Definition of Places and Forms of Power (mise à jour février 2014)

Il est souvent difficile de trouver des idées pour illustrer chaque notion. N’oubliez pas que certains sujets peuvent être utilisés pour illustrer 2 ou même 3 notions – prenons comme exemple l’histoire de Rosa Parks:

– (myths et héros) une figure emblematique de la lutte contre la ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis

– (lieux et formes de pouvoir) les raisons de la lutte contre la ségrégation raciale aux Etats Unis

– (idée du progrès) – comparaison des conditions de vie des afro-américains pendant les années 60 avec les conditions aujourd’hui (un président noir).

Voici donc quelques idées de sujets pour illustrer la notion « Lieux et formes de pouvoir ».

Places and forms of power

« Places » could be important buildings or institutions that represent a certain form of power, for example Buckingham Palace – a symbol of the British monarchy, the White – a symbol of the American presidency.

A place can also be a country or a state –  for example the USA is a state which is powerful enough to influence events throughout the world (superpower) and China is a major economic power in today’s world.

What exactly is power?

It is the ability to control others, events, or resources; the ability to make things happen despite obstacles, resistance, or opposition. This of course leads to conflict between those who have power and those who don’t.

Resistance to power

There are many examples of resistance to power:

the African-American civil rights movement (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Junior, Malcom X….)

Videos to watch:

– Biography of Rosa Parks

Song « Sister Rosa » about Rosa Parks

– Presentation of the characters from the book and film « The Help » (la Couleur des Sentiments):

trailer from the  film « The Butler »

– interesting page with lots of links about the film « The Butler »

the struggle for liberation in South Africa (Apartheid, Nelson Mandela)

the Suffragettes’ fight for women’s right to vote

Video « Bad romance » : a parody music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920.

Women’s rights movement in the US

 The ability to influence others

The power of the media

If we look at the power of the media for example we can see how much it can influence the public opinion. The mass media plays an important role in forming our personality, enriching our knowledge, providing us with information of any kind.
Mass media can have an effect on our personal identity: it can help us to feel that we are part of a group (social networks) but on the other hand it can contribute to a feeling of isolation.

Media can have a strong political influence or can shape the way we perceive certain groups of society – minority groups, pressure groups…mass media is powerful because it makes us believe what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour (reality TV).

However it can also have harmful impact on society:

– On-screen violence leading to actual violence (violent video games/films)

– Identity or financial fraud on the internet people to fraud, especially identity fraud.

– the dangers for children who are able to access Internet material inappropriate for their age.

– The Internet can facilitate an invasion of privacy – (chat rooms, social networks, bullying)

Economic and political power

– The European Union – past, present and future

– the « superpowers » ( states with a dominant position in the international system with the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests – e.g. USA)

– emerging countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China, are now playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, with this group of four powerful developing economies sometimes referred to as the BRIC countries)

The power of guns

– The debate on gun control in the USA

Finally an interesting quote to illustrate this notion:


41 thoughts on “Definition of Places and Forms of Power (mise à jour février 2014)”

  1. Thank you so much for all these ideas! It will be very useful for my oral presentation! You can maybe add in the part « resistance to power » , the Occupy Wall street movement which is quite famous! And for the power of the media you could talk about the anonymous and hackers who control everything on the web!;-)

  2. Thank you too for this work, it helped me a lot since I felt really lost in this theme ! Maybe you could insist more on the cultural power, linked with the militarily power and the justice power (hippies movement –> vietnam war / women’s lib movement –> mini skirt and other fashion’s changes)

      1. hello,
        j’ai étudié 3 textes sur Malala Yousafzai la jeune pakistanaise qui à reçu une balle dans la tête pour s’être révolté face aux Talibans, pour pouvoir continuer à aller a l’école … elle défend le droit des « jeunes filles  » .Mais dans la notion lieux et forme de pouvoir je suis vraiment perdu ce ne sais pas quoi mettre dans mon introduction . J’ai peur de trop en dire dans celle ci , puis-je parler de l’affaire qui à été médiatisé (pour la forme de pouvoir ) qu’elle a fait un discours a l’ONU ….
        Je suis perdu , pouvez vous m’éclairer sur ce sujet ?

      2. Oui bien sûr. Ce sujet peut être utilisé pour illustrer la notion de myths et héros aussi. Pour la notion de lieux et formes de pouvoir c’est très bien aussi. Voici quelques idées:
        The Talibans consider the power of knowledge to be a threat and they refuse to give this power to girls. Malala challenged the power of the Talibans and gave hope to other girls, encouraging them to stand up for their rights.
        When the terrorists shot Malala in the head they thought that this would stop her ambitions, but as she said in her speech: « nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. »
        She goes on to talk about the power of the pen (the power of education) in her speech: « The pen is mightier than the sword. It is true. The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them. This is why they killed 14 innocent students in the recent attack in Quetta »

  3. merci pour ces pistes elles m’aident beaucoup !! autre question cela pose t-il problème si l’on ne défini pas « lieux et forme  » car je ne pense pas que ce soit indispensable ? je pourrais être pénalisé pour cela ?

    1. il faut quand même définir ce que vous comprenez par « lieux et formes de pouvoir » – dans l’introduction une courte définition de cette notion (voir les pages sur le blog)

  4. d’accord . ENsuite je voulais savoir si cette conclusion pour le film « the help » est bien ?( car j’avais choisi ce film qui me paraissait en lien avec cette notion et je l’ai retrouvé sur votre blog ^^)
    Here it is clear that social power is at stake( est en jeu). We were at a time when people of different colors despise was submitted and abused. I illustrate the concept places and forms of power by the struggle of racial segregation in the U.S, because the white person believed that they have a higher power that had no place to be .

    1. This film is a perfect example of civil resistance and an illustration of the non-violent protests that took place at a time when there was a lot of discrimination against the African-Americans. What was known as « civil disobedience » was very often non-violent and this shows that where there is power (the power of the federal government) there is usually a form of resistance. The government and the communities were forced to bring about changes because of the strength of the Civil Rights movement.

  5. >>>>>>What influences do heroes in society ?
    (Robin Hood) (John Lennon) (Lance Armstrong) (Rosa Parks)

    The myth evokes the human condition in general, its history passed on at first orally and often embodied by a hero, a place or a community. To question the myths, it is to be interested in the heroes and in the narratives which base a collective identity. The universal character of the myth allows to highlight the particular way every cultural area interprets the human experience and builds works to express him. Every time borrows and updates certain myths or creates it of new.
    The hero can be a fictitious or real character who marked the tradition, the history, the everyday life. The popular culture and the counterculture do not stop producing their own heroes (folklore, comic strips, etc.).

    A hero is a brave, confident, rash person who makes the justice, who fights a cause, rights
    Heroes can be real or unreal, like in fiction. For a long time the heroes are a member of our everyday life, they influence some of our actions and we use model on them. They make good actions and help people.

    To introduce this concept we can ask ourselves what influences do heroes in society and how ? Maybe by help people, but sometimes they can be dangerous for themself.

    I- The political influences of hero in society
    II- Other influence of hero in society

    I- The political influences of hero in society

    Rosa Parks is a hero for her action : In 1955 she refused to give her place to a white in a bus, what was punished by the law in the time. She represented a symbol in the black community. Thanks to its act, the situation evolved and helped to change the mentalities.
    Rosa Parks entrain important people in his fight, as Martin Luther King which finalizes her projects but he is killed. It was a brave man who risks his life notably with its speech  » I have a dream « .
    Ernesto Guevara fight against injustice on his country ….
    Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison because he fights for the laws of black people. He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa’s first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

    II- Other influences of hero in society

    Robin Hood is an epic, mythical hero because he had a lot of human qualities, he helped the underdog and he stool the rich to give to the poor. We don’t know if he is a legend or if he really exist.
    Einstein is the all-time hero of many scientists because …..
    John Lennon was considered like a hero with his songs for fight against the social class, indeed, he is born in a family who are in the working class. With his song « working class hero » people who come of this social class love him. He is a icon of the 60’s.
    Lance Armstrong was a sportman icon, star of cyclism, but he do drugs during many races.
    Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon, he risk his life in the Space shuttle because many astronaut died for this act.
    Today fireman are considered as heroes in the daily life for their acts of bravery and works at the protection of the population.
    Children loves superheroes like superman, spiderman, are stars of comics, they use superpowers to fight aigainst the criminal acts. Consequently children loves read this comics.

    To conclude the heroes have a big influence on the society, they gives an example, of bravour and courage. The mothers and other people fighting against their cancers create associations to help the people affected by the same diseases, are considered as heroes, nevertheless it is people of the everyday life that become people to take for model. And the heroes of children are today famous people, personality on television, singers or stars of reality shows who are based on superficial aspect, and it’s a bad impact of this news «heroes».

    >>>>>>>>What impact has a gap year in your life ?
    (a gap year) (articles sur années sabatique)

    The spaces and exchanges can be defined as notice today that in spite of a big disparity at the level of the developments, the world was integrated never also, so much the links of all kinds between peoples and countries became narrow.
    Exchanges of all kinds, the « loans » from language to language, of culture with culture in literature, in the arts, the sciences, the techniques, the philosophy, the religion, the political and social institutions and more generally in daily uses, took a new scale in the unification of spaces and peoples, languages and visions of the world. Every society is so worked by conflicts between particular and universal, which often recut oppositions between tradition and modernity. A society can be approached by the double point of view of its cohesion and its opening, what brings to wonder about its registration in the world.

    Go to a new country, leave everything, for a new experience enrichissing, for a year, or 6 months. This is what people do, sometimes before go to university.

    To introduce this concept we can ask ourselves what are the positives and negatives impact to take a gap year in your life ? Go away, escape, it is a plesent idea, but sometimes it can be negative aspect.

    PLAN I- Positive aspects of a gap year
    II- Negative aspects of a gap year

    I- Positive aspects of a gap year

    They are many choices of gap year different waives to living and sitting:
    In the professional or career world, a gap year refers mostly to pursua year taken between high school and college. During this gap year, students engage in advanced academic courses, such as yearlong pre-college math courses, language studies, learning a trade, art studies, volunteer work, travel, internships, sports and more, all for the purpose of improving themselves in knowledge, maturity, decision-making, leadership, independence, self-sufficiency and more.
    Formation and confirmation of professionnels, better projects university results, thanks to a greater self-discipline, a bigger motivation to reach university goals, the maturity won during the useful bracket, Chances of hiring improvedat least on the market britannique1 especially thanks to an exhibition in  » the real life  » except a school frame, Improvement of the interpersonal and behavioral skills, the Better language skills, Improvement of the interpersonal and behavioral skills, Independence, Self-confidence, Self-discipline, Capacity to make decisions, Teamwork, Capacity of adaptation, Communication
    It’s a good thing to do for make a break in your life.
    You can discovered news cultures, and a new langage or perfectionned it.
    Many teanager go in a new country with Erasmus or go in a family to do an Au Pair.

    II- Negative aspects of a gap year

    But leave his country is hard, because people leave his family and miss his.
    Risk that the young person finds himself in a parody of voluntary service set up by an agency of tourism, Cost at time and silver to realize the sabbatical year, Lack of motivation for the studies observed at certain young people and difficulties taking back the studies, Break with a French culture which favors linear school routes continuously. A badly prepared useful bracket can be transformed at lost time.

    To conclued trips forme the youth, and this is good point, and good view in progress for others. There are much positives aspect. Every year, millions of people make the decision to leave on one year abroad, to think, confide, find of the inspiration. It is a unique experience, for me this is important for the personal fulfillment that’s why I would like to leave on one year with the aim of perfecting my English, because today everybody speaks it, it is a universal language. Nevertheless if the gap year is not well prepared it can have grave consequences.

    >>>>What are the impacts of the press and the media in the world ?
    (the press the 4th power) (how did people get informed) (news sources in todays world)

    The places of forms of power can be considered as main tool of orientation in the complexity of the world, the concept of progress accompanied great moments of history. It crosses and pushes aside the inheritances and the traditions, pulling a big variety of process of evolution as well as resistances in front of change. Relieved by a development of the high technologies, an acceleration of the scientific and technical advances, the cult of the novelty and the progress been the object, these last decades, the greater awareness of the possible consequences which result from it. From authentic documents of all kinds, contemporary or previous, it is advisable to give to the pupils of the elements of contextualization which allow them to establish relations to arrest better the relative stakes at the idea of progress.

    To be informed in the world, journalist moove and get informed our country.
    It’s good, but the press can be manipuled peoples with pictures and deformed the reality. She has the control, political, and with everything

    To introduce this concept we can ask ourselves to good or bad influences impacts of the press and the media in the world and how ? Maybe by informed the population, but sometimes influenced some people.

    PLAN I- The press informed people.
    II- The press influenced people and was controled.

    I- The press informed people

    Thanks media, people get informed with their country, their politic
    They use journal, and tablet or mobile phone
    People get informed of the life of famous people
    Many journalist died in missions

    II- The press influenced people and was controled

    The ability to influence other :The 4th power is the Press
    If we look at the power of the media for example we can see how much it can influence the public opinion. The mass media plays an important role in forming our personality, enriching our knowledge, providing us with information of any kind. Mass media can have an effect on our personal identity : it can help us to feel that we are part of a group (social network) but on the other hand can contribute to a feeling of isolation.
    Media can have a strong political influence or can shape the ay we perceive certain groups of society, minority groups, pressure groups, mass media is powerful because it makes us believe what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour (reality TV).
    However it can also have harmful impact on society : on-screen violence leading to actual violence, identity or financial fraud on the internet people to fraud especially identity fraud.
    Surdose of informations, people are scared about the world.
    North Korea is a country in dictatorship, the press is controlled, and censored, it has here no power, except when the government uses it for its own advantage and to control her population.

    To conclued medias and press control the world, the population relies on the media and believes all that they say.

    >>>>>>>How new technologies have impacts on society ?
    (cloning) (the internet) (genetic selection)

    The idea of progress can be defined as an improvement, a development or a change, a technical, scientific or social advance which contributes to making the world a better place.

    To introduce this concept we can ask ourselves how new technologies can have good or bad impacts on society ? Maybe by the cloning, the genetic selection and the internet, which are the progress but sometimes dangerous.

    PLAN : I- New technologies have good impacts on society
    II- The new technologies have bad impacts on society

    I- New technologies have good impacts on society

    Since the industrial revolution, many technologies have appeared in our life. Phones, computers, tablets, television are developed over time. For example, Apple, a multinational company, is the source of much of this technological development . The first product of the brand is a computer with, as its name suggests, an apple. His marketing approach is based on innovation and esthetics of its products which is often appreciated by consumers. Apple has managed to establish itself through innovative ideas, such as iPod, iPhone, Macbook Air. This example shows that the business innovation of new electronic devices are sources of technical progress because Apple made sure to increase the comfort of the life of man. The internet is fast easy global communication to chat, fashionable, to search information, telecommuting (job at home on PC) watch video, listen to music, to get informed of news.
    Other technologies have revolutionized the way of life of human as the creation of internet, the introduction of machine tool in companies, the 3D print, the medical and environmental progresses, for example.

    II- The new technologies have bad impacts on society

    But these new technologies can be a source of damage. Indeed, any technological machines uses natural resources. Natural resources are not unlimited and so new technologies are causing environmental damage. Moreover, if we take the previous example of Apple, the working conditions of the company are bad and many consumers believe to be completely dependent on their mobile, computer or anything product of Apple. This clearly shows the flaws in this company. We can finally take for example the social networks whose use can be dangerous. Teenagers are most affected and most vulnerable. They may be victim of violences mental sometimes physical, of insults, of obscene photographs or even identity theft. People are unsocial, bad, unrespectful, childish, all this quite negative. In this case the internet is not a real technological advance because it favours bad relations between people. The medical progress in continu, and save much people, but now, Men can be cloned himself or animals, but it’s an ethic question of humanity. The genetic selection is an example of the new technology medical.

    To conclude, the study of this concept allows us to understand that new technologies can improve the comfort, health, economics, politics, philosophy, the environment and knowledge of man but they can be dangerous to abused of it, if we do not control their use.

    That’s my P.A.C.T for my oral’s BAC of english. Thanks for your help!!!

  6. Je voulais vous demander si l’on pouvait également parler des manifestations contre le chomage et la revolution en tunisie par exemple pour la notion lieux et formesde pouvoir ?

  7. Bonjour je fais ma notion lieu et forme de pouvoir et je me demander si parler de Martin Luther King avec le film Selma et sur le discours que barack Obama a fais le 7 mars 2015 étaient un sujet correct ?

    Mais je ne trouve pas de problématique pour cela … pouvez vous m’éclairez ?

  8. Bonjour, je prépare mon oral d’anglais et je me demandais si pour le sujet Lieux et Formes de pouvoirs, il était possible d’utiliser la montée du Front National en France ?
    merci de votre réponse.

  9. Bonjour! Alors je voudrai que vous m’édiez pour faire ma fiche d’oral sur la notion d’espace et échange car je suis vraiment coincé. Merci de m’édée et me répondre au plus vite

  10. Bonjour, concernant la notion Lieux et formes de pouvoir, j’ai décidé de parler principalement de Gun control. Les documents que j’ai choisis parlent de la culture, de la prévention, de l’éducation et des massacres (Columbine) en rapport avec Gun control aux Etats-Unis. Quelle problématique puis-je mettre ?

  11. Bonjour, mes documents pour la notion « lieux et formes de pouvoir » sont une vidéo de Hurricane Katrina, Treme (une série), un poème « O Beautiful Storm » de Gian Smith ainsi qu’une autre vidéo « Before I die I want to… », or je n’arrive pas à trouver de problématique, pourriez-vous m’aider?

  12. Je suis bloquée concernant la notion Idée de progrès, vos exemples m’ont bien aidé mais est ce possible de seulement parler de la résistance au pouvoir (avec le film the help et avec les combats pacifistes menés par Martin Luther King et Nelson Mandela) ? Et si oui quelle problématique pourrais je faire ?
    Merci de votre aide

    1. c’est bien pour l’idée de progrès? oui c’est possible – peut-être une problématique simple  » how much progress have black people made since the civil rights movement? »

      1. oups, non je me suis effectivement trompée je voulais parler de la notion lieux et formes de pouvoir…

  13. I would like to know how can be explain the Martin Luther King’s quote: « The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
    Thank you

    1. basically it means that technology is a good thing but it doesn’t make our world a better place to live in spiritually. We have spent money on technology and created new weapons but are incapable of living together and learning from our differences.

  14. bonjour,est ce qui serait possible de m’aider ? En anglais,ma prof me demande d’analyser le discours de MLK mais je n’y arrive pas elle veut un developpement juste avec des notes une problematique . Donc si vous pouvez m’aidez ce serait gentil de votre part

  15. It’s possible to take « The cause of black people in the anglo-saxon world » (Segregation in US/Apartheid in South Africa) for Myths and Heroes and Places and forms of power too ?

  16. coucou j’ai traailler sur le cas de Raif Badawi le saoudien qui as crée un blog pour les saoudiens afin de pouvoir s’exprimer librement. Il a été condamner à 1000 coup de fouets. Cependant je n’arrive pas à trouver de problématique? Est-ce possible de m’aider??

  17. Hello ! I have been studying in english many documents that can be attached to the notion Places and Forms of power and i have decided to take these 3:  » Bowling for Columbine  » by Michael Moore, an anti-gun ad created by  » Mom’s demand action » for gun sense in the USA and finally i have chosen a pro-gun ad created by the NRA. But i really can’t find a problematic that treats both the pro-gun and the anti-gun aspects. For the moment this is all i have: Can firearms really solve violence and problems ?
    Can u pls help me ??? Thank u very much

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