Picking a topic

Initial ideas

To pick a topic, we needed to have it approved by our professor. We each proposed some ideas for what we could approach, and came up with a list to choose from:

  • Loriot
  • Tatort
  • Healthcare in Germany
  • Economy and infrastructure of Germany
  • European Cuisine
  • Mountains of Germany
  • Municipalities of Germany
  • Student life in Germany
  • German cathedrals

Testing ideas

We had done a little bit of research into a couple of these to test the viability of the ideas. Here are some short points of what we came up with:

Loriot

  • Looks at German humour (He is mentioned on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_humour in the Culture section)
  • Blog here shows that Loriot looks at “the peculiarities of German people including the awkwardness of everyday situations and miscommunication in human interaction.”
  • There a lot of news around 2011 when the actor behind Loriot passed away, for example this Huffington Post article, a standout remark being: “Chancellor Angela Merkel praised von Buelow as an “acute observer of daily life” whose “unique ability to lovingly hold a mirror to our faces will be missed.”

Tatort

  • Good sources for the Tatort as well; including the Goethe Institut describing it as “A mirror of Germany” in an article about it here. One sentence really stood out as useful: “the dissertation “Tatort. Ein populäres Medium als kultureller Speicher” (2010) (i.e., Scene of the Crime. A Popular Medium as Cultural Memory) demonstrates how much the series, oriented to social discourses, has changed since the 1970s: if then the orderly middle classes took centre stage, the series latter took up current problems such as unemployment, AIDS, child trafficking, sub-cultures and international phenomena such as the Bosnian war and the Russian mafia.”
  • There is more about it in the culture section on Alumniportal Deutschland

Professor approved

Finally, we took our three favourite ideas to the professor. Of the ideas, the professor thought either the Tatort or Loriot could work best. We decided to adopt the name Tatort-Ermittler (Tatort investigators, or more accurately, crime scene investigators) and study the Tatort.

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