Festschrift für Dieter Huber zum 65. Geburtstag-
Klaus Peter Müller: Stories Told about British Cultures and Languages in Current TV Documentaries: The Noughties, Kidults, Chavs, MCs, and the Breaking Up of Britain
231 Klaus Peter Müller Stories Told about British Cultures and Languages in Current TV Documentaries: The Noughties, Kidults, Chavs, MCs, and the Breaking Up of Britain Documentaries provide information about the particular topic dealt with, “factual information about the world outside the film“1. They are “commonly seen as par- ticularly truthful, as being a kind of trace of reality, dealing with the factual or unconstructed as far as possible.”2 The genre came under closer scrutiny in the wake of postmodernism, especially in connection with the intriguing questions of representation, reality vs. fiction, truth etc., which have also been extensively discussed in relation to the new digital media.3 But documentaries are still widely regarded as providing non-fictional insights into reality, and this article will describe how documentaries shown on British television present contempo- rary Britain and to what extent and in which way specific information on culture and language is offered. Of the huge number of possible choices, two documen- taries from different channels have been selected because they are both typical examples of the genre and unique in their use of and emphasis on language. ‘History of Now: the Story of the Noughties’ In what at first sight seems to be a rather straightforward history programme about the first decade of our century, the three episodes of BBC 2’s History of Now: the Story of the Noughties, shown in January 2010, highlight language in remarkable and unexpected ways.4 The programme’s intention is clearly ex- pressed in its...
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