Reply To: To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take.
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University: Xidian university
The speaker claims that major cities represent the cardinal characteristics of a society. I concede that the study of major cities would reveal numerous important features of a society. However, the author fails to consider the influence of territory area of a country and the different fields of characteristics that are concerned with most. It should be based on a case-by-case analysis.
In the fields of economy, science, and technology, the ideal places to learn about the important features of a society should be located to its major cities, either country with quite large or small territory. Since major cities are usually blessed with complete infrastructure like convenient traffic and communication facilities, more and more people swarm here to get better opportunities, whether individually or collectively: students come for well-known universities to get better education and better chances of employment; companies and organizations come for recruiting outstanding employees or members, and also major cities are more likely to have political and financial advantages over others. In New York, economic prosperity could be seen from rows of skyscrapers erecting, and businessmen or businesswomen and vehicles crossing the streets with non-stop; in Silicon Valley one will be amazed by the science and technology advancement of the giant Internet companies. Therefore, to study the characteristics of the hard power of a society, there is a must to do research on its major cities.
When it comes to the fields of cultures and living, there is a sharp difference between countries with a large territory and countries with a small territory. Since big countries lie across a wide range of latitude and longitude, customs and ideology vary from places to places. The example of Jiangsu province in China aptly illustrates it. Even within the same province and only separated by a river, people living in two small towns on either side of the river do not understand the dialect that other uses; people live in the east of the province enjoy seafood while people live in the west seldom have fish on their dining table. In such cases, major cities no longer serve as a paragon to the study of essential characteristics of a society. To have a complete understanding of the cultural features and lifestyles, it is necessary to visit each place separately.
Small countries, however, usually have cities and towns lying close to each other geographically and are very likely to share analogous customs and cultures. Small European countries, one of many examples, can sufficiently support my claim. Buildings with similar structures and decorations distribute uniformly from London to Paris; even the people in different countries understand each other’s languages. Thus major cities are proper places to visit to learn about small countries’ features.
In conclusion, a case-by-case analysis is needed, and all the relevant factors must be taken into account.