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Spaces and exchanges: What makes a city legendary?

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Par   •  4 Mai 2019  •  Fiche  •  693 Mots (3 Pages)  •  599 Vues

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I’m going to talk about the notion « Spaces and exchanges ». First I would like to give a definition of this notion: So it deals with the geographical and symbolic areas that all the societies occupy and the interactions between men and different societies. This year in class we studied the case of San Francisco, as a place of social interactions.

I’m going to answer the question: What makes a city legendary?

First I’m going to talk about the history of San Francisco, and then I’m going to show that this town is a place of social activism.


● The first document I have chosen is a website article, it deals with the story of the 19th century California Gold Rush, a rapid influx of fortune seekers in California.

● It start in 1848 when James Marshall found gold in his saw mill next to the American River, it caused a little stir, but then, the spark that ignited the stampede for gold was another man who showed to the street a bottle filled with gold dust. SF harbor was cluttered with derelict ships, workers abandoned their jobs. The population in California had mushroomed to 100 000. The fortunes seekers plan was to strike it rich and then went back to their life and family.

● The author lets us make our own opinion about the subject. He simply provides us with the information.

● This document fits perfectly with the notion because it talks about how people moved from East to West, in SF, so it’s a form of exchange.

● The second document is a report called The story of an eyewitness, by Jack London, about the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906.

●The author explain that the earthquake was especially striking and devastating for the city, he wrote that “San Francisco is gone”. He describes the city as the crater of a volcano. Finally he mentioned that the whole United States helped the population of San Francisco, to avoid a famine.

● As in the first document, the author simply reports what he sees, hence the title of the report. But he makes his report particularly captivating, because it’s lively realistic.

●This document show the biggest natural disaster in the history of California, but it also highlight that all the country helped the survivors of the earthquake, so there was interactions between them.


● The document I’ve chosen is an extract from a book written by Alysia Abbott, called Fairyland: a memoir of my father. It talks about gay activism in SF in 1977.

● This extract tell that the ordinance against gay rights organized by Anna Bryant, had an unexpected impact because it highlighted the topic and led the gay community to stick together. So the gay community grew up in San Francisco, and one day Mayor George Moscone appoints openly gay men and women to government positions. He was the first one to do that. Later, a gay man was elected to public office in California: Supervisor Harvey Milk. But on November 1977, Moscone and Milk were gunned down in their offices. It caused a wave of sadness in San Fransisco, people were outraged and revolted.


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