Category Life in society

Global Issues


In this section you will leant about the worldwide trend toward living in an urban environment, or city. You will begin to think about the advantages and disadvantages of city life.


1 Read the following passage.

Cities dominate social, economic, and cultural affairs today, but this was not always true. We lend to accept cities as facts of life, but actually they are a relatively recent phenomenon. A century ago, 86% of the world still lived in rural (country) areas, but today about 50% live in rural areas and about 50% live in urban areas (cities). By 2025, it is estimated that over 60% of the population will live in urban areas or suburbs (smaller communities just outside of a city).

City residents are offered a rich life full of excitement and opportunity. All over the world, more and more people are moving to urban environments in search of better jobs, a better education, or the possibility оГ more lifestyle choices. However, there are also many serious problems in cities, including homelessness, environmental pollution, crime, and noise.

Answer the following questions based on the information in the passage.

1 How has the population of urban areas changed during the past century?

2 Why do people move to cities?

3 What problems have developed in cities?

З I Read these questions and share your answers with a partner. 1 What features of city life appeal to you?

‘ 2 What features of city life do you dislike?


Look at the graph below and discuss the following questions with a partner.

1 What is the approximate population of the world today?

2 What can you predict about the population of the world in the year 2050?

3 In "Reading and Thinking About the Topic,” you read that more and more of the world’s population is moving to urban areas. What effect do you think that will have on urban life? What effect will it have on rural life?

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In this section you will hear and Lake notes on a two-part lecture given by Dedra Smith, a media expert who conducts workshops about media and society. The title of the lecture is Dangers of the Mass Media. Ms. Smith will describe what she believes are some harmful effects of the media today.



1 Read the following information from the New York Times 2002 Almanac.

A great majority of American households have two or more televisions. According to the A. C. Nielsen Company, which monitors television viewership, at least one of these televisions was on in each household for 7 hours and 37 minutes per day during the 1998-99 television season. That’s 1 hour and 18 minutes more than in 1971, when the average was just over 6 hours and 19 minutes, but 3 minutes less than in 1997-98.

Average daily viewing per person is still much higher than the 1970s levels, but down slightly from the year before. Women over the age of 18 watched longest: they averaged 4 hours and 51 minutes per day, while men over 18 watched for 4 hours and 16 minutes. Children aged 12-17 watched an average of 2 hours and 54 minutes.



For each of the forms of media in the following chart, write how many hours you spend using it per day and per week. Then compare vour chart with a partner.


Hours per day

Hours per week



Video games






Discuss the following questions with your partner.

1 For what purposes do you use each of the forms of media in the chart?

2 Do you think you spend too much time using any of these forms of media? Why or why not?

One way of taking notes is called mapping. In this method, you write the main idea on your paper and draw lines out to related points. As you take notes, you can show connections between different parts of the lecture by adding lines.




15" гвр, -— " New,

m. media m. m. іnc-hde*;:

Now listen to the excerpts and complete the map.


Compare your map with a partner.

Look at the following map of excerpts from Part One of Ms. Smith’s lecture.

LECTURE, PART ONE: Issues of Violence, Passivity, and Addiction


1 The following items contain important vocabulary from Part One of the lecture. Work with a partner. Using the context and your knowledge of related words, take turns trying to guess the meanings of the words in bold.

1 These new advances bring us dangers that we should be aware of.

2 Many people are afraid that children and adolescents are especially susceptible to this violence.

3 Kids set a subway booth on fire.

4 Tragically, the man working at the booth died.

5 TV can make us passive.

6 Using the media can become very addictive.

7 Most of us wander through cyberspace. . . wasting a lot of time.

Work with your partner. Match the vocabulary terms with their definitions by writing the letter of each definition below in the blank next to the sentence containing the correct term in step 1. Check your answers in a dictionary if necessary.

a hard to stop or give up b office that sells metro cards or tokens c informed about d likely to be affected by e sadly

f move with no clear direction or purpose g not wanting to do anything; inactive

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1 What is your opinion about controlling crime? Write.4 (agree) or D (disagree) next to the following opinions.

1 Criminals should be punished. If people break the law, they deserv e to pay the price, no matter why they did it.

2 Having tough punishments can stop people from committing crimes. If we have severe punishments, people will think twice before they break the law.

___ 3 People need a second chance. If we try’ to reform criminals, by education,

psychological treatment, or other methods, we can turn them away from a life of crime.

___ 4 We need to provide a sense of security’ in society. Putting people who break

the law in prison is the only way to do that.

5 The most important thing we can do is try to prevent crime before it happens. Prevention is always better than punishment.

2 Share your answers in a small group. Then discuss as a class which opinions were the most controversial.

INTERVIEW WITH DAVID: Preventing juvenile crime

Here are some words and phrases from the interview with David printed in bold and given in the context in which you will hear them. They are followed by definitions.

I think the media exacerbates the problem: makes worse

We have thousands of security guards in the schools and metal detectors, too: machines that can detect guns, knives, and other weapons made of metal

And the kids get searched as they go into school: physically examined to see if they have weapons or illegal drugs

They are more likely to lash out and become violent: express anger Put them on a one-to-one basis and they’re usually very friendly: with one other person

The problem is that social support systems have really fallen apart: government and private organizations that give people help and encouragement / become worse due to lack of money

The funding for programs like these has been cut: money

But we also need harsher punishments: stronger, more serious Drug crimes carry a maximum sentence of twenty years or life imprisonment: punishment

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AMERICAN VOICES: Barbara and Kenny

In this section you will hear two very different perspectives on quality of life issues. Barbara, a teacher who lives in New York City, discusses urban, suburban, and rural lifestyles. Kenny, an environmental consultant, explains the reasons he has moved from one place to another.



1 Fill in the chart with your opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of life in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Use the box on the right to help you. It shows some of the different factors that affect our quality of life.








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OrWcS оэп be – vt-ry dirty.

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Some factors
that affect
quality of life

Family life
Pace of life


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Share your ideas in a small group. Add the ideas of other group members to your chart.

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1 Look at the following map. It is a map for all of Part One of the lecture. Notice that you already know some of the missing information because you listened to excerpts from Part One in the note-taking Lask on page 92. Copy your answers from that task on to the appropriate lines in this map.

Pedra Snoirh:. Panfry of the Mass Media Pt 1: Issues of dolenee, } and

15“ t^rS a^e, ———- ~ New,

rvi. media = m. m. inc-kdes:

– kids:

– Sutwa^ booth:

2 I Now listen to Part One of the lecture and complete the map.



Compare your map with a parLner.

LECTURE, PART TWO: Issues of Advertising and Invasion of Privacy


1 The following items contain important vocabulary from Part One of the lecture. Work with a partner. Using the context and vour knowledge of related words, take turns trying to guess the meanings of the words in bold.

1 The content is just an excuse, or a kind of wrapping, for the advertising.

2 There is an essential marketing relationship between the media, the advertiser, and the user.

3 Even print media has a high percentage of ads.

4 We are used to being bombarded by endless commercials.

5 Many of us use our remote controls to zap out the advertising with the mute button.

6 The media is invading our privacy.

7 Advertisers gather statistical data about people like you – potential consumers.

8 Information about you can be compiled and sold to other companies.

____ 9 you can be tracked if you make a few’ v isits to any Web site.


Work with your partner. Match the vocabulary terms w’ith their definitions by writing the letter of each definition below in the blank next to the sentence containing the correct term in step 1. Check your answers in a dictionary’ if necessary’.

a cover b get rid of c gathered d attacked, bothered e newspapers and magazines f followed

g getting into our private lives h buying and selling і people who might buy something

1 Look at the following notes from Part Two of the lecture. The note taker has just written down the words that he or she heard, without taking the time to organize them clearly. Think about the best way to organize this information in a map.





Now listen to the lecture and take notes on your own paper.

Use your notes to help you make a complete map of the lecture. You can either copy the map of Part 1 on page 93 on your own paper and add to it, or make another map in your own style.

4 Compare your map with a partner.

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