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British and American traditions and visions

The American Dream then and now central idea: optimism, an unbroken faith in a promising future great political experiment: individual rigths idea of material success: land of golden opportunity, to every man his choice, individualism territorial expansion, ordaines by God

American Dream: term first used by the historian James Truslow Adams (1931) to explain what hat attracted millions of people od all nations to settle in America main reasons for leaving Europe: religious persecution, political oppression, 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 the social dream of equality (of opportunity) and a classless society the religious dream of religious freedom in a promised land in which they were Gods chosen people the political dream of democracy American Dream is reflected in basic beliefs and values: freedom (Americans commonly regard their society as the freest and best) individualism (idealization of self-reliant, self-sufficient, independent individual) mobility, optimism, flexibility hard work (sign of Gods favour, good education key to prosperity) progress (reflected in nations prosperity, economic strength, political power) patriotism (national pride expressed by patriotic symbols)

Important: every citizen has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

Globalization global challanges


Aspects of globalization: Economic issues - trade - production abroad - financial crisis - poverty - minimum wages - global players - competition and the gap between industrialized and poor countries Global changes - pollution/environmental problems - deforestation - peace and war - terrorism - water - poverty - diseases (AIDS, swine flu) Socio-cultural aspects - big social differences between countries - mixture of cultures - immigrants - Americanization - common language - inequality of rights - different values

Characteristics of economic globalization division of labor between different countries there is a big single world market and the countries are dependent on each other the production sites are chosen by the costs for labor companies always try to maximize profits importance of fast digital communication efficiency is given top priority capitalism/materialism are characteristics of this global economy and the behavior and aims of global players many suppliers are located in low-wage countries (developing countries/third world countries/emerging nations) transport has to be cheap and fast the environment is not very important for the firms saving jobs growing gap between rich and poor quality of the products suffers importance of advertisement

Globalization global challenges Globalization - worldwide change on an economic, technological and cultural level - growing interaction between cultures and economies - global village

global mobility of people global spread of ideas and values (global distribution of information) growing influence of international organizations

Basic global trends - economic globalization existence of global players maximizing profits and expanding trade international trade and foreign direct investment capital flows around the world much more easily - technological globalization rapid technological change distances are shrinking information is spreading faster than ever before World Wide Web communications more easily and efficiently across national boundaries - cultural globalization new channels of communication have also helped to spread a largely commercial culture Bollywood, Hollywood movies and American-style youth culture attract millions of people worldwide spread of fast-food chains and ethnic restaurants all over the world Effects on the industrialized countries - growing competition free market economy privatizing state-owned companies clear priority for efficiency, speed and profits - changes in working conditions and job opportunities longer working hours fewer holidays lower wages with poorer working conditions rising unemployment and early retirement demand for greater flexibility higher mobility and better qualifications are expected more part-time and temporary work instead of jobs for life Advantages and hopes - in the developing countries population hopes for new jobs businessman expect new opportunities and markets market economy is generally seen as a successful economic system - in the industrial world

hopes for international trade and new business opportunities with ability to preserve national social standards and income levels spread of freedom, democracy and human rights hope for fewer wars and other conflicts worldwide

for humankind as a whole increasing opportunities for exchange on a personal level lead to a greater understanding and friendship among world citizens lead to peaceful, borderless world of shared universal values and general economic prosperity

Criticism and fears - in the developing countries increasing dependence on foreign support, investment and credits danger of foreign investors suddenly pulling out their capital political danger in the strengthening of corrupt governments manipulation through the mass media - in the industrial world erosion of national cultures in Europe and massive illegal immigration increasing power of multinational companies is problematic can no longer be controlled by elected governments - for humankind as a whole fear that majority of people will not profit from globalization uncontrolled economic activities are expected to produce increasing inequality as well as a growth in regional and ethnic tensions, or in pollution survival of the fittest could become a slogan of an inhuman, competitive global world warn against reduced cultural diversity and the destruction of local cultures Westernization/Americanization of the world wide the gap between rich and poor Global challenges - poverty poor people often do not have the access to employment, basic health care, education and essential commodities possible ways to narrow this gap: dept relief, economic development and fair trading conditions for developing countries

Ecological issues - pollution air pollution: through industrial emissions and exhaust gases water pollution: through chemical waste produced by factories and private households soil pollution: through the use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers in intensive farming production of waste that is neither recyclable nor biodegradable

global warming greenhouse effect intensified by increasing global economic activity more heat-trapping gases (emissions produced by industry, the burning of fossil fuels, transport and deforestation) increase global warming towards sustainable development international conferences development that meets the needs of the present without destroying the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Global political players - Americas global role in the 21st century only political superpower in the world the role of global policeman war on terrorism unstable Middle East Americas area of chief concern at the beginning of 21st century Us tried to build up democratic and free societies in unstable areas by using diplomacy, treaties, trade contracts, economic pressure and military interventions - United Nations was founded after the World War II aims to promote peace, justice, human rights and economic development a framework for cooperation in international security through peacekeeping forces and humanitarian assistance - Non-government organizations Greenpeace: use of nonviolent, direct action campaigns to stop things like nuclear testing, high seas whaling, global warming and genetic engineering Amnesty International: international, nongovernmental organization; aims to promote human rights Definition for globalization: Globalization refers to worldwide change on an economic, technological, cultural level and growing interaction between cultures and economies.

International Peace-Keeping: The Role of the USA and the UN - after Second World War: US and the Soviet Union being the only superpowers in the world - confrontation ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union - Post-Cold-War: America the most powerful nation, militarily as well as economically, politically and culturally - UN: were founded after the Second World War by 51 states - to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations and to promote the cooperation among nations in solving international, social, cultural and humanitarian problems UN: key role in the development of present-day globalization American exceptionalism and isolationalism - state of being special, exceptional and unique sense of mission/unique - democracy, freedom and equality should be spread all over the world Interventionism up to 1945 and the Cold War - 1890: end of westward expansion and close of western frontier - 1899: step toward imperialism - involvement in World War I - 1920s & 1930s: isolationalism - 1941: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor involvement in World War II - US helped actively shape the post-war structure of Europe - a military and economic global power and supported the establishment of the United Nations - Truman Doctrine: America as a world policeman - 1970s: withdrawal from Vietnam traumatic period of self-doubt in US history - 1980s: strong economic recovery; increased sense of optimism and political confidence Americas global role in the 21st century - US: only superpower in the world, the role of a global policeman starting with the Gulf War - war on terrorism declared by George W. Bush

Post-colonialism and migration: UK


A brief look at history From empire to Commonwealth - 1945-1965: most of the former colonies of the British Empire became independent - most of the former colonies remained in the Commonwealth After the Second World War - largest number of immigrants were inhabitants of the British Empire and the Commonwealth - they came from all over the world to serve the armed forces or on merchant ships Asylum seekers - from African countries, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and more recently from Yugoslavia and Rumania - seeking employment in Britain or to escape the poverty in home countries Immigrants from the Commonwealth - after Second World War: labor shortage in Britain - first people who were free to settle to Britain were from the Caribbean and the India subcontinent - 1948: British Nationality Act gave all Commonwealth citizen the right to enter Britain, work and vote Immigration and growing racism in the 1960s - from the beginning of 1960s onwards: massive rise in immigration - racism among the population grew Immigration and growing racial tensions in the 1970s - 1970s: racial tension and violence continues to grow in areas with a high concentration of people from ethnic minorities Restrictions on immigration in the 1980s - 1980s: immigration became further restricted - 1986: visa controls introduced for visitors from African countries, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh Efforts of integration in the 1990s - 1990s: efforts to integrate ethnic minorities intensified - non-white Members of Parliament - first black trade union leader was elected - 1992: Muslim Parliament opened

The present situation Ethnic minorities in Britain - largest ethnic minority in Britain: Indian people - second largest ethnic minority: people of Pakistan descent - mixed ethnic descent make up 7.9 per cent of the UK population - 45 per cent of the total population of ethnic minorities live in the London area Attitudes towards immigration - most British citizens welcome or at least accept immigrants - Britain needs immigrants economic advantages Citizenship and language - British citizenship to integrate and become active members of the society - British citizenship promote the learning of language skills and practical knowledge about the UK and the British way of life Integration, not assimilation - integration important, but does not mean assimilation - the idea of the melting pot - immigrants are not expected to lose their national characteristics - share identities - in a multicultural society diversity thrives in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance Tolerance and the multicultural society - in the western world sharia is usually thought to be unacceptable or even offensive Muslims in Britain - growing number of Britons believe that the British Muslim community needs to do more to integrate itself into mainstream culture - many Muslims even complain about a high level of Islamophobia Integration and the younger generation of Muslims - a majority of moderate Muslims think of themselves as British Muslims, rather than only as Muslims

The new India Economy a preferred spot to invest becomes more important for foreign investment growing success in the economy everybody is going shopping more travelling Indians phones are status symbols luxury-goods market makes more profit in last years growing internet outsourcing Society traditional way of thinking gets unimportant traditional assumptions about womens roles in the home and family are breaking down young men and women work together people try to adopt American way of speaking European holidays for middle-class families tabus are breaking down India the biggest movie and TV audiences in the world

Shakespeare: A literary giant in the 21st century


Timeline of Shakespeares life 1564: Shakespeare is born as first son of a prominent businessman 1582: Marriage to Anne Hathaway (a 26-year old farmers daughter). Their first child is born six months later. 1585: Twins are born; shortly afterwards Shakespeare leaves his family to disappear for seven years; the Lost Years. 1592: Well established in the London theatre world as an actor, playwright and poet 1593: First publication (a narrative poem) 1594: Founding member of an acting company 1595-96: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Nights Dream are published 1597: Shakespeare buys New Place, the second-largest building in Stratford 1599: The Globe Theatre is built in London; Shakespeare is part owner 1605: Shakespeares acting company, The Kings Men performs eleven times before the king; seven of the performances are plays by Shakespeare 1606: Macbeth is published 1609: Sonnets are published 1610: Shakespeare leaves London and settles in Stratford, a rich man. 1616: He dies, having written 38 plays. 1623: The first complete collection of Shakespeares works is published.

Elizabethan England Elizabethan Era - period of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. (1558-1603) - golden age in the history of English literature - the time during which the Elizabethan theatre grew and William Shakespeare became famous - short period of relative peace, stability and prosperity - England had a centralized, well organized and effective government - the countrys one great political rival: Spain Hierarchy and order - Great Chain of Being: God at the top, followed b the angels and spirits, the king and nobility, the lower class, animals, plants, rocks and minerals - Elizabethan family: man ruled over his wife and children; wives were expected to be obedient and respectful; children were brought up to fear and respect their parents Love and marriage - most important things in a marriage: wealth, equality of status, religion and age - unmarried mothers often lost their jobs

Performing Shakespeare Elizabethan Theatre - up to the Renaissance: plays based on stories taken from the Bible, written in Latin, performed in church at church festivals - influence of the church on English society weakened: theatre productions moved out of church, plays were translated into English - 1576: London gained its first theatre - Puritans unhappy about this form of entertainment - 1590s: plays was the best-loved form of entertainment in London Theatre companies and actors - acting: only open to boys and men - Shakespeare: after arriving in London Lord Chamberlains Men, later Kings Men first as an actor-playwright, later as a part-owner

The Shakespearean sonnet - a fourteen-line poem - made up of three quatrains (four lines of verse) and a concluding couplet (two lines of verse) sometimes: 4 + 4 + 4 + 2 - usually: a problem may be described in the first 12 lines and solved in the last two lines - very popular on Elizabethan age - a gentleman with poetic talent often sent sonnets to his lady love Background information on Shakespeares sonnets - first mentioned in 1598 by a Cambridge schoolmaster - full sequence of 154 sonnets was first published in 1609 - none of the sonnets have titles; their order is only given by numbers - some people argue that the sonnets are Shakespeares personal diary, recording events in his life and reflecting his true thoughts and feelings - read in the given order, the sonnets tell the following story: 1-126: written to a young man 127-154: about a woman who has come to be known as the Dark Lady Shakespeares language - one difference between Shakespeares English and modern English: form of address thou you

Form of narratives - aside: a short passage spoken in an undertone or to the audience - monologue: a single person speaking alone; prayers, much lyric verse and all laments - soliloquy: character, alone on the stage, expresses his thoughts and feelings, the form of a direct address to the audience

Utopia and dystopia exploring alternative worlds


Science fiction, fantasy and utopia Utopia: a place, state or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics, laws, customs, and conditions Dystopia: a futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worstcase scenario make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system.

Characteristics of a Dystopian Society - Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society. - Information, independent thought and freedom are restricted. - A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society. - Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance. - Citizens have a fear of the outside world. - Citizens live in a dehumanized state. - The natural world is banished and distrusted. - Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individually and dissent are bad. - The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world. Types of Dystopian Controls Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following types of controls: Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through products, advertising, and/or the media. Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations and incompetent government officials. Technological control: Society is controlled by technological through computers, robots and/or scientific means. Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic government.

Science fiction - focus on speculative scientific or technological advances - many science fiction stories include strong utopian or dystopian elements - include elements borrowed from myth and fantasy such as a clear dividing line between good and evil, heroes and heroines, supernatural abilities, strange monsters and places

British history: from Empire to Commonwealth, Monarchy and modern democracy, the UK and Europe
Politics in UK - UK: parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy - two chambers in the Houses of Parliament: House of Commons and the House of Lords - government stays in office for a max. 5 years - Head of State: constitutional monarch politically impartial, largely symbolic, signs bills passed by Parliament Commonwealth of Nations - originally: British Commonwealth of Nations, was founded 1926 when the British Empire began to break-up - 53 member countries - name for some countries which were part of the British Empire before they became independent - this group of states works together on many important matters, like business, health and the fight against poverty - not a political organization - Queen Elizabeth II. of the United Kingdom is the official head of the Commonwealth - almost all the 53 members are independent countries with their own governments - common aims: to increase economic cooperation among the member countries to encourage democracy in the member countries to ensure that member countries follow human rights economy of these countries about 16% of the world

Arguments in favour of the monarchy - embodies society and British feeling of themselves - royal family pays for itself many times - the monarchy attracts tourists - the Queen is the biggest attraction in the world - the Queens appearances boost the economy - provides a focus for emotions of pride, patriotism and loyalty - expresses a sense of nationhood - represents the whole nation in a way a politician cannot - functions as a force for national unity - a monarch is politically impartial - a president could not represent a whole nation because of his political role - a president will remain unknown to most people

Arguments against the monarchy - outdated - demeaning - wasteful and inefficient - the moral standards of the royal family are questionable - heredity cannot determine a person suitable for the job - no democratic legitimation (monarch is determined by heredity) - too expensive - out of fashion - unnecessary/superfluous - monarch does not represent the people ( he himself/she herself is member of the upper class) - monarch may be very stupid or incompetent - monarch cannot be removed/dethroned