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"Let's amend the second amendment!"
(Student claiming more gun control in the USA during the „March for our lives“, 2018)
Comment on this statement. In your comment, you have to include the following:
- You have to either agree with the point of view or disagree with the point of view of the speaker. You have to either find 2-3 arguments in favor (pro) or 2-3 arguments against (con) the point of view of the speaker.
- In your comment, refer to recent incidents and developments in US society (i.e. shootings, the “March for our lives”, political debates,…). Mention the positions of political parties in the USA on the subject.
- Write about 200 to 250 words.
Cultural Knowledge and Vocabulary
Match the following vocabulary to the definition which fits by filling in the right letter in the table below.
- National identity
- Melting pot
- Salad bowl
- Ethnic minority
- The character of a nation
- Affirmative action
- March on Washington
- Civil Rights Act
- Legal equality
- Demographic trend
- Racial segregation
- American Dream
|The quality of having variety and including a wide range of different people or things.|
|A peaceful demonstration for freedom and equal rights which took place in Washington D.C. in 1963. 250,000 people took part in it and they were directed by Martin Luther King.|
|The act of dividing people according to their race, i.e. into areas where they have to live.|
|The idea that anybody can achieve anything with a strong will and hard work.|
|An old metaphor used to describe US society as a place where people from different races, countries, or social classes come to live together and where differences are turned into a homogeneous whole.|
|Most attempts to define it end up with a list of stereotypes. However, you can define it as “The sum of a country’s culture and traditions, its language or languages and its politics.”|
|A metaphor used to describe US society as a group of distinct parts that, together, make up an interesting and successful whole.|
|Identical values which give the different ethnic and social groups within a society a sense of belonging; in Western societies, for example, the belief in a representative democracy and equality before the law.|
|Something that is left to someone by others, i.e. a house passed on to children by their parents.|
|The act of threatening someone, putting someone into prison or killing someone, especially because of political and religious attitudes or sexual orientation.|
|A law (1964) which granted blacks full equality and made racial segregation, e.g. in schools, illegal.|
|Being equal before the law, no matter what ethnic group, gender, religion, social class etc. you belong to.|
|The process of making laws.|
|A group in a country which differs from a larger group, i.e. in its culture and traditions.|
|A fight, for example for equal rights.|
|A development in population, i.e. more and more immigrants being part of a population or people getting older than before.|
|A sort of prejudice, for example in political news programs. The opposite of a neutral perspective including different points of view.|
|Positive discrimination, especially in education and employment. Often, it is used to help ethnic minorities in a country.|
|The act of making up with someone, i.e. renewing a friendship after an argument.|
|A lack of knowledge and education.|
True or false? Tick the right answer. For each right answer ticked, 2 points will be given. For each wrong answer ticked, 1 point will be taken away.
|Although granted by the Constitution, blacks did not achieve full legal equality until the Civil Rights Movement finally forced change in the mid-1960s.|
|The fourth of July is a public holiday in the USA. On this day, people commemorate the 4th of July 1776, when the 13 American colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, which declared the colonies free and independent states, ending British rule.|
|After the former colonies had declared their independence from Britain, the US Constitution was adopted in 1787.|
|The Constitution provides for three branches of government: The legislative branch, which makes laws, the executive branch, which carries out laws, and the judicial branch, which interprets laws.|
|Congress represents the legislative branch. Congress consists of 2 chambers: The House of Representatives and the Senate.|
|The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court, federal courts and state courts.|
|The USA only has two major political parties. This is why the American party system is called a two-party system.|
|The emblem of the Democratic party is a donkey.|
|The emblem of the Republican party is an elephant.|
|Supporters of the Democratic party tend to establish social security programs, such as health or unemployment insurances. They are more active in providing social and economic programs for students, poor, unemployed and homeless people.|
|Supporters of the Republican party are generally seen as more conservative. Its supporters tend to believe that too many laws harm individual initiative and that private enterprises should be encouraged.|
|The “Latinization of America” is a term used to describe the growing number of Hispanics immigrating to the US. Hispanics, mainly coming from Mexico, are the fastest growing ethnic group in America.|
|The Native Americans have been less assimilated than other minorities, because their values are opposed to the values of the white culture.|
|WASP culture is the culture based on the values and traditions of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant immigrants. In the melting pot theory, this culture was referred to as the “predominant culture”. Sometimes, an M was added to form the word WASPM, the letter m standing for male.|
|One element of the American Dream is the idea that anybody, no matter what social background he has got, can become President. Theoretically, this is still true for the USA, in reality, a presidential election campaign requires huge amounts of money, so candidates depend on fund-raising.|
|American core values are the belief in freedom, in equality of opportunity and in success. Other important American values are self-sufficiency, self-reliance, volunteerism, private charity, competition, hard work and the belief in progress.|
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Ihr Team der Privatakademie – Institut Dr. Rampitsch