Read the text carefully.
Why we should step in to halt bad behavior
By Michael Hann, The Guardian, September 3, 2008
My wife thinks that I'll get stabbed (to stab: stechen, erstechen) one day. She thinks I get too angry about things I should let pass; she suspects that offering advice to those failing to observe basic social niceties is more provocative than helpful. She's not sure what I achieve by asking people to pick up their litter, or grabbing shoplifters, or asking a man in the doorway of McDonald's to stop hitting his girlfriend.
Part of me thinks she's right, and that my blood pressure would fall if I turned away. But then another side – for the sake of argument, let's call it a conscience – kicks in. The things I get mad about diminish (verkleinern, wertloser machen) our society and lower the quality of life. Isn't it my duty to pipe up (sich zu Wort melden)?
In fact, shouldn't more people intervene? After all, isn't the well-being of society the responsibility of the whole of society?
It turns out I'm not alone. The think tank Reform says Britons are too ready to abdicate (sich verabschieden von, verzichten auf) responsibility for dealing with wrongdoing – that we have "nationalised and politicised" antisocial behaviour to such an extent that we have become a "nation of bystanders" , six out of 10 of us would not step in to stop a group of teenage vandals. We think our duties end with calling the police; in other European countries tackling antisocial behaviour is seen as everyone's responsibility.
We do turn our backs because – like my wife – we believe the likely consequence of any intervention will be a stabbing. This despite the British Crime Survey showing that knife crime has remained stable over the past decade, and a Metropolitan Police survey showing that knife crime in London has actually dropped over the past two years, by a startling 15.7%.
The saddest thing for those of us who believe it is right to intervene is that we get branded (hier: bezeichnet als) as rightwing, law-and-order-obsessed vigilantes (Bürgerwehr). In fact, we're trying to uphold the classic leftwing value: that we are responsible for the society we live in. It's not, whatever David Cameron might say, the Labour government that's to blame for the I'll-do-what-I-want culture that most of us blame for antisocial behaviour. After all, it wasn't a Labour prime minster who said, "There's no such thing as society", was it?
Quelle: Hann, Michael: Why we should step in to halt bad behaviour, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/sep/03/communities.ukcrime, letzter Zugriff am: 23.10.2019.
Is the statement true or false?
In his article "Why we should step in to halt bad behaviour", published in The Guardian, September, 3, 2008, Michael Hann lists arguments for and against active intervention in case of anti-social behaviour.
Compose a short summary of the article by M. Hahn by arranging the sentences in the correct order.
- Finally, the author points out that getting involved is a classic leftwing attitude.
- Afterwards, the author provides strong reasons for social intervention, and calls it the responsibility of every member of our society.
- He also points out that unlike other Europeans, the British seem to have a bystander mentality, which needs to be changed.
- Using the voice of his wife to put the case against getting involved, the author argues that this may result in physical assault, and questions its effectiveness.
- Hann continues by observing that the case for intervention may be seen as originating in an obsession for law and order and a rightwing political attitude.
Link the arguments in favour of social intervention using the appropriate words and expressions. Fill in the blanks by choosing the correct answer.
1. First, I believe that you only get what you give. _______________ actively helping people in trouble instead of quietly witnessing violence might save your own life in future.
- In other words,
2. Anti-social behaviour reduces the quality of life for the entire society we live in, and ______________ it is our duty to fight against it.
3. ________________ some of us may be afraid of showing responsibility or getting hurt, it is important to have courage and step up when witnessing violence.
- Even though
- In spite
4. Social intervention may help to stop the crime, _________________ no intervention may result in someone's abuse or injury.
Write an argumentative essay supporting or opposing the following statement: "Social interventions may help to stop violence". Give arguments for both positions, and state your own position. Write about 350-400 words.