Archives pour la catégorie The idea of progress

Advance or development toward a better human condition – Progress is designed for the good of the greatest number – Different types of progress: social, political, technological, medical… Progress is also an ambivalent concept because it produces constraints and contradictions . Therefore progress is a double-edged sworld. Some invention beneficial at first might end up to be catastrophic for human kind on the long run. When talking about progress you might want to consider its positive but also negative impact on society.

IMMIGRATION

Leaving one´s country: Running away, going into exile, travelling, discovering, studying, working….?

Key Questions (problématique)

  • Why do people migrate?
  • What are the impacts of emigration on the host country?(multicultural Britain/Melting pot in the USA/Spanglish in the USA/global cities and multiculturalism)
  • What are the impacts of emigration on the country of origin ? (brain drain migration/desertification of rural areas)
  • Emigration vs Immigration : impacts on host country and home country
  • Choose to migrate or forced to migrate – Why do people leave their home county?
  • How can a country benefit from immigration?

WHAT IS MIGRATION ?

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another. The reasons for migration can be economic, social, political or environmental. There are usually push factors and pull factors at work.

Migration impacts on both the place left behind, and on the place where migrants settle.

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another.

  • Internal migration is when people migrate within the same country or region – for example, moving from London to Plymouth.
  • International migration is when people migrate from one country to another – for example, moving from Mexico to the USA.

 Two key migration terms

  • Emigration – when someone leaves a country.
  • Immigration – when someone enters a country.

Why do people migrate?

People migrate for many different reasons. These reasons can be classified as economic, social, political or environmental:

  • economic migration – moving to find work or follow a particular career path
  • social migration – moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends
  • political migration – moving to escape political persecution or war
  • environmental causes of migration include natural disasters such as flooding

Some people choose to migrate, eg someone who moves to another country to enhance their career opportunities. Some people are forced to migrate, eg someone who moves due to war or famine.

A refugee is someone who has left their home and does not have a new home to go to. Often refugees do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of where they may finally settle.

Push and pull factors

Push factors are the reasons why people leave an area. They include:

  • lack of services
  • lack of safety
  • high crime
  • crop failure
  • drought
  • flooding
  • poverty
  • war

Pull factors are the reasons why people move to a particular area. They include:

  • higher employment
  • more wealth
  • better services
  • good climate
  • safer, less crime
  • political stability
  • more fertile land
  • lower risk from natural hazards

Migration usually happens as a result of a combination of these push and pull factors.

Publicités

Modernity and Tradition in Britain

london-runners

Describe this scene photographed on the banks of the River Thames in London.

What elements attract your attention? What contrasts are underlined?

In what ways does this correspond to your view of London today?

 Describe this scene photographed on the banks of the River Thames in London. 

This scene, photographed on the banks of the River Thames in London, shows a group of athletes of both sexes and of mixed origins running along the river… There are various buildings in the background including the London Eye, a well-known, but relatively recently installed, tourist attraction… On the right is a fairly old building (the London County Hall), while to the left of the London Eye, a modern tower block (adjacent to the Royal Festival Hall) can be seen… The runners all seem concentrated on the race and are running side by side, looking ahead in the same direction… Among the runners, looking straight at the camera is a guard in uniform, and a second guard can be seen on the right, half out of the photo…

What elements attract your attention? What contrasts are underlined?

What strikes the viewer immediately is the guard in his red and black uniform running alongside the athletes… The contrast between the runners and the guard is underlined by the fact that the athletes are all wearing light running gear, whereas he is in uniform with his bearskin on his head… He may be included in the photo as a symbol of traditional Britain (normally he would be seen parading in front of Buckingham Palace) and of modernity (the fact that he is black in an élite army corps, steeped in tradition, may indicate that society in Britain is becoming more open and tolerant)… There are other contrasts in the photo, for instance old and new architecture and the mixed origins of the runners… So, on the one hand this is a photo of modern-day London but, on the other hand, the overall impression given by the photographer is a combination of tradition and modernity…

 

 

 

 

 

Les 4 notions – Tips for your oral presentation

For the oral test, you´ll have 5 minutes to present the notion, your key question (problématique) and the 3 documents to illustrate your argumentation.

The other 5 minutes will be dedicated to an interaction with the teacher. In another post, I will give you a set of questions you may want to practice before the exam.

Spaces and Exchanges

Spaces and Exchanges – useful expressions –

Idea of Progress

Idea of Progress – Useful expressions

Power and Seats of Power

Power and Seats of Power – Useful expressions

Myths and Heroes

Myths and heroes – Useful expressions

 

 

POWER AND COUNTER POWER

What is power?

What is a counter power?

What are the different types of power?

Power is the ability to exercise authority and influence over others. It can be exerted in different areas such as Economy, Politics, media etc..

In relation to the notion, the topic/theme we are going to deal with/discuss will be the 4th power. The 4th power is usually defined as the power of the press and public opinion-

Problematiques/key questions  we may wonder if/to….

To what extent can the press  be considered as a form of power? why and to what extent?

What should the limits to convey information be?

Should classified elements remain secret? Should Wikileaks be limited?

Should limits be imposed on counter powers?

Do we have the power as citizen to shape public life?

Are empowered citizens truly powerful?

Are counter powers really effective?

Have counter powers acquired more power/influence?

Is the influence of Internet a good influence?

To what extent are counter powers growing in influence?

Can active citizens change the world?

How have social media helped  empower people?

Is the power of the people greater than the people in power?

The press and public opinion are commonly nicknamed the fourth power. By extension the 4th power refers to the various means of communication which can be used as counter powers to limit the 3 other powers (which are the legislative executive and judicial powers). For many years new powers have emerged and have had a great influence on public opinion. Internet is refered to as the fifth power.

Documents to illustrate your topic  :

The power of the press : The Panama papers :

One of the biggest leaks in journalistic history reveals the secretive offshore companies used to hide wealth, evade taxes and commit fraud by the world’s dictators, business tycoons and criminals.Panama Papers are documents obtained from a Panama-based offshore services provider called Mossack Fonseca. The documents were received by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Mossack Fonseca: inside the firm that helps the super-rich hide their money

The Panama papers

The power of the Internet : Wikileaks :

WikiLeaks is an international online not-for-profit media organization founded by Australian activist Julian Assange that has published and made available to the public a huge number of classified, uncensored and highly sensitive documents from various anonymous news sources. Its website, which opened in 2006, collected a database of more than 1.2 million documents in the first year alone. This initiative to reveal and make public state secrets and confidential information received intense media coverage but also prompt state retaliation. Julian Assange is hiding….Some consider him a hero, others a villain. 

How powerful is wikileaks?

The power of public opinion :

Occupy movements around the world

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Public Opinion

We are the 99 percent

occupy wall street

The scene is set in the street before the New York Stock Exchange. In the foreground, a policeman is arresting a demonstrator who is wearing a sweater with Öccupy Wall Street¨written on it and a badge which reads ¨99%¨. The policeman is trampling over a placard with the word ¨GREED¨ barred on it . We can therefore infer that the demonstrators are protesting against greed. In addition, there are masked robbers/thieves in the background standing in front of the Stock Exchange. Each of the men is carrying a bag full of money and yet they are not being arrested. They are watching the scene and seem quite relaxed about the police presence. The cartoonist´s message is clear. The demonstrator is being arrested simply for occupying Wall Street, meanwhile the thieves, obviously representing the world of finance go unpunished.

The power of NGOs:

The NGO Greenpeace has monitered the anti-environmental practices of big business and industry for over 40 years. Every time they find evidence of wrong-doing, they try to alert public opinion any way they can.

Action At Port Lincoln, Australia.
Greenpeace activists in an inflatable intercept the worlds second largest factory fishing trawler, the FV Margiris. Attempting to block the monster ship from entering Port Lincoln in South Australia. A banner reads ‘No Super Trawlers’. Greenpeace is calling on the Australian Government to refuse to grant a fishing license to the FV Margiris and introduce a policy to ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.

 

Comments: Here we have a perfect illustration of powers and counter powers – It also reminds us of the fight of David against Goliath with the small inflatable of Greenpeace challenging the monster ship which represents big business- Obviously the dinghy can´t stop the boat but maybe the photo can.  The power of money and big businesses is being confronted by the Citizen power of an NGO and the media.

HOW TO CONCLUDE

 

In the conclusion, dedicate a sentence or two by summarizing what you have been discussing. It´s a good idea to link your key question to another notion by opening up with a suggestion or a question.

Myths and heroes:

Does being an activist make you a hero?

Can Julian Assange be considered a hero?

Idea of progress

Power is a force connecting people,communities and nations in a constant progress of contestations and change. The growing influence of street movements, of the free press, of the internet, is also a sign of more democracy.

Spaces and exchanges

Exchanging information in a digital age has empowered citizens.

VOCAB:

Power – powerful- powerless- to empower- empowerment-

To exercise/to possess/ to seize/ to enforce/ to grant/ to wield/ to lack…. power

To release information /to shed light on/ to discredit/

Public opinion/reliable sources/misconduct/censorship/classified/

 

 

 

 

 

Spaces and Exchanges – Topic: Immigration to the US

Why is immigration to the USA relevant regarding the topic of spaces and exchanges?

Across the centuries, immigrants from all over the world came to the United States, seeking a better life, and each one of them bringing their own contribution to what defines the USA today. In addition, the idea of melting pot originated in the USA as a metaphor to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States So, both spaces and exchanges are deeply involved in the constitution of the country as we know it today.

DOCUMENTS TO ILLUSTRATE THE TOPIC OF IMMIGRATION TO THE USA

immigrating_to_america_timeline – document on US immigration timeline (Pilgrim Fathers, slaves, Europeans, West Indies and Asia, Latin American countries)

A Virtual Voyage to Ellis Island

Mexican Police Find 500 Hiding During Immigration Bust

Irish immigration

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What drives people to live their country?
  • Is the US dream still alive? (also can apply for Myths and Heroes – US dream as a myth)
  • What attracts immigrants to live in the USA?
  • How has immigration shaped US society?

 

 

Social media

Is social media  a good thing or a bad thing? There are always two sides of everything; most people admire it as a revolutionary invention and some seem to take it as a negative impact on society.

Positive aspects:

Friends and Relations: Social networks allow us to connect with friends in an easy and convenient way.

Reducing Communication Barriers:  Social networks unable us to share opinions about any topic to a large audience.

Negative Effects:

Leads to addiction: Many studies have shown that the extensive use of social media can actually cause addiction to the users.

Leads to isolation: Extreme usage of social media has reduced the level of human interaction.

2 documents to illustrate both sides

Look up

Teenagers and social networking – it might actually be good for them

 

SPACES AND EXCHANGES

The social media have created new spaces in our lives, new spaces because they are virtual. How do these new spaces affect our everyday life? (positive and negative aspects)

The social media have created new exchanges between people. To what extent do they allow us to communicate better? (Present the pros and cons)

IDEA OF PROGRESS

How does modern technology affect today’s society? Does it have a positive or a negative effect?

GLOBAL CITIES

FORBES – AUG 14, 2014

The World’s Most Influential Cities – Joel Kotkin , CONTRIBUTOR

In the past century, the greatest global cities were generally the largest and centers of the world’s great empires: London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Today size is not so important: Of the world’s 10 most populous cities, only Tokyo, New York and Beijing are in the top 10 of our ranking of the world’s most important cities. Instead, what matters today is influence.
In order to quantify cities’ global influence, we looked at eight factors: the amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted; the concentration of corporate headquarters; how many particular business niches they dominate; air connectivity (ease of travel to other global cities); strength of producer services; financial services; technology and media power; and racial diversity. We found those factors particularly important in identifying rising stars that, someday, might challenge the current hegemony of our two top-ranked global cities, London and New York.
London, which after more than a century of imperial decline still ranks No. 1 in our survey. The United Kingdom may now be a second-rate power, but the City’s unparalleled legacy as a global financial capital still underpins its pre-eminence.
Ranked first in the world on the Z/Yen Group’s 2013 Global Financial Centres Index, which we used for our list, London not only has a long history as a dominant global financial hub, but its location outside the United States and the eurozone keeps it away from unfriendly regulators. Compared to New York, it is also time-zone advantaged for doing business in Asia, and has the second best global air connections of any city after Dubai, with nonstop flights at least three times a week to 89% of global cities outside of its home region of Europe.
A preferred domicile for the global rich, London is not only the historic capital of the English language, which contributes to its status as a powerful media hub and major advertising center, but it’s also the birthplace of the cultural, legal and business practices that define global capitalism. London hosts the headquarters of 68 companies on the 2012 Forbes Global 2000 list and is a popular location for the regional HQs of many multinationals. Beyond these traditional strengths, London has become Europe’s top technology startup center, according to the Startup Genome project. The city has upward of 3,000 tech startups as well as Google’s largest office outside Silicon Valley.
New York, which comes in a close second in our study (40 points to London’s 42), is home to most of the world’s top investment banks and hedge funds, and the stock trading volume on the city’s exchanges is nearly four times that of second place Tokyo and more than 10 times that of London.
Like London, New York is a global leader in media and advertising, the music industry (home to two of the big three labels), and also one of the most important capitals of the fashion and luxury business. With iconic landmarks galore, international visitors spend more money in New York each year than in any other city in the world.
The Challengers And Those Slowly Fading
London and New York are clearly the leaders but they are not the hegemonic powers that they were throughout much of the 20th century, and their main competitors are now largely from
outside Europe. Paris may rank third in our survey, but it is way below New York and London by virtually every critical measure, and the city’s future is not promising given that France, and much of the EU, are mired in relative economic stagnation.
Rather than a true indication of global reach, Paris’ high ranking is partly the product of the city’s utter domination of the still sizable French economy and the concentration of virtually all the country’s leading companies there Elsewhere, Europe boast a veritable archipelago of globally competitive cities — Munich, Rome, Hamburg — but none is large enough, or unique enough, to break into the top 10 in the future. East Asia is likely to place more cities at the top of the list.
Full List: The World’s Most Influential Cities
For most of the last century, Tokyo has been Asia’s leading city. It is still the world’s largest city, with the largest overall GDP. In her seminal work on world cities, Saskia Sassen placed it on the same level as London and New York. Tokyo’s limitations resemble those of Paris — its high ranking stems partly from the extreme concentration of domestic companies — and it will be handicapped in the future by a severe demographic crisis, a lack of ethnic diversity and very determined regional rivals.

This text is a good example of how you can relate a document to several notions.

SPACES AND EXCHANGES: Global cities as new spaces/exchanges

The growth of global cities has brought a wealth of cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity, allowing people to enrich their everyday life and open them to new possibilities of exchange. (magnet for nationals and foreigners – diversity of language and culture – top universities – job opportunities)

How have global cities created new spaces and new exchanges?

Why do global cities depend on exchanges?

What impact do global cities have on people´s everyday lives?

How global cities, as geographical spaces, can have an impact on people and exchanges?

POWER AND SEATS OF POWER : Global cities as seats of power

Concentration of powers (economic, cultural, financial, political) – Global cities=leaders in the world economy – international marketplaces – dynamic hubs – top universities)

To what extent are global cities seats of power?

IDEA OF PROGRESS : Global cities and progress (social, economic)

The growth og global cities has brought wealth of culture, linguistic and etnic diversity. However such dense populations have led to serious environmental problems. (urban issues: overcrowding- slums- pollution – litter- congestion))

Will global cities find a way to create a sustainable and clean environment for the future?

Can we considered global cities as symbols of progress?

 

A press article and a video to illustrate the notion of Spaces and Exchanges

  1. Black Britons

2.  Multicultural Britain

Notion: Spaces and exchanges

Theme : Human exchanges

Key concept: Immigration to the UK – Multicultural Britain – Britishness

Questions :

What effect has immigration had on UK´s society?

How strong is the link that keeps the British together?

To what extent can Britain be considered as a multicultural country?

After having introduced the notion and the question you want to deal with, you need to present the documents that will illustrate your point.

If you choose to raise the question of Britain as a multicultural country, you should define multiculturalism first. (the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within unified society, as a state or nation).

Both documents help us understand how Britain has evolved towards a multicultural society since the post-war years. Doc 1 deals with the different  waves of Caribbean migrants to Britain while doc 2 focuses on 2 generations, father and son from Kenya.

If the first generation of migrants felt more black than British, it is clearly explained that there is no contradiction for the younger generation (born in the 70´s) between ethnicity and identity as can be seen in the title ¨black Britons¨.

As for doc 2, to the question ¨what’s the best thing about living here, Sunny?¨, the young man answers : ¨The food, the different cultures that come in and bring their spices, their experiences and even their rituals, so you get a taste of the world within this small community¨. 

After presenting the documents, make a personal conclusion by giving your opinion on the documents and if you can by opening up onto another notion or future prospects.

These two documents could also be linked to the idea of progress because the younger generation of black Britons live a better life than their fathers. They feel part of a community, they feel proud to be British but also proud of their origins and this can indeed be considered as great progress for society.

A third document to add to your presentation …….

5b56b398043e67273034e83d93184ff2

 And two other quotes 

Tony Blair (UK Prime Minister 1997 – 2007- Labour Party)

¨A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in, and how many want out¨.

JFK : ¨Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of US life¨.

 

 

 

 

Happiness

3 documents to illustrate the theme of social progress

An article, a video, and a radio programme on the topic of happiness  and how it can be related to social progress.

QUESTIONS THAT COULD BE DISCUSSED ALONG WITH THE DOCUMENTS:

  1. What makes progress possible?
  2. To what extent is Social Progress Index (SPI) a better tool to measure social progress?
  3. The United States, the world’s wealthiest country in GDP terms, ranks 16thin “social progress.”  Can the wealth of a country (GDP) be representative of its social progress?
  4. Money cannot buy happiness – To what extent is this proverb true or false?

RADIO PROGRAMME http://www.podcastsinenglish.com/pages/level3.shtml

ARTICLE

Happiness Is an Important Indicator of Societal Progress

Bina Agarwal, a professor of development economics and environment at the University of Manchester, is the author, most recently, of « Gender and Green Governance: The Political Economy of Women’s Presence Within and Beyond Community Forestry. »

UPDATED JULY 2, 2015, 1:30 PM  NY Times

If happiness is defined by an individual’s freedom to choose, and lead, a life he or she has reason to value, it is worth tracking it as a sign of national progress.

There was a time when most economists believed that income was a fair measure of personal well-being, and G.D.P. per capita could adequately reflect a country’s progress.

Today, few would disagree that quality-of-life assessments should be multidimensional. The United Nations Development Programme, for example, ranks countries by an annual human development index that aggregates income, life expectancy and education. But are even these factors fully adequate for measuring social well-being?

Quality-of-life assessments that account for happiness and life satisfaction go beyond what G.D.P. can show.

In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France designated a commission led by Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, both Nobel laureates, to identify which indicators best measure the economic performance and social progress of nations “beyond G.D.P.” I was a member of that commission, and we identified many factors in addition to income and wealth that determine quality of life, including health, education, environmental conditions, social connections, political voice and security.

Yet these are still objective indicators. They tell us little about a person’s own assessment of his or her well-being.

Subjective indicators, like happiness and life satisfaction, capture an important dimension of well-being that is missed by objective measures. Self-reporting also shows the importance people place on having dignity and a voice, as well as access to democratic institutions.

But there are limits to self-reporting when it comes to public policy. Poor women in India, for instance, are much more likely than men to say they are well, even when a doctor’s examination suggests otherwise. Perhaps they cannot afford to take time off work when they are ill, or they are socialized into discounting personal well-being. Reliance on subjective measures could also make governments complacent about social injustice, using the “she is poor but happy” defense.

Ultimately, we need both objective and subjective measures to accurately reflect quality of life on a global scale. And especially when it comes to framing policy, measurement and quantification, even when it comes to happiness, is important.

What’s more, if enough people feel that their happiness depends on living in an environmentally sustainable and equal world, the pursuit of happiness could even be good for the planet.

VIDEO

Social progress index