Spaces and Exchanges

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Spaces & Exchanges

Que ce soit pour les LV1 ou LV2, les notions sont au nombre 
de 4 et peuvent ĂŞtre traitĂ©es sous des angles diffĂ©rents. 
Un mĂŞme document pourra illustrer 2 voire 3 notions.

1./ Espaces et Ă©changes - spaces and exchanges

2./ Mythes et héros – myths and heroes

3./ Lieux et formes du pouvoir -places and forms of power

4./ L’idée de progrès - the idea of progress

Spaces and exchanges

➡ Introduction

In order to survive & to meet his basic needs, man has always 
adapted his immediate environment or travelled to change. 
In doing so, he has often modified elements found in nature
for his own purposes. 

The question is : 
"What marks has man made on the world around him? "
"Has he succeeded in dominating nature?" 
"In leaving the natural world behind him, what sort of envi-
ronment has man created for himself? »

I./ Man has sought new territories 

First, we could give some examples of events that have motivated 
or forced populations to occupy new territories (i.e. immigrants, 
new comers) : This part is related to a text/recording we studied 
(called ' ...')which was a dialogue between a British journalist and 
a young Korean who speaks about her experience, her new life 
after leaving Korea. 

A./New territories are occupied for different reasons 

For survival, for seeking political asylum (as a refugee)

Man has always needed to occupy land in order to meet his
basic needs. For either personal enrichment, the desire to
build a new life. 

We also worked on a video taken from CNN, called « Studying
abroad » ; in this document Michele Obama, the ex-first lady 
of the U.S., speaks about studying abroad...

Historical examples could be given to illustrate this idea of Man 
fleeing to different places where they expected a better Life, 
a Life of wealth and Freedom.

The Gold Rush , the Conquest of the West of the United States 
of America (the legend/Myth, the colonization of Australia and
New Zealand...

B./ Populations have left the countryside for the town

Progressively : Rural landscapes have been replaced by cities.
Unoccupied land or village have given way to urban development.

Lots of huge cities have emerged around the world: New York, 
London, …

➡Transition:  In creating new territories, mankind has taken
possession of the natural world.


II. Man, as an intelligent being, has found ways to control                                                              nature.

A./Populations are no longer forced to live in close proximity to natural


- Man has reorganized his environment in different ways to ensure a
  plentiful supply of food, water and commodities.

- We are seeing examples of cities built in the desert like Abu Dhabi, 
  where town planners have created a huge urban project in an extremely
  unfavorable natural setting (other examples can be found in the U.S.: in 
  Utah for example : Salt Lake City).

B./But man is constantly reminded of the force of nature.

With climate change, phenomena such as flooding or drought 
destroy entire regions or make them no more habitable (Aus-
tralia, Africa, India, the Horn of Africa). 

Famous cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles or Tokyo are built on 
active earthquake zones.

➡Transition : Man, in considering himself capable of dominating
 nature has lost contact with it.

III. Man has become essentially a city dweller

A./ Throughout the world, there has been a transition from rural living 
to urban way of life populations are concentrated in urban 
environment where we find dense housing projects, motorways, airports,
industrial zones …This phenomenon also concerns developing countries
with the emergence of mega cities with populations of over 10 million 
inhabitants (China, India).

B./ Urbanization can in fact create new problems

In building cities and transport networks, man has disturbed nature and
sometimes damaged it permanently. 

Changes that are initially considered to be improvements and meant
to provide a better quality of life, are, in fact, accompanied by undesirable
effects such as pollution, noise or social health problems.


To sum up, it can be said that throughout history, man has transformed
his environment and gradually become a city dweller. While previously 
the main challenge he faced was to control nature, in the 21st century, 
new problems are emerging.

Possible questions 

1./ - What would be your ideal city as an immigrant? 

2./ - Nowadays people have a negative impression of life in city suburbs.
        Do you think it is justified ?

3./-  What sort of qualities do you think a person needed to strike out 
        on their own into a new territory like America or New Zealand in
        the 19th century ?

4./ - Some people are opting out and going back to a simpler, more rural
        way of life. Why is this so ?

5./ - The development of environmentally friendly cities : a dream or a
        reality ?

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