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Space And Exchange

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Space and exchanges

The world is divided up into different areas, territories and countries but thanks to modern technology it has become easier and easier to cross the borders which mark their limits and to enter into exchanges at many different levels including information , trade and population exchange. I am going to talk mainly about the last of these: immigration and how it affects societies.

I/ Reasons for immigration

There are as many different motives behind immigation as there kinds of migrant. In class we talked to English people who have moved to live in the Deux Sèvres. They said that they emmigrated for work, for love, for family reasons or to have a better lifestyle, for example.

We can talk also about the American Dream: for Mexicans living in poverty America is the land of opportunities. We studied a text which talks about that: Alejandro Perez, a Mexican, knew that he could earn more money in America than in Mexico. Thus he left his family and he crossed the border as an illegal immigrant, hoping to make his fortune and then return to set up his own business and provide for his family with the money he had earned in the “land of plenty”..

Both of these examples can be considered choices, but there are situations in which the only “choice” is between emigration and death. In 1939 it was potentially fatal to be a Jew in Germany and the many other places in Europe which fell under German control, so there was a massive move to other “safer” countries such as the UK and America. More recently, in 1994 Tutsi fled the ethnic cleansing being carried out in Rwanda by the Hutu majority, and since 2013 Syrians have been fleeing the civil war in their country.

II/ The consequences of immigration

There are advantages and disadvantages to immigration. It can be good for the economy because the migrants work, they pay taxes and they spend money. Moreover, there’s a cultural enrichment. It can bring new words, new lifestyle, music, food..etc. For example how many words in French came from the Arab language spoken by North African immigrants: toubib, bled, clébard... do we even realise where they came from? Couscous, tajine and taboulé are common French foods now. Similarly it is said that curry – brought to the UK by Indian Immigrants – is practically a national dish, and every British town has a Chinese takeaway alongside the more traditional fish and chip shop.

However, there are also disadvantages to immigration. The locals can think that the immigrants steal their jobs. There are also immigrants who don’t want to integrate into the country (for example, they don’t want to learn the language, etc..) . Sometimes, the locals don’t like the immigrants and it can create problems. For example, we studied a text from the novel “And justice there is none”. It presents a West Indian family who have just arrived in England. The extract is presented from the point of view of their teenage neighbour: sheT is very happy, she wants to make new friends, but her father is very afraid, he doesn’t approve offoreigners. He forbids his daughter to approach the West Indian neighbours. The irony being that the father himself is actually a Pole who settled in the UK after the Second World War.

Finally, immigration can be very dangerous. For


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