I found an interesting poll at: http://www.ifop.com/europe/sondages/opinionf/culture.asp. It talked about the French and culture and how a person with culture is someone who reads. I felt that it really showed a lot of what is considered important for a cultivated person, especially since someone who watches television doesn't necessarily mean they are cultured. This is I think very different from what American polls would probably indicate since television is kind of an American staple. I thought it was also interesting to see who is seen as cultured in French society. For you personally, do you find these specific people to be the height of culture in French society? I also thought that the way culture is viewed is much different from the United States. Very often, someone who is cultured can be a good thing, but at the same time they can be viewed as a little stuffy. Do you feel that someone who is cultured is above all, well read? Do you think there are other more important characteristics of someone who is cultured? How do you view Americans and culture?

I found an interesting poll on the French and their voices-- it can be found at http://www.tns-sofres.com/etudes/pol/260606_voix_r.htm. In general, it shows some statistics about how much people like the sound of their voice, singing, and things like that; however, there was one piece I found particularly interesting. Under the topic "La voix au travail", it seems as though many French will express their emotions openly at work. This was ironic to me because lately we've been discussing how Americans tend to be very vocal when it comes to expressing their emotions, while the French are a bit quieter about it... unless it's just certain types of emotions? What do you guys think about this?

Looking through many of the polls, I was interested in seeing into detail one on the "Usages et pratiques d'Internet". From what I read the expansion of the Internet in France is pretty high, which is something that I expected. I wanted to ask though how much you rely on the Internet within your university life. Not only for your homework/assignements/projects etc. but rather more as an administrative tool. I am saying that because here we rely extremely heavily on such tools. I am sure that if one day something happens and students were not be able to check their emails, MIT would paralyze. :) On the other hand I make comparisons with my friends back in Greece, and even though in their universities they have started to modernize in terms of using the internet, it is nowhere close to how MIT (and probably most of the US universities) work.

I found a poll at http://www.ifop.com/europe/sondages/opinionf/peresenfants.asp about the involvement of fathers and their children. It seems that fathers spend a great amount of time doing things most Americans would call "domestic." Are there traditional roles for a mother and father as there are in the United States? If so, are they nonexistant now or do these roles persist?

I found an interesting poll about how the French feel about free time. The poll results can be found at http://www.tns-sofres.com/etudes/pol/301106_tempslibre.htm. It seems that 62% of the French are satisifed with their free time and 39% want to reduce their working hours. I was really surprised that in France there is only a 35 hour work. In the U.S., a capitalist society, people are work-aholics. I heard that Sarkozy wants to abolish the law. How do you feel about the 35 hour work week and do you think that French industries and companies are productive?

I found a poll at www.ifop.com/europe/sondages/opinion/signesreligieux.asp that shows French opinions about wearing religious symbols in various public places. As was expected, the majority of the people surveyed were opposed to it at public schools and administrations. I was wondering in what other situations would you consider it inappropriate to show religion?

Similar to Iraklis, one of the polls that I found that interested me related to internet usage. More specifically, it pertained to adolescents’ internet use. While most practices seemed similar between French and American adolescents, two things caught my attention. The first was the apparent amount of communication between the adolescents and their parents about their internet activities seems much great in France. Does this sound correct to you? I don’t think most American teenagers speak very much at all with their parents about what they don’t on the internet, whether they specifically avoid it or it just doesn’t come up in conversation. I though maybe this has to do with the location of your computer. Perhaps if it is in a more open space you are more inclined to talk with your family while you are using the computer. I think this is a good idea because there is some issue about adolescent internet usage and how to make sure they don’t get themselves into trouble.
The poll also suggested that there are more parental control setting on the computer and that they are effective. We have some parental control options in the US, but I feel as though many kids can just circumvent them. I’m also curious if you have any thoughts on the issues of privacy and identity theft over the internet. This is a major concern for many Americans. Do you have similar cautions/concerns for the amount of personal information you put on the internet?

I found a poll at http://www.ifop.com/europe/sondages/opinionf/ecole00.asp about "Les eleves et l'ecole". This poll had a high number of French students using positive words to describe school. I think that in the U.S. there would be many more students complaining about having to go to school, or the work, or other things. I was wondering, do most students in France like and/or see the importance of school?

A survey on French religion in the IFOP database shows that while approximately half of those taking the survey believe in god, a much smaller proportion actively practices beyond necessary ceremonies (such as marriage) and sometimes holidays. I've heard someone say, related to this that the French go church three times in their lives: to get baptized, to get married, and when they die. How true do you feel this is?

Pour Renee : je trouve ton analyse de la culture vraiment interessante, et je suis d'accord avec toi. Pour moi, lire est vraiment une chose importante et pour avoir plus de culture, j'essaie de lire souvent et des choses differentes. Je regarde parfois a la tele des emissions culturelles, mais il y en a moins souvent. Par contre, je ne pense pas qu'il y ait de mefiance envers les personnes qui lisent en France, bien au contraire ! Une personne qui est capable de citer des phrases de romans, ou d'essais ou de films est pour moi une personne cultivee.

Pour Kaitlyn : chez moi effectivement, l'ordinateur est au centre de la salle a manger donc mes parents savent toujours a peu pres ce que l'on fait sur internet. Ils ne regardent pas plus que ca mais ils savent quels sont les outils que l'on utilise. Je pense qu'il y a effectivement beaucoup de controle parental pour internet parce que l'on peut trouver tout et n'importe quoi sur internet.

Pour Daphnee : En fait, peu d`entreprises travaillent 35 heures par semaine. c`est en quelque sorte la difference entre theorie et pratique... Beaucoup de gens sont obliges de travailler plus que 35 heures et certains travaillent meme moins (RATP, SNCF et les enseignants au college et au lycee).

pour Michelle : les roles des parents tendent a s egaliser avec le temps, mais je pense que dans la plupart des familles le role pere/mere est encore assez dominant : la mere fait le menage, la cuisine et les courses tandis que le pere "ramene l argent" (meme si les femmes ont aussi un metier, souvent le pere rentrera plus tard, peut etre parce que les femmes font le choix de faire moins d'heures, pour s occuper de la maison)
mais maintenant, a egalite de metier dans le couple, les hommes font aussi le menage, ... : emancipation/liberation/prise de position de la femme

Pour Gleb: je pense que c'est completement faux. Quand je suis arrive en France je pensais que j'allais trouver un pays comme l'Espagne, alors que ce que j'ai trouve c'est un pays beaucoup plus croyant et plus precisement catholique. J'ai ete tres etonne quand j'ai rencontre des eleves a l'X qui vont a la messe toutes les semaines, voire tous les jours. Mais cette opinion se generalise tres facilement a la France. Quand je ne suis pas a l'X et que j'entre dans une eglise pour aller a la messe je trouve des personnes vraiment croyantes et qui expriment leur foi sans aucun regret. Evidemment, il y a des francais qui ne croient pas en Dieu ou qui ne vont jamais a l'eglise, mais ce que j'ai trouve ici par rapport a l'Espagne c'est un sentiment beaucoup plus fort concernant la religion, pas seulement chez les personnes agees, mais aussi chez les jeunes. Ca vous etonnerait d'aller a l'eglise de Sainte Etienne du Mont (a cote de l'ancienne Ecole) et de voir le temple pleins de jeunes croyants.

Pour Holly: normalement on n'a pas de tendance a exprimer nos sentiments avec n'importe qui. C'est pour ca que le sondage montre ce que tu a dit. Mais je dois avouer que ca me pose aucun souci d'exprimer ce que je ressens, pourvu que ce soit avec de tres bons amis, evidemment. De toute facon, avant de parler ou de commencer a pleurer ou crier de joie on a tendance a reflechir a ce qui nous arrive, au lieu de se lancer dans une conversation qui n'ait aucune sens.

In a poll about pollution (located at http://www.ifop.com/europe/sondages/opinionf/pollutionseche.asp ) it was found that 95% of French people favor making public transportation free (and would presumably not mind paying for it). I did not think this number would be so high, do you guys think it is close to the truth? Also, 86% of the French are in favor of imposing a stricter speed limit, as opposed to 8% of Americans. And, only 2% of Americans favor higher gasoline taxes.

In response to Helene, I think that your perspective is interesting. It is true that a lot of culture is about being aware of what is going on, based on being well read and similar things. Based on the time you spent in the United States, how do you think Americans would respond to the same survey?

I read a survey based on religion. I was just wondering, how many of you are baptized a certain faith but do not actually follow it? I was baptized as Catholic and went to church only on holidays. I am trying to go more frequently now, just because I feel it is something I need. To me, religion is comfort and that is why people choose to believe in it in varying degrees or not at all. Are any of you just religious on holidays and do your parents mind at all?