  to  command  
beschließen   to  decide  
bitten   to  ask,  to  request  
drängen   to  urge  
einwilligen   to  agree  
erlauben   to  allow  
fordern   to  demand  
verbieten   to  forbid  
wünschen   to  wish,  to  desire  
Argumentation  /  Stellungnahme  
In  my  opinion...  /  In  my  point  of  view...  
I  agree  with...  /  I  cannot  agree  with...  
I  would  (not)  say...  
I  am  doubtful  whether...  
I  (don't)  think...  
I  (don't)  believe...  
secondly  /  thirdly  /  finally...  
Another  argument  is...  
One  reason  is  that...  
With  regard  to  the  author’s  opinion  I  think...  
On  the  one  hand...on  the  other  hand...  
Possibly,  obviously,  certainly...  
Due  to...  
It  should  be  pointed  out  that...  
I  am  convincend  that...because...  
What  I  mean  is...  
To  my  mind...  
It  should  be  mentioned  that...  
First  and  foremost...  
In  the  former  case...  
In  the  latter  case...  
The  next  point  I  want  to  mention  is...  
The  next  point  to  be  considered  is...  
We  should  consider  that...  
I  would  like  to  point  out  that...  
Another  argument  to  be  taken  into  account  is  that...  
Above  all  I  think  that...  
fahrenheit  451  (1953)  
dystopian  novell  /science  fiction/  fictional/  futuristic  
Ray  Bradburry  
Key  Facts  
full  title    ·    Fahrenheit  451  
author    ·  Ray  Bradbury  
type  of  work    ·  Novel  
genre    ·  Science  fiction  
language    ·  English  
time  and  place  written    ·    1950–1953,  Los  Angeles,  California  
date  of  first  publication    ·    1953  (a  shorter  version  entitled  “The  Fireman”  was  
published  in  1951  in  Galaxy  Science  Fiction)  
publisher    ·  Ballantine  Books  
narrator    ·  Third-­‐person,  limited  omniscient;  follows  Montag’s  point  of  view,  often  
articulating  his  interior  monologues  
climax    ·  Montag’s  murder  of  Beatty  
protagonist    ·  Montag  
antagonist    ·  Beatty,  but  also  society  in  general  
setting  (time)  ·  Sometime  in  the  twenty-­‐fourth  century;  there  have  been  two  atomic  
wars  since  1990  
setting  (place)    ·  In  and  around  an  unspecified  city  
point  of  view    ·  Montag’s  
falling  action    ·  Montag’s  trip  out  of  the  city  into  the  country  
tense    ·  Past,  with  occasional  transitions  into  present  tense  during  Montag’s  interior  
monologues  and  stream-­‐of-­‐consciousness  passages  
foreshadowing    ·  Montag’s  uncanny  feelings  of  prescience;  early  descriptions  of  the  
Mechanical  Hound;  Montag’s  nervous  glances  toward  the  ventilator  shaft  where  he  has  
hidden  his  books;  discussion  of  the  qualities  of  fire  
tone    ·  Foreboding  and  menacing,  disoriented,  poetic,  bitterly  satirical  
themes    ·  Censorship,  knowledge  versus  ignorance  
motifs    ·  Paradoxes,  animals  and  nature,  religion,  television  and  radio  
symbols    ·  Fire,  blood,  the  Electric-­‐Eyed  Snake,  the  hearth,  the  salamander,  the  phoenix,  
the  sieve  and  the  sand,  Denham’s  Dentifrice,  the  dandelion,  mirrors
A  raisin  in  the  sun    (1959)  
Lorraine  Hansberry  
full  title    ·    A  Raisin  in  the  Sun  
author    ·  Lorraine  Hansberry  
type  of  work    ·  Play  
genre    ·  Realist  drama  
language    ·  English  
time  and  place  written    ·    1950s,  New  York  
date  of  first  performance    ·    1959  
date  of  first  publication    ·    1959  
publisher  ·  Random  House  
tone    ·  Realistic  
setting  (time)    ·  Between  1945  and  1959  
setting  (place)    ·  The  South  Side  of  Chicago  
protagonist    ·  Walter  Lee  Younger  
major  conflict    ·  The  Youngers,  a  working-­‐class  black  family,  struggle  against  economic  
hardship  and  racial  prejudice.  
rising  action    ·  Ruth  discovers  that  she  is  pregnant;  Mama  makes  a  down  payment  on  a  
house;  Mama  gives  Walter  the  remaining  insurance  money;  Walter  invests  the  money  in  
the  liquor  store  venture.  
climax    ·  Bobo  tells  the  Youngers  that  Willy  has  run  off  with  all  of  Walter’s  invested  
insurance  money;  Asagai  makes  Beneatha  realize  that  she  is  not  as  independent  as  she  
falling  action    ·  Walter  refuses  Mr.  Lindner’s  offer  to  not  move;  the  Youngers  move  out  
of  the  apartment  to  their  new  house  in  the  white  neighborhood;  Beneatha  finds  new  
strength  in  Asagai.  
themes    ·  The  value  and  purpose  of  dreams,  the  need  to  fight  racial  discrimination,  the  
importance  of  family  
motifs    ·  Racial  identity,  the  home  
symbols    ·  “Eat  your  eggs,”  Mama’s  plant,  Beneatha’s  hair  
foreshadowing    ·  Mrs.  Johnson’s  news  that  a  black  family’s  house  has  been  bombed  
foreshadows  the  objections  that  the  Clybourne  Park  Improvement  Association  will  raise  
to  the  idea  of  the  Youngers  moving  in;  Walter’s  hints  to  Travis  that  he  is  investing  the  
insurance  money  foreshadow  the  disappearance  of  the  money  
The  American  Dream  then  and  now  
The   term   American   Dream   was   first   used   by   the   historian   James   Truslow   Adams   in  
1931  to  explain  what  had  at-­‐  tracted  millions  of  people  of  all  nations  to  settle  in  America.  
The  concept  itself  is,  of  course,  much  older.  
The   early   settlers   in  America  hoped  for  a  better  life  than  the  one  they  had  left  behind  in  
Europe.   Their   main   reasons   for   leaving   Europe   were   religious   persecution,   political  
oppression  and  poverty.    
They  dreamt:  
•   the  personal  dream  of  freedom,  self-­‐fulfilment,  dignity  and  happiness,  
•     the  economic  dream  of  prosperity  and  success,  the  dream  of  rising  from  poverty  to  
fame  and  fortune  i.e.  from  rags  to  riches,  
•     the  social  dream  of  equality  (of  opportunity)  and  a  classless  society,  
•     the   religious   dream   of   religious   freedom   in   a   “prom-­‐   ised   land”   in   which   they   were  
God’s  chosen  people,  
•   the  political  dream  of  democracy.  
This   American   Dream   is   reflected   in   basic   beliefs   and   values.   In   spite   of   America’s  
regional  and  cultural  diver-­‐  sity,  these  give  the  nation  its  character  and  are  still  shared  
by  most  Americans  today:  
–  freedom  
Americans   commonly   regard   their   society   as   the   freest   and   best   in   the   world,  
superior  to  every  other  nation.  They  like  to  think  of  their  country  as  a  welcoming  
haven   for   those   longing   for   individual   freedom   and   opportunity.   Ameri-­‐   cans’  
understanding  of  freedom  is  shaped  by  the  Founding  Fathers’  belief  that  all  people  
are  equal  and  that  the  role  of  government  is  to  protect  each  person’s  unalienable  
rights,  including  freedom  of  speech,  press  and  religion.  
–  individualism  
In   the   early   days,   the   success   of   most   Americans   depended   on   their   ability   to  
confront  the  hardships  and  challenges  of  the  wilderness  on  their  own.  Today,  the  
idealization   of   the   self-­‐reliant,   self-­‐sufficient,   independent   individual   is   still   alive.  
Government   regulation   is   often   resisted,   and   it   is   seen   as   the   individual’s  
responsibility  to  make  a  living  and  suc-­‐  ceed  in  a  competitive  society.  
–  mobility;  optimism;  flexibility  
The   pragmatism   of   Americans   and   their   belief   in   limitless   resources   is   related   to  
the  American  tradition  of  mobility.  Settling  the  West  (“going  west”)  meant  making  
a   fresh   start   in   a   land   of   spaciousness   (geographical   mobility).   Today   with   the  
same   sense   of   optimism   about   their   chances   to   succeed,   Americans   are   still  
prepared   to   move   great   dis-­‐   tances   to   improve   their   lives   through   a   better   job   or   a  
more  pleasant  climate.  They  also  accept  a  high  degree  of  social  mobility  (upward  
and  downward)  on  the  “ladder  of  success”  as  a  fact  of  life,  and  relate  this  success  
primarily   to   individ-­‐   ual   achievement   and   their   own   flexibility   when   looking   for  
new  opportunities.  
–  hard  work  
According  to  the  Puritan  work  ethic,  it  was  the  individual’s  duty  to  work  hard  and  
to  show  self-­‐discipline.  Material  success  through  hard  work  was  seen  as  a  sign  of  
God’s  favour  and  a  good  education  as  the  key  to  prosperity.  
–  progress  
From   the   very   beginning,   the   belief   in   progress   –   and   the   desire   to   progress  
personally   by   making   use   of   opportuni-­‐   ties   –   has   been   very   important   to  
Americans.   On   a   different   level,   Americans   argue   that   the   nation’s   progress   is   re-­‐  
flected   in   its   growing   prosperity,   economic   strength   and   political   power.  
Americans  have  always  regarded  them-­‐  selves  as  a  nation  with  a  mission.  Settling  
the   West   in   the   19th   century   for   example   was   seen   as   the   nation’s   “Mani-­‐   fest  
Destiny”   i.e.   a   manifestation   of   God’s   will   that   his   chosen   people   spread   divine  
principles.   In   international   terms,   Americans   tend   to   see   themselves   as   playing   a  
simi-­‐   lar   role,   i.e.   spreading   democracy   and   the   Western   way   of   life   across   the  
world,  and  claiming  to  make  progress  in  this  field  as  well.  
–  patriotism:  
Foreign   visitors   to   America   are   quick   to   observe   numerous   patriotic   symbols.  
American   flags   are   omnipresent,   and   stickers   announce   “I’m   proud   to   be   an  
American”.  National  holidays  such  as  Thanksgiving  and  Independence  Day  (4th  of  
July)  intensify  the  sense  of  national  pride.  
Historical  landmarks  of  the  American  Dream  
1776:   The   Declaration   of   Independence,   as   the   legal   foun-­‐   dation   of   the   American  
Dream,  states  that  “all  men  are  cre-­‐  ated  equal”  and  that  every  citizen  has  “a  right  to  life,  
liberty   and   the   pursuit   of   happiness”,   thus   reinforcing   the   impor-­‐   tance   of   equal  
opportunities,  freedom  and  self-­‐realisation.  
1789:  The  Constitution  establishes  the  principles  of  demo-­‐  cratic  government.  
1791:   The   Bill   of   Rights   restricts   the   powers   of   the   central,   federal   government   and  
reinforces  the  freedom  and  equality  of  all  American  citizens.  
1790-­‐1890:   After   the   Revolutionary   War   (1776-­‐1783)   Americans   start   to   move  
westward  and  to  settle  the  vast  North  American  continent.  The  furthest  point  of  white  
settlement   set   up   by   American   pioneer   families   becomes   known   as   the   “frontier”.  
Surviving   in   solitude   and   tough   conditions   requires   the   so-­‐called   frontier   spirit,   i.e.   a  
strongng   sense   of   self-­‐reliance   and   pragmatism.   In   1890,   this   great   historic   movement  
westward  finishes  with  the  end  of  the  Indian  wars.  The  historically  unique  existence  of  a  
huge,  thinly  populated  area  of  free  and  mostly  fertile  land,  its  gradual  recession  and  the  
advance  of  civilisation  are  essen-­‐  tial  to  the  American  character.  
1865:   Slavery   is   legally   abolished   at   the   end   of   the   Civil   War,   under   the   presidency   of  
Abraham  Lincoln.  
1869:  Full   voting   rights   are   given   to   women   in   the   state   of   Wyoming.   Not   until   1920   do  
all  American  women  get  the  right  to  vote.  
1870:  Voting  rights  are  extended  to  all  adult  males  of  all  races.  
1933:  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt  aims  to  overcome  the  extreme  poverty  and  inequalities  that  
resulted   from   the   Great   De-­‐   pression   of   the   1920s.   His   legislation   includes   work   crea-­‐  
tion  programmes,  direct  relief  to  the  unemployed  and  a  basic  national  system  of  social  
1964:   As   a   result   of   Martin   Luther   King’s   Civil   Rights   Movement   and   his   dream   of   a  
colour-­‐blind   society,   racial   segregation   in   public   places,   schools,   etc.   and   job   discrimi-­‐  
nation  are  banned.  Legal  discrimination  is  hereby  abolished.  
1960s/1970s:   The   younger   generation   of   Americans   in-­‐   creasingly   rejects   the  
traditional  values  of  their  parents  and  the  government.  They  follow  their  own  dream  of  
individual  freedom  and  the  pursuit  of  pleasure.  
The  American  Dream  today  
Critics   see   the   American   Dream   as   a   clever   political   and   economic   marketing   strategy.  
They   want   people   to   get   away   from   selfish   individualism   and   materialism,   and   to   return  
to   community   spirit   and   social   responsibility.   The   huge   gap   between   the   rich   and   the  
poor  in  America  is  obvi-­‐  ous,  but  at  the  same  time  the  role  of  state  welfare  and  po-­‐  litical  
intervention  in  helping  weaker  members  of  society  remains  controversial.  “Affirmative  
action”,   however,   is   a   widely   practised   policy   of   supporting   blacks   and   single   parents,  
especially  in  education  and  work  schemes..  
In  social  terms,  the  concept  of  a  classless  society  has  never  really  become  reality  because  
of   the   existence   of   an   underclass   of   people   who   refuse   to   join   the   “rat   race”   of   a  
competitive,  success-­‐oriented  society.  This  lower  class  sees  mainstream  America  as  an  
uncaring   dog-­‐eat-­‐dog   society,   and   themselves   as   losers   in   the   race   for   success.   In   a  
society  marked  by  a  huge  diversity  in  income  and  lifestyles,  the  middle  class  often  works  
long  hours,  taking  on  several  jobs  with  hardly  any  holidays  in  order  to  be  able  to  live  the  
American  way.  The  rich  enjoy  the  benefits  of  material  success.  
In  ethnic  terms,  the  various  minority  groups  cope  differ-­‐  ently  with  the  pressure  on  the  
individual  in  a  society  which  is  marked  by  the  ambition  to  succeed.  The  Native  American  
population   (two   per   cent   of   the   population)   has,   to   a   large   extent,   never   fully   adapted   to  
the   white   lifestyle   and   system   of   values.   The   African-­‐American   minority   (twelve   per  
cent)   has   split   into   a   small   prosperous   black   middle   class   and   an   impoverished  
underclass.   A   rapidly   growing   Hispanic   community   (13   per   cent)   largely   consists   of  
Mexican-­‐   Americans   who   have   illegally   immigrated   and   are   often   exploited   as   cheap  
workers   on   farms   and   in   private   households.   A   small   but   growing   Asian-­‐American  
commu-­‐   nity   (five   per   cent)   is   mainly   made   up   of   academically   edu-­‐   cated,   highly  
qualified,  ambitious  professionals  who  earn  a  salary  far  above  the  national  average.  
The  vision  of  America  as  a  “melting  pot  of  nations”  (cf.  the  Latin  motto  “e  pluribus  unum”  
–  one  from  many  –  which  still  today  appears  on  all  American  coins),  in  which  the  foreign  
immigrants  give  up  their  national  identity,  way  of  life,  culture  and  language  and  form  a  
new  nation,  has  never  become  reality.  In  the  1960s,  the  growing  self-­‐confi-­‐  dence  of  the  
minorities,   their   fight   against   discrimination,   and   the   influx   of   new   ethnic   groups   who  
refused   to   be   cul-­‐   turally   absorbed   by   American   society,   has   made   America   look   for   a  
new   image   for   this   concept.   The   concept   of   the   “salad   bowl”   was   suggested   as   more  
accurate,  accepting  America  as  diverse,  multi-­‐cultural  and  pluralistic.  
Landmarks  in  British  history:  The  monarchy  
The  past  
1066   The   Norman   Conquest   after   the   Battle   of   Hastings   William   the   Conqueror,  
Duke  of  Normandy,  defeats  the  Anglo-­‐Saxon  King  Harold  and  becomes  King  of  England.  
1215   The   Magna   Carta   guarantees  rights  and  liberties.  It  limits  the  power  of  the  king  
because  the  monarch  is  considered  subject  to  the  rule  of  law,  and  the  church  is  free  from  
domination  by  the  king.  Clause  29  guarantees:  “No  person  shall  be  [...]  deprived  of  life,  
liberty,  or  property,  without  due  process  of  law.”  
1534   The   Act   of   Supremacy   After   the   conflict   with   the   Pope   in   Rome   about   divorce,  
Henry   VIII   separates   the   English   Church   from   the   Roman   Catholic   Church   and  
establishes  the  independent  Church  of  England.  
1533-­‐1603   Queen   Elizabeth   I   In   the   Elizabethan   Age   English   power   and   influence  
increases.  Shakespeare  writes  his  plays  and  English  colonisation  in  America  starts.  
1599   –   1658   Oliver   Cromwell   After   the   successful   rebellion   against   the   British  
monarchy,  Oliver  Cromwell  rules  as  Lord  Protector  –  the  only  time  England  is  a  republic.  
After  a  rebellion  by  Irish  Catholics  in  1641,  almost  all  land  owned  by  Irish  Catholics  is  
confiscated  and  given  to  British  settlers  in  Ireland.  
1688   The   Glorious   Revolution   Mary   and   her   Dutch,   Protestant   husband,   William   of  
Orange,   are   invited   by   Parliament   to   replace   the   Catholic,   Stuart   king,   James   II.   At   the  
Battle  of  the  Boyne  in  1690  William’s  troops  defeat  King  James.  
1689   With   passage   of   the   Bill   of   Rights   England   becomes   a   constitutional   monarchy  
where   the   king   has   to   refer   to   Parliament.   The   document   confirms   rights   such   as   –   no  
taxation   without   the   agreement   of   Parliament.   –   the   freedom   to   bear   arms.   –   the  
freedom  of  speech.  Roman  Catholics  are  excluded  from  becoming  king  or  queen.  
landownership  falls  from  around  14%  in  1691  to  around  5%  in  the  course  of  the  next  
century  due  to  penal  laws.  
The  present  
The   French-­‐speaking   Normans,   the   new   ruling   class,   enriched   the   English   language,  
especially   with   terms   in   the   fields   of   law,   administration,   science   and   literature.   In  
modern  English,  this  influence  can  be  seen  clearly.  
The  Magna  Carta  is  still  part  of  English  law.  Instead  of  a  written  (codified)  constitution,  
English   law   relies   on   the   Magna   Carta,   the   Bill   of   Rights   of   1689   and   the   so-­‐called  
conventions.  This  fact  might  become  an  issue  when/if  there  is  a  British  referendum  on  
the  European  Constitution.  
Today  Queen  Elizabeth  is  head  of  the  Anglican  Church  in  England,  but  not  in  Scotland,  
Wales  or  Ireland.  
The  two  Queens,  Elizabeth  I  and  Elisabeth  II  and  their  long  reigns  have  been  compared,  
e.g.  rise  and  fall  of  the  British  empire,  political  and  social  changes.  
The   statue   of   Oliver   Cromwell   is   still   outside   the   Palace   of   Westminster   and   he   ranks  
10th   in   a   BBC   poll   of   “Great   Britons”.   The   conflict   in   Northern   Ireland   between  
Protestants   and   Roman   Catholics   has   a   long   history.   Injustice   suffered   in   the   past   still  
influences  today’s  conflicts  in  Northern  Ireland.  
The   Orange   Order,   a   Protestant   organisation   in   Northern   Ireland   and   Scotland,   still  
marches   on   the   12th   of   July   to   celebrate   the   Battle   of   the   Boyne.   The   marches   often  
cause  problems  because  the  men  march  through  areas  where  many  Catholics  live.  
The   Constitution   of   the   USA   relies   on   a   different   Bill   of   Rights   (1791).   The   second  
amendment  of  the  American  Bill  of  Rights  guarantees  the  current  right  to  bear  arms  and  
is   an   issue   in   the   current   discussion   about   gun   laws.   “No   taxation   without  
representation”  is  the  slogan  used  by  the  settlers  in  the  American  colonies.  
Even  today  Roman  Catholics  are  explicitly  excluded  from  succeeding  to  the  throne,  but  
since  1828  they  are  allowed  to  become  Members  of  Parliament.  
1707   United   Kingdom   of   Great   Britain   (=   Scotland,   England,   Wales)   1801   United  
Kingdom  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland  1922  United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain  and  
Northern  Ireland  
1997   After   a   referendum,   the   Labour   government   creates   regional   parliaments   in  
Scotland   and   Wales   (the   Scottish   Parliament   and   the   Welsh   Assembly)   with   limited  
powers  of  legislation.  This  process  is  called  devolution.  
1819  –  1901  Queen  Victoria  During  her  long  reign  the  British  empire  expands  and  the  
Industrial   Revolution   brings   about   social,   economic   and   technological   changes.   Britain  
becomes  the  dominant  industrial  and  maritime  power  of  the  19th  century.  
1931   British   Empire   →   Commonwealth   With   more   and   more   states   claiming  
independence,  the  British  Empire  is  replaced  by  the  Commonwealth,  which  is  headed  by  
the  British  monarch.  1948   Since  there  are  no  restrictions  for  citizens  from  countries  of  
the  Commonwealth,  more  and  more  immigrants  enter  Britain  in  search  of  a  better  life.  
The   ship   Windrush  sails   from   Jamaica   with   almost   500   West   Indian   immigrants.   1971  
The   Immigration   Act   restricts   immigration.   1972   Britain   accepts   30,000   Asians   of  
Indian  origin  who  were  driven  from  Uganda  by  its  ruler.  
1973   The   United   Kingdom   joins   the   European   Union.   1994   The   Channel   Tunnel  
connects  Britain  with  Europe.  2002   The  United  Kingdom  chooses  not  to  introduce  the  
Euro.  2006   Britain  postpones  its  referendum  on  the  European   Constitution   after  the  
French  and  the  Dutch  rejected  it  
Science,  technology  and  the  environment:  Utopia  and  dystopia  
The  development  of  human  civilisation  
The   history   of   science   and   technology   is   as   old   as   mankind.   Since   human   beings   are  
naturally   curious,   they   have   always   tried   to   comprehend   the   natural   and   physical   world  
around   them.   One   of   the   earliest   examples   of   this   is   the   observation   of   the   stars,   the  
planets  and  the  moon.  
Man   has   always   used   tools   to   change   and   manipulate   the   environment.   In   this   respect  
gaining  the  mastery  of  fire  marked  an  early  turning  point  in  the  evolution  of  mankind,  
because  of  its  many  different  uses:  It  provided  heat,  was  used  for  the  preparation  of  food  
and  made  it  possible  to  shape  raw  materials.  
The  next  milestone  was  the  transition  from  hunting  and  gathering  to  agriculture,  which  
took  place  during  the  latter  part  of  the  Stone  Age  (around  the  year  8000  BC).  The  so-­‐  cial  
changes  which  came  with  this  Agricultural   Revolution   were  enormous.  Social  groups  
settled   down   and   became   larger,   calling   for   more   governmental   organisation.   Since  
farming  provided  a  reliable  supply  of  food,  not  everybody  had  to  collect  food  any  more  
and  some  people  could  become  specialised  craftsmen.  At  about  the  same  time,  the  wheel  
was  invented,  which  enabled  the  development  of  new  means  of  transport  and,  what  was  
probably  more  important,  helped  to  harvest  energy  (e.g.  water  wheels,  windmills).  
The  next  major  change  –  the  Industrial  Revolution  –  did  not  take  place  until  the  middle  
of   the   18th   century,   but   several   inventions   and   progress   in   science   had   prepared   the  
way:   the   development   of   the   modern   printing   press   by   Jo-­‐   hannes   Gutenberg   in   the  
middle  of  the  15th  century,  pro-­‐  gress  in  mathematics  and  chemistry  and  the  discovery  
of   atmospheric   pressure,   which   led   to   the   invention   of   the   steam   engine.   The  
relationship  between  science  and  tech-­‐  nology  came  closer  than  ever  before.  The  pace  of  
techno-­‐  logical  progress  on  the  basis  of  systematic  scientific  re-­‐  search  was  increased  by  
the   foundation   of   new   colleges   for   engineering.   The   changes   in   society   were   dramatic.  
People   no   longer   worked   on   the   land   or   at   home,   but   in   factories   built   near   the   coal  
mines.   Towns   grew   around   the   factories.   Patterns   of   work   changed   as   manufacturing  
processes   were   broken   down   into   smaller   parts   to   make   better   use   of   the   new  
production   lines.   The   standard   working   week   was   introduced.   Steam   engines   gave  
working   people   the   oppor-­‐   tunity   to   travel   by   train   to   work   from   dormitory   towns.   In  
countries  like  Britain  the  Industrial  Revolution  was  com-­‐  pleted  by  the  end  of  the  19th  
century.  The  final  push  into  the  modern  era  came  with  the  discovery  of  electricity,  the  
invention  of  the  automobile  and  the  production  of  the  first  synthetics.  
The  most  recent  dramatic  change  began  in  the  1950s.  It  is  sometimes  referred  to  as  the  
Technological   Revolution.   Our   age   is   sometimes   called   the   Computer   Age   or   the  
Information   Age.   Miniaturisation   made   it   possible   for   the   computer   to   become   an  
everyday  object.  The  power  of  computers  to  store  and  process  information  has  put  them  
at  the  centre  of  the  new  technological  age.  Another  technol-­‐  ogy  that  is  changing  or  could  
change   our   lives   dramatically   is   biotechnology.   Its   three   branches,   genetics,  
embryology  and  microbiology,  are  considered  to  be  the  most  important  –  maybe  also  the  
most  dangerous  –  development  from  the  second  half  of  the  20th  century.  
Controversial  attitudes  –  blessing  or  curse?  
Although  the  majority  of  the  population  was  still  enchanted  with  technological  advances  in  the  
19th  century,  due  to  their  beneficial  effect  on  the  standard  of  living  and  on  life  expectancy,  there  
were   already   a   few   warnings.   Most   tech-­‐   nological   processes   produce   unwanted   by-­‐products  
(waste   and   pollution)   in   addition   to   the   desired   products.   More-­‐   over,   new   technologies   seem   to  
create   a   set   of   waste   prod-­‐   ucts   which   were   previously   unknown   e.g.   radioactive   or   electronic  
waste.  It  is  impossible  to  forecast  long-­‐term  effects  of  these.  Negative  effects  on  the  environment  
(e.g.  the  greenhouse  effect)  have  become  major  global  challenges  today.  
However,   there   are   also   some   new   technologies   designed   specifically   with   the   environment   in  
mind   (e.g.   recycling).   But   not   only   the   environment   has   been   affected   by   technological   progress.  
There   have   been   fundamental   changes   in   society,   too,   e.g.   the   loss   of   jobs   due   to   automatic  
production  lines.  At  the  same  time  the  moral  and  ethical  foundations  of  our  society  are  affected  
by  the  con-­‐  troversy  over  progress  in  biotechnology.  The  question  is  whether  we  have  the  right  
to  play  God.  
Literary  reactions  to  social  and  technological  changes:  Utopia  and  dystopia  
The  term  ‘utopia’  makes  a  play  on  two  Greek  words:  eu-­‐  topos  (good  place)  –  denoting  a  region  
of   happiness   and   perfection,   as   well   as   ou-­‐topos  (no   place)   –   naming   a   region   that   does   not   exist  
anywhere.  Sometimes  the  societies  de-­‐  scribed  are  meant  to  represent  the  perfect  society,  and  
sometimes  they  are  created  to  satirise  existing  societies.  
The   term   ‘dystopia’   (bad   place)   has   come   to   be   applied   to   works   of   fiction   which   present   a   very  
negative   imaginary   world,   thus   replacing   the   older   term   ‘anti-­‐utopia’.   Dysto-­‐   pian   stories  
project   current   negative   tendencies   in   society   and   politics   into   the   future.   They   are   usually  
meant  as  a  warning.  
The  history  of  utopian/dystopian  fiction  
The   first   utopia   was   Plato’s   Republic.   Written   in   400  BC,   it   presents   in   dialogue   form   the   idea   of  
an  ideal  common-­‐  wealth.  In  1516  Thomas  More,  an  Englishman,  wrote  a  book  in  Latin  about  a  
perfect  society  on  an  imaginary  is-­‐  land.  The  book  was  called  Utopia,  which  is  also  the  first  time  
this   term   was   used.   The   society   he   describes   can   be   re-­‐   garded   as   a   primitive   form   of  
communism   where   private   property   has   been   abolished,   education   is   available   to   eve-­‐   ryone,  
men  and  women  are  equal  and  religion  can  be  prac-­‐  tised  freely.  
The  second  half  of  the  19th  century  saw  another  in-­‐  crease  in  utopian  fiction.  Most  of  the  works  
were   triggered   by   the   harsh   economic   conditions   brought   about   by   the   Industrial   Revolution  
and  the  development  of  commercial-­‐  ism  and  capitalism.  This  also  led  to  pessimistic  visions  of  
the  future  beginning  to  show  up  in  literature.  
The   20th   century   with   its   opportunity   for   a   planned   society   was   dominated   by   bitterly   anti-­‐
utopian,  or  dysto-­‐  pian,  fiction.  The  most  prominent  novels  were  Huxley’s  Brave  New  World  and  
Orwell’s  1984.   Huxley   describes   a   society   which   at   first   sight   is   perfect:   people   in   the  Brave  New  
World  enjoy  a  high  standard  of  living  and  there  is  political  
and   economic   stability.   The   standard   of   living   in   Orwell’s   1984,  however,  is   much   lower   than   the  
one   enjoyed   by   most   protagonists   in   his   contemporaries’   works.   An   elaborate   system   of  
instruments   and   strategies   helps   to   control   and   manipulate   the   population.   The   dystopian   so-­‐  
cieties  described  in  these  two  and  other  later  novels  have  certain  common  traits:  there  is  a  lack  
of   democracy;   the   individual   is   suppressed;   there   is   a   strict   conformity   among   citizens;   social  
mobility   is   non-­‐existent.   Furthermore,   mod-­‐   ern   dystopian   fiction   has   another   typical  
characteristic:   The   societies   depicted   seem   familiar   to   the   reader,   who   can   identify   trends   or  
patterns  in  his  world  that  would  lead  to  the  dystopia.  For  example,  George  Orwell’s  1984  shows  
a   society   where   privacy   does   not   exist   and   citizens   are   con-­‐   stantly   watched   by   Big   Brother.   It  
was   intended   as   a   warn-­‐   ing   against   totalitarian   regimes.   Another   trend   in   the   second   half   of   the  
20th   century   was   the   popularity   of   science   fic-­‐   tion   and   fantasy   promoted   by   the   possibilities  
which  mod-­‐  ern  forms  of  media  e.g.  film,  offered.  The  dividing  lines  between  these  two  genres  
and   between   utopia/dystopia   are   blurry.   Occasionally   utopian   and   dystopian   fiction   is   re-­‐  
garded  as  one  branch  of  ‘speculative  fiction’,  which  also  includes  science  fiction  and  fantasy.  
Post-colonialism and migration: UK
A brief look at history
From  Empire  to  Commonwealth  
Between  1945  and  1965  most  of  the  former  colonies  of  the  British  Empire,  which  had  a  
population  of  500  million,  became  independent.  In  1947,  when  the  British  left  India,  it  
was  divided  into  a  Hindu  state  (India)  and  a  smaller  Muslim  state  (Pakistan).  Most  of  the  
former  colonies  remained  in  the  Commonwealth.  
After  the  Second  World  War  
The   largest   number   of   immigrants   to   Britain   after   the   Sec-­‐   ond   World   War   were  
inhabitants   of   the   British   Empire   and   the   Commonwealth.   During   the   war   they   came  
from  all  over  the  world  to  serve  in  the  armed  forces  or  on  merchant  ships.  When  the  war  
ended  some  remained  in  Britain.  
Asylum  seekers  
Later   groups   of   immigrants   came   from   African   countries,   Sri   Lanka,   the   Middle   East   and  
more   recently   former   Yugo-­‐   slavia   and   Rumania.   They   were   asylum   seekers,   and   people  
who   were   refugees   from   war   or   seeking   employment   in   Britain   to   escape   the   poverty   in  
their  home  countries.  The  influx  of  asylum  seekers  has  continued  up  to  today  
Immigrants  from  the  Commonwealth  
At   the   end   of   the   Second   World   War   there   was   a   labour   shortage   in   Britain.   Being  
inhabitants   of   the   British   Empire   and   later   the   Commonwealth,   the   first   people   who  
were  free  to  settle  in  Britain  were  from  the  Caribbean  and  the  Indian  subcontinent.  In  
1948   the   British   Nationality   Act   gave   all   Commonwealth   citizens   the   right   to   enter  
Britain,  work  and  vote.  Hospitals,  transport  and  the  postal  services  recruited  immigrants  
to  build  up  their  labour  force.  
Immigration  and  growing  racism  in  the  1960s  
From   the   beginning   of   the   1960s   onwards   there   was   a   mas-­‐   sive   rise   in   immigration.  
Political  campaigns  called  for  immigration  control.  Racism  among  the  population  grew.  
The   National   Front,   a   right-­‐wing   political   party   with   ex-­‐   treme   and   reactionary   views   on  
immigration,  was  founded  in  1967.  
Immigration  and  growing  racial  tensions  in  the  1970s  
In   the   1970s   racial   tension   and   violence   continued   to   grow   in   areas   with   a   high  
concentration   of   people   from   ethnic   minorities.   ‘Skinheads’   attacked   Pakistanis   (‘Paki-­‐
bash-­‐   ing’),   and   black   youths   clashed   violently   with   the   police.   The   Immigration   Act   of  
1971  set  out  new  rules  restricting  immigration.  The  1976  Race  Relations  Act  was  imple-­‐  
mented  to  enforce  racial  equality  and  make  discrimination  illegal.  
Restrictions  on  immigration  in  the  1980s  
In   the   1980s   immigration   became   further   restricted.   In   1986   visa   controls   were  
introduced  for  visitors  from  African  countries,  India,  Pakistan  and  Bangladesh.  
Efforts  of  integration  in  the  1990s  
In   the   1990s   efforts   to   integrate   ethnic   minorities   were   intensified.   There   were   non-­‐
white   Members   of   Parliament,   and   a   first   black   trade   union   leader   was   elected.   A  
‘Muslim   Parliament’   was   opened   in   1992.   At   the   same   time   race-­‐   related   riots   kept  
flaring   up   in   places   with   large   ethnic   communities.   Access   for   asylum   seekers   was  
restricted  more  and  more.  
The  present  situation  
Ethnic  minorities  in  Britain  
According   to   the   2001   census,   the   largest   ethnic   minority   in   Britain   are   people   of   Indian  
descent.  The  second-­‐largest  ethnic  minority  are  people  of  Pakistani  descent,  followed  by  
people   of   mixed   ethnic   descent,   Black   Caribbean,   Black   African   and   Bangladeshi  
descents.  Together  these  groups  make  up  7.9  per  cent  of  the  UK  population.  About  half  
of   the   members   of   these   ethnic   minorities   were   born   in   Brit-­‐   ain.   Most   of   them   live   in  
England,   and   about   45   per   cent   of   the   total   population   of   ethnic   minorities   live   in   the  
London  area.  
Attitudes  toward  immigration  
Most   British   citizens   welcome   or   at   least   accept   immi-­‐   grants.   As   in   some   other  
European   countries,   Britain   needs   immigrants.   Without   them   the   workforce   could  
diminish   in   a   population   in   which   the   percentage   of   pensioners   is   increasing.   For   this  
reason  a  carefully  managed  migration  policy  is  believed  to  hold  economic  advantages.  
Citizenship  and  language  
The   government   wants   newly   arrived   immigrants   seeking   British   citizenship   to  
integrate   and   become   active   members   of   the   society.   Therefore   it   promotes   the   learning  
of  lan-­‐  guage  skills  and  practical  knowledge  about  the  United  Kingdom  and  the  British  
way  of  life.  
Integration,  not  assimilation  
The  government  aims  at  improving  the  immigrants’  em-­‐  ployment  prospects  and  skills.  
The  idea  is  that  integration  is  important  but  does  not  mean  complete  assimilation  (the  
“melting  pot”).  Immigrants  are  not  expected  to  lose  their  national  characteristics  but  to  
have  shared  identities.  Their  strongly  held  ethnic  and  religious  identities  can  exist  along-­‐  
side   their   British   identity.   In   a   multicultural   society   cultural   diversity   thrives   in   an  
atmosphere  of  mutual  tolerance.  
Tolerance  and  the  multicultural  society  
Taking   into   account   particular   religious   and   ethnic   habits,   attitudes,   behaviour   and  
traditions   is,   without   a   doubt,   a   question   of   tolerance.   However,   this   tolerance   is   limited  
by   the   basic   laws   and   moral   principles   that   govern   the   nation.   In   the   western   world  
sharia  law,  which  gives  women  a  permanent  status  of  inferiority  and  men  overwhelming  
power,  is  usually  thought  to  be  unacceptable  or  even  offensive.  
Muslims  in  Britain  
In   the   light   of   conflicts   in   the   Middle   East,   Kashmir   and   Afghanistan,   British   Muslims  
may  feel  a  strong  sense  of  solidarity  with  Muslims  around  the  world.  Especially  since  the  
events   of   September   11,   2001,   a   more   critical   spotlight   has   been   turned   on   British  
Muslims.  A  growing  number  of  Britons  believe  that  the  British  Muslim  community  needs  
to  do  more  to  integrate  itself  into  mainstream  culture.  Many  Muslims,  on  the  other  hand,  
believe  that  the  general  public  sees  Muslims  as  separate  and  different  from  the  rest  of  
the  population  and  even  complain  about  a  high  level  of  Islamophobia.  
Integration  and  the  younger  generation  of  Muslims  
A   majority   of   moderate   Muslims   think   of   themselves   first   and   foremost   as   British  
Muslims,   rather   than   only   as   Mus-­‐   lims.   This   reflects   the   immigrant   experience   of   the  
older   generation   for   whom   becoming   British   citizens   was   a   major   milestone   in   their  
lives.  But  there  is  some  evidence  that  the  younger  generation  of  British  Muslims,  most  of  
whom   were   born   in   Britain,   are   less   willing   to   integrate   or   may   reject   the   idea   of  
integration   altogether.   A   minority   of   them   are   even   likely   to   say   that   their   community   is  
too   integrated.   These   young   radicals   rebel   not   only   against   British   society,   but   also  
against   their   own   community   and   its   more   moder-­‐   ate   leaders.   For   them   Islam   has   a  
strong   appeal.   Instead   of   following   their   parents’   path   of   job,   integration   and   material  
prosperity,   they   turn   to   religion   to   give   their   life   meaning.   They   feel   as   alienated   from  
their   parents’   culture   as   they   do   from   secular   British   mainstream   culture.   They   lead  
“parallel   lives”   in   a   separate   community.   Radicalised   by   fundamentalist   imams,   they  
reject  Western  culture  and  values  as  inferior  and  idealise  Islamic  culture,  sharia  law  and  
Globalisation  and  global  challenges    
A.  Globalisation  
Globalisation   (or   globalization)   refers   to   the   worldwide   change   on   an   economic,  
technological   and   cultural   level.   It   also   refers   to   the   growing   interaction   between  
cultures  and  economies  in  what  is  often  called  a  global  village.  This  change  is  becoming  
visible   in   the   increasing   global   mobil-­‐   ity   of   people   (including   tourists,   immigrants,  
refugees  and  business  travellers),  and  in  the  global  flows  of  money  and  goods  between  
international  markets  and  production  sites.  Globalisation  also  shows  itself  in  the  global  
spread   (and   clash)   of   ideas   and   values,   and   in   the   global   distribution   of   information   that  
appears  on  computer  screens,  in  newspa-­‐  pers,  on  television  and  on  the  radio.  
The   process   of   globalisation   after   World   World   II   has   been   made   possible   by  
technological   progress,   especially   in   communications   and   in   production   methods.   This  
process  has  taken  place  against  the  background  of  a  period  of  undis-­‐  rupted  peace  and  
stability   in   the   Western   world.   It   has   also   been   supported   by   the   growing   influence   of  
international  organisations.  
Effects  on  the  industrialised  countries  
Growing   competition:   With   the   constant   pressure   to   cut   costs   in   a   free   market  
economy,  by  simplifying  hiring  and  firing  or  privatising  state-­‐owned  companies,  there  is  
a  clear  priority  for  efficiency,  speed  and  profits.  
Changes   in   working   conditions   and   job   opportunities:  These  often  lead  to  things  like  
longer   working   hours   and   fewer   holidays,   lower   wages   with   poorer   working   condi-­‐  
tions,  rising  unemployment  and  early  retirement,  a  demand  for  greater  flexibility,  higher  
mobility   and   better   qualifica-­‐   tions,   or   more   part-­‐time   and   temporary   work   instead   of  
jobs  for  life.  
Advantages  and  hopes  
In   the   developing   countries   the  population  hopes  for  new  jobs,  for  example  in  the  local  
branches   of   multinational   companies,   and   businessmen   expect   new   opportunities   and  
markets.  The  market  economy  is  generally  seen  as  a  suc-­‐  cessful  economic  system  which  
will  hopefully  result  in  rising  living  standards  and  less  poverty.  
Basic  global  trends   In  the  industrial  world  the  hope  is  that  through  inter-­‐  
1.   Economic   globalisation:   Signs   of   economic   globalisa-­‐   tion   are,   for   example,   the  
existence  of  global  players,  i.e.  multinational  companies  that  produce  wherever  labour  
and   overhead   costs   are   cheapest,   and   then   sell   throughout   the   global   market,   thus  
maximising   their   profits   and   expanding   trade.   The   increase   in   mergers   between  
international   com-­‐   panies,   which   create   huge   corporations   operating   world-­‐   wide,   has  
led   to   a   rise   in   international   trade   and   foreign   direct   investment,   promoted,   among  
others,  by  the  World  Trade  Organisation  (WTO).  Capital  flows  around  the  world  much  
more  easily,  a  trend  which  is  also  encouraged  by  the  World  Bank  and  the  International  
Monetary   Fund   (IMF)   which   give   loans   (often   interest-­‐free)   to   finance   infrastructure  
projects  and  other  development  programmes.  
2.   Technological   globalisation:   Over   the   last   30   years   we   have   observed   rapid  
technological  change.  The  microelec-­‐  tronics  revolution  has  changed  human  contact  on  
earth   for   ever.   Distances   are   shrinking,   and   information   is   spreading   faster   than   ever  
before.   The   Internet,   the   World   Wide   Web   and   communications   satellites   have   helped  
this   process,   making   it   possible   for   everybody   to   communicate   more   easily   and  
efficiently  across  national  boundaries.  
3.   Cultural   globalisation:   The   new   channels   of   communi-­‐   cation   have   also   helped   to  
spread   a   largely   commercial   culture.   Hollywood   and   Bollywood   movies   and   American-­‐  
style   youth   culture   attract   millions   of   people   worldwide.   Another   sign   of   cultural  
globalisation   is   the   spread   of   fast-­‐   food   chains   and   ethnic   restaurants   all   over   the   world.  
national   trade   and   new   business   opportunities,   they   will   be   able   to   preserve   national  
social  standards  and   income   lev-­‐   els.   In   addition,   the   spread   of  freedom,   democracy   and  
human  rights  makes  people  hope  for  fewer  wars  and  other  conflicts  worldwide.  
For   humankind   as   a   whole   the   increasing   opportunities   for   exchange   on   a   personal  
level  may  ideally  lead  to  a  greater  understanding  and  friendship  among  “world  citizens”.  
Ideally,   this   could   lead   to   a   peaceful,   borderless   world   of   shared   universal   values   and  
general  economic  prosperity.  
Criticism  and  fears  
In   the   developing   countries   a  lot  of  people  fear  an  increasing  dependence  on  foreign  
support,   investment   and   credits,   or   they   warn   against   the   danger   of   foreign   investors  
suddenly   pulling   out   their   capital.   Some   see   political   danger   in   the   strenghtening   of  
corrupt  governments,  others  point  out  negative  cultural  influences  or  even  manipulation  
through  the  mass  media.  
In  the  industrial  world  experts  predict  both  the  erosion  of  national  cultures  in  Europe  
and   massive   illegal   immigration.   In   economic   terms,   the   increasing   power   of  
multinational   companies   is   problematic   because   they   can   no   longer   be   controlled   by  
elected  governments.  
For  humankind  as  a  whole  there  is  the  fear  that  the  ma-­‐  jority  of  people  will  not  profit  
from   globalisation.   Largely   uncontrolled   economic   activities   are   expected   to   produce  
increasing   inequality   as   well   as   a   growth   in   regional   and   ethnic   tensions,   or   in   pollution.  
According   to   the   critics,   the   “survival   of   the   fittest”   could   become   the   slogan   of   an   in-­‐  
human,  competitive  global  world.  They  warn  against  re-­‐  duced  cultural  diversity  and  the  
destruction   of   local   cul-­‐   tures.   This   so-­‐called   Westernisation/Americanisation   of   the  
world   is   predicted   to   widen   the   gap   between   rich   and   poor.   It   might   also   encourage  
suspicion,  resentment  and  xeno-­‐  phobia  in  less  powerful  nations  which  feel  overrun  by  
strong  global  economies.  
B.  Global  challenges    
Today  one  of  the  greatest  challenges  for  mankind  is  bridg-­‐  ing  the  gap  between  the  rich  
and   the   poor.   Poor   people   often   do   not   have   access   to   employment,   basic   health   care,  
education  and  essential  commodities  such  as  food,  clothing,  shelter  and  water.  Possible  
ways   to   narrow   this   gap   are   debt   relief,   economic   development   and   fair   trading  
conditions  for  developing  countries.  
Ecological  issues  
Pollution:  The  industrialised  nations  cause  most  of  the  environmental  problems  which  
the   world   faces.   These   include   air   pollution   (through   industrial   emissions   and   exhaust  
gases),   water   pollution   (through   chemical   waste   produced   by   factories   and   private  
households),  soil  pollu-­‐  tion  (through  the  use  of  herbicides,  pesticides  and  fertilisers  in  
intensive   farming),   and   the   production   of   waste   that   is   neither   recyclable   nor  
Global   warming:  Greenhouse  gases  prevent  a  natural  process  which  keeps  the  Earth’s  average  
surface  tempera-­‐  ture  at  about  15  degrees  centigrade.  These  gases  allow  solar  radiation  to  pass  
through   the   Earth’s   atmosphere.   At   the   same   time   they   stop   most   of   the   Earth’s   infrared  
radiation   from   escaping   into   outer   space.   This   ‘greenhouse   effect’   is   intensified   by   increasing  
global   economic   activity.   More   heat-­‐trapping   gases   (i.e.   emissions   produced   by   industry,   the  
burning  of  fossil  fuels,  transport  and  deforestation)  are  released  into  the  atmosphere  and  these  
increase  global  warming.  One  possible  consequence  of  global  warming  is  that  polar  ice  will  melt,  
causing  sea  levels  to  rise,  and  flooding  coastal  areas.  Another  is  that  the  climate  will  change.  New  
deserts  will  be  formed  and  “freak”  weather  conditions  like  hurricanes,  heatwaves  and  droughts  
will  occur  more  frequently.  
Towards  ‘sustainable  development’  –  international  conferences  
In   1992,   a   UN   conference   called   the   Earth   Summit   ’92,   considered   the   urgent   need   for  
development  in  Third  World  countries.  In  Agenda  21  it  laid  down  the  principles  of  sus-­‐  tainable  
development   (i.e.   development   that   meets   the   needs   of   the   present   without   destroying   the  
ability  of  future  generations  to  meet  their  own  needs):  “Peace,  development  and  environmental  
protection   are   interdependent   and   indi-­‐   visible.”   The   sustainable   development   of   a   country  
means   building   markets   and   creating   jobs,   including   everybody   in   this   process   and   giving  
everybody  a  choice  in  deciding  about  their  own  future.  
In   September   2000,   147   world   leaders   met   at   the   Millennium   Summit   to   discuss   ways   of  
reducing  poverty  and  improving  people’s  lives.  They  drew  up  a  list  of  goals  to  be  met  by  2015.  
They  promised  to  fight  extreme  poverty  and  hunger,  to  achieve  basic  schooling  for  all  children,  
to   promote   gender   equality   and   support   women,   to   reduce   child   mortality,   to   fight   HIV/AIDS,  
malaria   and   other   dis-­‐   eases,   to   ensure   environmental   sustainability   and   to   develop   a   global  
Global  political  players  
America’s  global  role  in  the  21st  century:  With  the  col-­‐  lapse  of  the  Soviet  Union  and  the  end  
of  the  Cold  War,  the  US  became  the  only  political  superpower  in  the  world.  As  a  result,  it  took  on  
the  role  of  ‘global  policeman’,  starting  with  the  Gulf  War  (1991).  Following  the  terrorist  attacks  
on  the  World  Trade  Centre  in  New  York  and  the  Pentagon  on  11th  September  2001,  President  
Bush  declared  war  on  terrorism.  
The  unstable  Middle  East  region  with  its  explosive  mix  of  poverty,  oil  interests,  nuclear  capacity,  
radical   followers   of   Islam   and   international   terrorism   is   America’s   area   of   chief   concern   at   the  
beginning  of  the  21st  century.  The  US  have  tried  to  control  these  various  dangers  and  to  build  up  
democratic   and   free   societies   in   unstable   areas   by   using   diplomacy,   treaties,   trade   contracts,  
economic   pressure   and   military   interventions.   By   intervening   militarily   in   Afghani-­‐   stan   and  
Iraq,   the   US   has   also   demonstrated   that   they   are   prepared   to   use   their   military   power   in   their  
own  self-­‐  interest.  
The  United  Nations  was   founded   after   the   end   of   World   War   II   by   the   victorious   world   powers  
who   hoped   that   it   would   act   to   prevent   conflicts   between   nations   and   to   make   future   wars  
impossible.  The  UN  aims  to  promote  peace,  justice,  human  rights  and  economic  development.  It  
pro-­‐  vides  a  framework  for  cooperation  in  international  security  through  peace-­‐keeping  forces  
and  humanitarian  assistance.  
Non-­‐government  organisations:  
Greenpeace  is  known  for  its  use  of  nonviolent,  direct  action  campaigns  to  stop  things  like  nuclear  
testing,  high  seas  whaling,  global  warming  and  genetic  engineering.  Amnesty   International   is  an  
international,  non-­‐  governmental  organisation  which  aims  to  promote  human  rights,  i.e.  to  free  
all   prisoners   of   conscience,   to   ensure   fair   and   prompt   trials   for   political   prisoners,   to   abolish   the  
death   penalty,   torture   and   other   ways   of   treating   prisoners   which   it   regards   as   cruel,   and   to   end  
political  killings  and  forced  disappearances.  
Keinen  boock