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ERIC Number: EJ1354567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2022
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0042-062X
EISSN: EISSN-1756-1221
Symbolic Competence and Race in "Gute Menschen": Teaching about Racism in Germany through a Hip-Hop Music Video
Chen, Yannleon
Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, v55 n2 p191-205 Fall 2022
This observational study examines the use of the German hip-hop music video, "Gute Menschen" by the band OK KID (2015), as a basis for developing students' symbolic competence regarding contemporary discourse on racism in Germany. Based on earlier investigations (Putnam, 2006; Sosulski, 2013), this article advocates for the use of German music videos to develop students' abilities to decode multimodal symbols (i.e., visual, musical, and lyrical symbols) individually and holistically. Existing research supports the use of target language music videos in beginner- and intermediate-level lessons because of their affective and aesthetic properties (Gullete et al., 2016; Kaiser, 2011; Schier, 2014; Spinner, 2008). Prompted by the lack of adequate discourse on racial and cultural diversity in many widely used textbooks (Ilett, 2009; Risager, 2006), and in the specific German curriculum (at an R1 university located in the Southwest) circa 2019, this project offers an example of internet-accessible realia that directly addresses discourse on racism in Germany. Resulting findings and discussions are based on students' written assignments from two third-semester German classes. The results demonstrate that conversations about racism can be successfully taught in beginner- and intermediate-level curricula.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A