Spaces and Exchanges
First of all I would like to give a definition of «Exchange». It’s a continuous movement or circulation. It includes all type of exchanges : people, trade or media. A society can be approached from the point of view of its cohesion and openness, which raises questions about its place in the world. The geography of commercial channels and networks of influence, but also the discovery and conquest of new land constitute new cultural areas which often transcend the borders of a States. The border which limit two spaces will sometimes seen as a protection against the other or otherwise the opening to a larger space. The space can evolve and take different forms. However, we decided to focus our work on the United States. The concept «Spaces and Exchanges» illustrates the theme of the discovery of new space so it implies the discovery of new territories, the major waves of immigration, the fact of transgressing the frontier and finally the travel which involves the search of new experiences or a sense of community . Today we see that despite a very uneven level of development, the world has never been such integrated. We are witnessing exchanges of all kinds are in culture, arts, science, philosophy, religion, and more generally in everyday use. It is a way to unify people.
To my mind, the documents thats seems to best illustrate the notion is are a drawing by Jeff Parker, a song from Bruce Springsteen called American land, an extract from a speech of Barack Obama and finally, an extract of The Flat World by Thomas Friedman.
The first document is a cartoon by the cartoonist, Jeff Parker. It deals with the Pilgrims. It’s the name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. In this drawing, we can see Indians or Native Americans who are building up a high fence so as to prevent pilgrims or settlers to land and to settle down in the USA. The first European settlers arrived in 1620 on board the May Flower. The caption is full of sarcasm and irony : historically the Indians did not prevent the Pilgrims from setting down in the USA. They even helped them. In the end, Indians lost their lands, their culture and traditions. The point of view given in this caption is a modern point of view. The autor denounces the modern American point of view about immigration.Times have changed but the same problems remain because history repeats itself, even today.
We can make a link between the document and the notion because it focuses on a major issue which is the transmission of knowledge, culture made between American and Indian. Moreover it raises the problem of immigration in American nowadays.
I like this document because the author exposes his point of view with humor and I think it’s a efficient way to make people understand, especially in this case because it is a touchy subject.
The second document is a song from Bruce Springsteen called American Land. Through this song, he evokes the thoughts and aspirations of a young immigrant who sees America as a land of home. The narrator is a young adult who have a girlfriend. His aim for the future is to settle down in the United States.
Moreover, he wants to live the American dream. And for him, every American can live in luxury, abundance and wealth. We can notice it : «Over their all the woman wear silk and satin to their knee». According to the author, the United States is a paradise for workers, a kind of Eldorado. He thinks it’s a land of opportunity. We can see it in line 28 : «There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard working man». The narrator says that America welcomes everyone, regardless of religion, nationality, or social class. He come from a small village and arrived in New York city. So he feels amazement, surprise and fascination towards this city and this country that seems to be perfect. The reason why people emigrating is that they thinks that America is an open society where everybody is on an equal footing. For them, overnight, they can climb the social ladder and become rich even if at the begining they were poor because United Stated is a country without social barrier. They think they can start from scratch and afford expensive materials, something that they couldn’t do before. Futhermore, he said that the workers are the founders of this city and they died by building it. Because they lived in dire straits with a very low income. They were destitute, without better prospects. Their goal was to achieve success. The narrator says that the situation of immigrants is still the same, they take risk to emigrate to the US because of the power of attraction of the American dream. Indeed, there was an important wave of immigration and almost all were part of working class, the blue collars. In this song, Bruce Springsteen praise United States but he is aware of the difficulties of the working class. We can established a link with the notion, Spaces and Exchange because this document evokes the immigration in the United States. Indeed, the flows person is a kind of exchange because this people bring their culture and knowledge in a new country. I chose this song because I like Bruce Springsteen and I think it’s more fun and less academic. Moreover, this document bring to us an immigrant’s point of view, so subjective.
The third document is an extract of a speech from Barack Obama, the president of United States. This extract is called Helping the dreamers. It addresses the immigration policy of the nation. He mentioned the « dreamers », child of immigrants coming young in United States, who have made their studies, who play in the neighborhood and who have pledged allegiance to the flag. They are American in their heart and mind, but not officially. Often they realize that when they must doing paperwork such as a license, grant, or at work. At the end of the extract, President Obama encouraged his audience to put themselves in the place of these young people facing deportation to a country they do not know and they do not know the language and culture. That’s why he wants to create « the dream act » law dreamers. We can make a link between the topic of this document and our notion. Indeed, the president evokes the immigration nowadays and the fact of share culture. I chose this extract because it’s a recent speech which allow us to understand the politic nowadays. Moreover I like the poetic metaphors that realize the president about the «dreamers».
Finally, the last document is a letter from Bill Brady to Thomas Friedman. It deals with a new tendency in the medical domain which is the outsourcing of CAT scans. Nowadays in the USA especially during the night, CAT scans are sent to doctors in India (for instance) so foreign doctors can read and interpret the scans immediately. The biggest advantage is that patients can be taken in charge very quickly even if there is no radiologist in the American hospital. The Indians doctors are supposed to be trained and to be as good as the American radiologists. But we can guess that if a CAT scan is read by an Indian doctor, it may cost less and the American radiologists may earn more money. This new tendency is allowed by the advances in new technology but we can wonder if it is a good thing would you prefer to have your scans read by an American doctor or an Indian one. America is supposed to be at the top concerning new technology and medicine yet. This document deals about the globalization and in especially in terms of medicine. Here, the knowledge transgresses the frontier. I chose this document because it evokes the globalization in a way that I didn’t know. Futhermore, this is a subject that lends to controversy so I think it is interesting to study.
To conclude, we can consider that the globalization have a massive role in terms of exchange. Indeed, thanks to new tool such as internet, the knowledge and culture for example can be share all around the world in a very short time. The actors of this globalization are the states, the government who allow or not the share and the different kind of exchange or the social network. Nowadays, the working condition evolve, we evoke this fact previously in the last document. However, this phenomenon have some positive and negative impact. The North is favored due to its advanced development unlike the South. This is why people from the South try to reach the North for live a better life and improve their way of life. Unfortunately, this country can not support these waves of immigration.