als Identifikationsfolie gegen die verstaubte Gesellschaft

candel

Senior Member
english Irish.
Hi,
Regarding the ups and downs of the US German relationship postwar.

Erst der Vietnamkrieg änderte dies. Fernsehbilder von Napalm-Bomben empörten die Menschen. Udo Hebel, Professor für Amerikastudien, erklärt: „In den Fünfzigern war Amerika als Identifikationsfolie gegen die verstaubte Gesellschaft der Bundesrepublik sehr positiv besetzt. In den sechziger Jahren änderte sich das, da stellten die Deutschen sich gegen das hässliche Gesicht der USA.“

In the fifties America was set as a counterfoil against the jaded society of the Federal Republic.

Danke.:)
 
  • manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    In the fifties America was set as a counterfoil against the jaded society of the Federal Republic.
    I'd choose a slightly looser translation to bring the actual idea across:
    In the fifties America was perceived very positively as an identification image as opposed to the image of the jaded society of the Federal Republic.

    meaning, in the fifties after the WW2 disaster the German people were searching for role models they could identify with and follow or improve, trying to make it their own, considering that the Nazi ideology was out of the question and that the preceding aristocratic system has been abolished long enough to make a resurrection equally unappealing.
     
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    candel

    Senior Member
    english Irish.
    Role model...identification image is what you mean by this? Identifikationsfolie is literally?
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Role model...identification image is what you mean by this? Identifikationsfolie is literally?
    Exactly! The word "Identifikationsfolie" in isolation has little to no meaning. At best it's wide open to speculation or interpretation.
    Within your given context, 'role model' seems to be the most suitable idiomatic rendition in English.
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    In den Fünfzigern war Amerika als Identifikationsfolie gegen die verstaubte Gesellschaft der Bundesrepublik sehr positiv besetzt.
    And now from the advocate of literality, to make it as weirdly social-science sounding as it does in German: ​:D

    In the fifties, America, as a template to identify with, was associated with a highly positive connotation against the backdrop of West Germany's somewhat
    mouldy society at the time.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    My suggestion:

    In the fifties, America as a positive role model made a stark contrast with the rather dull society of the Federal Republic.

    The use of terms in the German seems slightly odd to me, since America is supposed to be more attractive, but is described as a 'Folie', that is, a foil. In English usage at least, in making a contrast, the foil is the duller background which sets off the main object in a better light. Thus an 'Identifikationsfolie' - a foil to identify with - seems a somewhat contradictory expression.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    What actually is a 'Identifikationsfolie'? Has anyone ever encountered this word before? And how can it be occupied (besetzt)? Is perhaps Herr Professor talking rubbish?
     

    Schimmelreiter

    Senior Member
    Deutsch
    Is perhaps Herr Professor talking rubbish?
    It's typical social-science type language. In that narrow microcosm, the term Folie is commonly and consistently used. Whether or not you consider it rubbish depends on whether or not you consider that microcosm rubbish.

    Contrary to wandle's translation of Folie to its English cognate
    which is
    the duller background which sets off the main object in a better light
    Folie, in this very specific sense, is a template that determines the way in which certain socio-political circumstances are interpreted. Unlike a foil, which serves as
    the duller background which sets off the main object in a better light
    a Folie, in this narrow sense, is put "above" that which is supposed to be interpreted:

    Wenn man über den Ost-West-Konflikt die Folie des Kampfs um strategische Ressourcen legt, wird rasch klar, wer Treiber und wer Getriebener ist. :D


    In short, in the sense in which Folie is being used here, it's synonymous with ​Schablone/template.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Aah! In that case:

    In the fifties, America was viewed very positively as a pattern for emulation, compared to the fusty society of the Federal Republic.
     

    candel

    Senior Member
    english Irish.
    I always look for the eighth meaning of a word when I rummage in the dictionary....but that's just me...:rolleyes:
     
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