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Textverständnis und Analyse: Sachtext "Our unhealthy love of reality TV bullying..." by. J. Cristensen


Hinweis: Die Prozentangaben in Klammern zeigt die Gewichtung der einzelnen Aufgaben.

  1. Outline the information in the Text about the connection between reality TV and bullying. (20 %)
  2. Examine the way in which the article demonstrates the relevance of the issue. (25 %)



Reality TV often glamorises violence and verbal abuse (ll.11f.), and can therefore encourage aggressive behaviour within the viewers (ll.14f.), such as Gordon Ramsay’s reality TV series “Kitchen Nightmares” (ll.11f.). In it, he yells at the contestants and insults them on a regular basis, which is very much appreciated by the viewers of the show (ll.8f.).

Furthermore, the audience is at risk of replicating the behaviour depicted in reality shows (ll.21f.) as they feature far more violent scenes than, for instance, dramas or comedies (ll.18f.).

Another consequence of watching reality TV is that many people, especially former and potential victims of bullying, consider it a relief from their emotional suffering. For them, experiencing others being abused feels like taking revenge on their oppressors (ll.29f.) and it provides them with safety and comfort (ll.31f.).

(132 words)


The author uses several stylistic devices to demonstrate the relevance of the issue, such as a concrete example, vivid metaphors, anaphora and quotes by experts.

The application of a concrete example appeals to the environment of the audience and thus arouses interest and enables the identification with the topic. Jen Cristensen mentions “Gordon Ramsay” (l.1) who is in charge of the reality TV show “Kitchen Nightmares” (l.4), a popular and well-known series in the United States.

Furthermore, metaphors are used to evoke a picture in the reader’s mind and therefore make the story more vivid. The contestants in Ramsay’s TV show cannot expect many “pats on the back” (l.6) for their creations, meaning that there will be hardly any positive feedback and not that they will be approached physically. Another example is the viewer eating up the TV show [“Viewers eat it up.” (l.9)], which has nothing to do with satiating one’s hunger but with the great popularity of the series.

A means of transporting the author’s message and putting emphasis on it is anaphora. By repeating certain words and sentence structures, the reader is able to focus on the content and to remember it more easily, such as in the description of Ramsay’s abusing his chefs [He calls” (l.2); “He reduces” (ll.2f.); “he swears”; “He throws”; “He calls” (l.7)].

Cristensen also makes use of quotes by experts on the topic of bullying to support the credibility of her article. She cites both Sarah Coyne, a psychologist at Brigham Young University (ll.13-15;29f.), and Gary Namie, the director of the Workplace Bullying Institute (ll.23f.;25f.;34f.;39), who talk about their research on aggressive behaviour, its consequences and the reasons why so many viewers enjoy watching people being abused in TV shows.

(300 words)

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