Textverständnis und Analyse: Zeitungsartikel "Bradford and Race: The TV experiment that aims to change perception and prejudice" by S. Man-Zoor
Hinweis: Die Prozentangaben in Klammern zeigen die Gewichtung der einzelnen Aufgaben.
The name of the series is Make Bradford British and it features eight of Bradford’s inhabitants with different cultural backgrounds sharing an accommodation for a short period of time (l.1f.). It consists of two phases (l.3), namely all of the participants living together for four days and then forming pairs who visit each other’s families (ll.16-18). The names of the eight participants, of whom only six are explicitly mentioned in the text, are Rashid (l.5), Damon (l.13), Audrey (l.20), Jens (l.25), Desmond (l.26) and Sabbiyah (l.28). The principal aim of the experiment was to find out if people with different origins could stay together for several days and to define Britishness (ll.21-23).
The experiences of the TV experiment have caused major consequences. Sabbiyah was really shocked when she realised that integration cannot be achieved considering the racial background only but also the different social classes (ll.40-42). Damon and Rashid became friends and Damon even attended Rashid’s sister’s wedding ceremony (ll.46f.). Furthermore, the experiment made him rethink his negative image of Muslims (ll.47-49). He reflected the experience together with his friends which let them reconsider their assumptions on immigrants (ll.50f.). And Rashid recognised that meeting people from different backgrounds requires adapting to new situations and putting aside one’s personal interests (ll.52-54).
To sum things up, the TV experiment has changed the ideas of the participants on meeting people with different backgrounds and created new friendships, which is evident from the fact that all of them have kept in touch and only just enjoyed a meal together (ll.43f.
The author of the article uses several stylistic devices to convey the impact of the TV experiment, namely direct speech, concrete examples, vivid metaphors, reduplications, oxymoron and chiasmus.
The use of direct speech lets the reader become involved in the story. By using quotes by the participants, the author allows the reader to experience it as if it were a conversation they were attending personally. The author recites Sabbiyah (ll.36-42), Damon (ll.47-49) and Rashid (ll.54f.) expressing the consequences of the experiment in their lives.
Furthermore, concrete examples support the credibility of the contents and illustrate the positive outcome, such as the information on the participants having a meal together (l.44) or the fact that Damon received an invitation to Rashid’s sister’s wedding (ll.46f.).
The author also uses metaphors to evoke a picture in the reader’s mind and make the story more vivid. A bubble is a sphere enclosing something inside and isolating it from the world outside. In the text, Sabbiyah refers to her good life in the middle class. (ll.36f.). Later, she talks about the experiment revealing the truth about integration (l.41). Sobering up usually means recovering from the effects of an intoxication.
Moreover, reduplications, oxymoron and chiasmus find application in the text to make the story easier to remember.
The reduplications “happy-clappy” (l.38), which comes from the words “happy” and “to clap”, and “wishy-washy”, which derives from “to wash”, both put emphasis on the respective topic because the repeating structure can easily be memorized.
In addition, the oxymoron “naively optimistic” (l.34) describes a state of mind being naive and optimistic at the same time and therefore creating a peculiar combination.
And finally, the use of chiasmus illustrates that the TV experiment caused both a positive and negative impact (ll.56f.), which makes the reader reflect on the topic itself.
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