«A Comparative Case Study of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and Ireland by Melanie Liese B.A. School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies ...»
Although it does not mention whether the men drink orange juice as well, a point is made that the girls drink water, while Steffi is allowed orange juice. Gender hierarchies are further suggested when the girls are going for a walk and Aischa‟s brother, Jussuf, tells them only to walk where they can be seen by him. Steffi tells Aischa: “Dein Bruder spielt sich ganz schön auf! Das mit den Männern und Frauen bei euch finde ich sowieso doof...” Aischa guckt erstaunt. “Was ist doof?”, fragt sie.
“Bei euch kriegen die Männer immer zuerst”, erklärt Steffi.” [“Your brother is acting up quite a lot! Anyway, I find all that going-on with the men and women in your family silly...” Aischa looks astonished. “What is silly?”, she asks. “In your family the men always get things first”, explains Steffi.] (ibid, p.149). Aischa takes Steffi‟s comment light-heartedly and jokes that it is okay since there are only two men in her family. She then goes to and says that with her aunt in Lebanon the girls hardly get anything because she has five sons (ibid, p.149). However, Aischa‟s answer does not counter Steffi‟s comment, but rather confirms it. Steffi thinks it is unfair and says: “Bei uns werden immer zuerst die Frauen bedient.” [Here the women are always served first.] (ibid, p. 149). Challenging Steffi‟s comments Aischa replies laughing: “Aha. Und das ist gerecht, ich verstehe.” [Aha. And that‟s fair, I understand.] (ibid, p.149). The stereotype of the submissive woman is further associated with Muslim women as a picture accompanies the text whereby two of the women wear head scarves. The illustration also shows the afore-mentioned hierarchy with the men walking in front of the women on their way to the picnic.
Gender relations are also a theme in the story “Die Sache mit dem Bus” [The Matter with the Bus] (Das Lesebuch 4, pp.125-126, see book). This story is presumably set in a Turkish family as the character‟s names „Gül‟ and „Murat‟ are not normally used in a German context and suggest a Turkish background. It is Gül‟s duty to clear the breakfast table every morning before going to catch the bus to school. Her brother, Murat, however holds her up by drinking his tea quite slowly. As a result, she nearly was struck by the school bus when rushing to catch it one morning. The next morning Murat tells her: “Tisch abräumen!” [Clear the table!] (ibid, p.126). When Gül replies that he should do that himself, Murat says: “Tischabräumen ist Frauensache!” [Clearing the table is women‟s business] (ibid, p.126). Challenging his remark, Gül then answers with a sharp „no‟. The fact that this story is taking place presumably in a Turkish family, associates the stereotype of the dominant male with the Turkish people.
Rather negative connotations are made with regard to people from the former Yugoslavia in “Christina – Freunde gibt es überall” [Christina – Friends are everywhere] (Tintenklecks 4, p.14, Appendix B, p.XXVIII).
The ethnic and cultural „other‟ Kenan, who is of (former) Yugoslavian origin, is described as follows:
“Kenan klaut nicht. Jedenfalls ist noch keinem etwas weggekommen, seit er da ist.
Über drei Monate schon. Christina versteckt schon längst nichts mehr vor ihm in ihrer Schultasche.” [Kenan does not steal. At least no one is missing anything since he is here. More than three months already. Christina no longer hides anything from him in her school bag] (ibid, p.14). Although not directly stated, this passage strongly implies that people from the former Yugoslavia might steal and that Kenan is perhaps only an exception. While the author appears to praise Kenan on the surface, the implications between the lines could be quite harmful. This passage is not discussed in the questions that follow the text.
Common stereotypes are mocked and challenged in “Wir sind fünf” [We are five] (Das Auer Lesebuch 4, p.37, Appendix B, p.X). Here a group of four children name and discuss stereotypes before approaching the ethnic and cultural „other‟ from Italy to join them. For example, Mali says that Italians play the guitar, sing and eat pasta (ibid, p.37). This is later challenged as the group decides that they do a whole lot more and Florian asserts that Italians also cut their toe nails, read poems and have sore throats (ibid, p.37). This is discussed in a similar way with regard to stereotypes about the English, Americans and Russians.
In “Nein, danke” [No, thank you] (Überall ist Lesezeit, pp.64-65, see book) a migrant describes his experiences with cultural conventions and stereotypes in Germany. When he is invited for dinner with a German family he arrives early: “Die Deutschen legen sehr viel Wert auf Pünktlichkeit.” [The Germans attach great importance to punctuality] (ibid, p.64). However, when he arrives the family panics as the dinner is not ready. When they finally eat, the migrant guest quite likes the food. However, because it is part of his cultural norm not to accept more food and only a little dessert, the family thinks that he did not enjoy their food and the migrant goes back home hungry. This story challenges the stereotypes of Germans valuing punctuality while at the same time showing the ethnic and cultural „other‟ as somebody who is trying to conform to German culture.
5.2.9 The Integrated „Other‟
This category includes images and/or names, presuming to refer to the ethnic and cultural „other‟ but without any direct reference to ethnic or cultural origins in the text and/ or an illustration. Ethnic and cultural diversity are shown as accepted and a „normal‟ part of society. The textbooks examined for North Rhine-Westphalia include numerous images, where the ethnic and cultural „other‟ is included in images without referring to any ethnic or cultural background. Two examples from many are given here to illustrate this point.
In the text “Emma wehrt sich” [Emma defends herself] (Bausteine Lesebuch 4, pp.214-215, Appendix B, pp.IV-V), the central theme is that of peer groups at school. Here Emma is picked on by Eva and her gang. A name of Turkish origin is mentioned in the text, when Eva‟s gang members are described: “Zu der Gang gehören Moritz, Christoph, Feliz, Stefan, Philipp, Franziska und Justus. Neuerdings ist auch Ögüt dabei, den haben sie gerade aufgenommen.” [The gang members are Moritz, Christoph, Feliz, Stefan, Philipp, Franziska und Justus. Ögüt has joined them, they admitted him recently.] (ibid, p.214). Although it can be presumed on the basis of his name that Ögüt has a Turkish background, no reference to this ethnic or cultural origin is made in the text. Furthermore, the text is accompanied by two illustrations, showing the children of the story (Image 6). At least two of the children displayed have a darker skin colour. However, the accompanying text does not make any reference to their origins.
Source: Text: “Emma wehrt sich” (Elisabeth Zöller), pages 214-215, BAUSTEINE. Lesebuch 4. 2005 Braunschweig: Bildungshaus Schulbuchverlage Westermann Schroedel Diesterweg Schöningh Winklers GmbH In “Julia meldet sich” [Julia raises her hand] (Bausteine Lesebuch 3, p.13, Appendix B, p.I) the children in a class all raise their hands after not understanding what the teacher tried to impart. This short text is accompanied by an illustration displaying this scene. The teacher stands in front of his students, who raise their hands. The students are of different skin colour and one child is in a wheelchair. Again no reference is made to any of the students‟ ethnic or cultural origin, and an image of diversity as normality in society is conveyed.
5.3 Summary The analysis of textbooks in North Rhine-Westphalia reflects a range of representations of the ethnic and cultural „other‟ in texts and illustrations. Texts range from those which clearly set the migrant apart, i.e., texts under the subcategories Origin, Language, Skin Colour, Religious Difference, Hostility, Questions of Identity, The „Other‟ in Need and Stereotypes, to those which show him or her as integrated into society, such as the texts under The Integrated „Other‟.
As the ethnic and cultural „other‟ is sometimes associated to more than one theme, some texts appear on several occasions under different sub-categories.
Members of the Turkish community feature most, with seven texts referring to an ethnic or cultural „other‟ with a Turkish migrant background, followed by characters with a background from Italy, Romania, Kenya, India, Poland, Greece, Iran, Egypt, Russia, Africa and the former Yugoslavia.
The experiences of the individual characters in Germany/ German context are presented as being widespread as well. Even characters from the same country are shown to face different challenges. For example, while Uwe from Romania is presented as having a positive experience in Germany, Maria, who comes from the same country, is shown to be confronted with hostility from members of the German majority.
Nonetheless, despite the variety of positive and negative experiences that are represented in the texts, recurring patterns of presentation, according to certain markers which define the ethnic and cultural „other‟ as being different from the majority in Germany, have emerged. Accordingly, the „other‟ is associated with a different origin, with speaking a different language, with a different skin colour and/ or religion, with experiencing hostility, with being in need, with being stereotyped and with facing issues of identity. Therefore, the approach used to represent the ethnic and cultural „other‟ in the textbooks of North Rhine-Westphalia is often rather explicit and direct, clearly detaching the „other‟ from the majority in Germany.
However, as Sub-Category 9 indicates, numerous representations conveying diversity as a „normal‟ part of German society, also exist alongside the explicit approach.
It has also been seen how attempts are made to put cultures in an equal footing.
Güneş, for example, teaches Marietta the colours in Turkish while she learns them in German from Marietta (Überall ist Lesezeit 3, p.50). And Aunt Wilma, after getting to know her Turkish neighbours, says that people could learn from them (Überall ist Lesezeit 4, pp.58-60).
Having explored how the ethnic and cultural „other‟ is represented in the textbooks examined in North Rhine-Westphalia, the next chapter will look at the portrayal of the „other‟ in the textbooks examined in Ireland which contrasts the approach found in this analysis.
Analysis of Textbooks from Ireland
6.1 Introduction Having looked at the analysis of German textbooks in North Rhine-Westphalia, this chapter investigates how the ethnic and cultural „other‟ is represented in a sample of Irish textbooks. For this purpose, textbooks for the subject of English in third and fourth grade have been examined. The analysis focuses on the representation of the „other‟ in Ireland and/ or in an Irish context. When examining these textbooks, the categorisation which had been established as a result of the preliminary analysis (see the Chapter 4 on Methodology), and subsequently applied in the German context, was used. However, due to a lack of data, only the ninth sub-category of The Integrated „Other‟ has emerged in more than one text. Whilst, for example, the text “Religions Around the World” (Blue Skies Matter of Fact, pp.78-83, see book) does fit to the sub-category of Religious Difference, it is the only text referring to the theme of religious diversity. Thus, a recurrence of patterns or themes which is crucial in order to identify characteristics or labels of a certain discourse (see also Chapter 4 on Methodology), i.e., in this case the discourse of the ethnic and cultural „other‟, could not be detected and a categorisation was not applied.