behind every door are secrets

calm, homogeneous, identical

cars, house, neighborhood

city, Pasadena, home, hills

close, homogeneous, similar

far, wealth, same, monochromatic

home, far, house

Homes, Around Cities, Suburbia

house, desolate, land

house, middle class, casual

neighborhoods, school, protected

peaceful, scenic, residential

quiet, dark, walk

quiet, relaxed, residential

sprawling, yard, neighborhood, single-family home

spread out, car, boring


campagne, rural, périphérie

cité, HLM, pauvreté

Cité, HLM, Violence

difficultés, marginalisation


Environ, Ville


Pagaille, Difficulté, Méchanceté

paris, disparate

Pauvreté, Intégration, éloignement

pauvreté, inégalité, communautarisme

périphérie, habitation, immeuble

quartier défavorisé (en France), chic (aux USA)

Résidence, Dortoir, Voisinage

Ville, Difficile, Divers

Ville, pourtour


by Sarah W, March 4, 2014, 8:11 AM
It seems like the suburbs have a more positive connotation in America. They may be boring, but they are safe homes for the wealthier classes. However, in France, the suburbs are full of poorer people, living difficult lives. I wonder if it has something to do with the individualism in America: every family wants their own land, with large yards, and a giant car that will be used to get from their suburban house to the city in rush hour every day. Wealthier Americans want the space they can get by living on the outside of the cities. However, in France, do all the wealthier people live in the center of the cities, pushing the poorer classes out to the suburbs?


by jraynal, March 4, 2014, 4:03 PM
La différence entre nos deux pays vient a mes yeux de l’idéal que représente la banlieue. Dans l’esprit français, c’est d’immenses logements, des cases à lapins, qu’il a fallut construire pour loger les familles n’ayant pas les moyens de se payer des pavillons. C’est un principe que l’on doit à notre système social. Ce que l’on oublie lorsque l’on parle de banlieue c’est qu’en France aussi il y a des banlieues destinées aux familles au revenus plus confortable. Ce sont les villages dortoirs, ces villes quasi-mortes où l’immobilier s’enflamme. Je pense donc que nous n’avons que la vision donnée par les médias de nos banlieues.


by Sarah W, March 6, 2014,4:44 AM
So there are wealthier suburbs in France also, but that isn’t what you immediately think of when you think of the suburbs? That’s actually very interesting, because I think we do the opposite in America. A lot of the dangerous, very poor areas aren’t in the direct centers of the cities, but are further out (for example, the Bronx in NYC isn’t in the heart of the city). So, technically, we have poor suburbs in America too, but that isn’t what comes to mind immediately when we think of the word ‘suburbs.’ It’s interesting if both countries have both wealthy and poor suburbs, yet the French only associate the poor people with suburbs, and Americans only associate the rich people with suburbs.


by olney12, March 6, 2014, 4:52 AM
Wow, so the media helps fuel the French stereotype against the suburbs? That’s a little shocking.
If you examine American history, part of the reason the US diverged from the rest of the world (in regards to flocking to suburbs) was from sentiments of the Cold War era. As the Cold War ensued, people became more connected to their immediate communities, severing off ties from people outside of their safe communities. This is reflected in its extreme today with “Gated Communities” that the wealthy live in near or within cities where there is a level of security overseeing the suburban area of wealthy home owners. American cities are typically home to the very very wealthy or the lower-middle class/very poor. It is a sad and stark dichotomy to see.


by megania2014, March 6, 2014, 9:50 PM
Another thing that changed the makeup of American suburbs was “white flight”, where wealthy white people moved to the newly developing suburbs to avoid desegregation laws. Unfortunately, in a lot of big cities this created a huge gap between poorer inner-city areas and affluent suburbs.


by jbrown138, March 7, 2014, 3:45 AM
Something interested I noted from class today was that many people still considered the suburbs to be areas I would call urban (city-living). Realizing that many people did not picture houses with lawns, backyards, and “comfortable” neighborhoods surprised me even more than the negative connotations behind French suburbs. It’s interesting to hear that the media influences your opinion of the suburbs so negatively when there are actually such nice suburban areas as well. I suppose there is some similarity in that respect here in the US since crime in the “inner city” (the bad areas in cities) is often highlighted on nightly news. The crucial difference though is that these crimes and negative remarks are very true and not as over exaggerated and merely address very real and legitimate problems that plague US cities. At least less privileged people in France have decent places to live. Here in the US, people will often live in the ghetto or trailer parks when they have little to no money – or are unfortunately forced onto the streets.


by xmaillard, March 7, 2014, 8:50 PM
En France, les banlieues ne sont pas nécessairement mal peuplées, cependant, une part importante des incidents relatés par les médias se produit dans des banlieues. Il est donc fréquent d’assimiler la banlieue à la pauvreté et à la violence. Cependant, il existe aussi des banlieues dans lesquelles la population est plus aisée, car la banlieue à également des avantages en France également : terrain plus grands, possibilité d’avoir un jardin, moins de vis-à-vis… Ces banlieues font évidemment moins parler d’elles et ne sont donc pas dans l’esprit de tous quand on évoque le terme de “banlieue”.
Cependant, il est vrai que les banlieues sont souvent moins bien contrôlées par les forces de l’ordre que les grandes villes, il faut voir comme explication à cela les raisons de l’apparition des banlieues en France : pour désengorger les grandes villes de leur population trop importante (par exemple, Marseille, Lyon et Paris), les banlieues françaises ont vu fleurir des immeubles d’habitation en nombre important (En France, il est fréquent de chercher à se loger en ville). Les foyers les plus pauvres ont donc été obligés de se loger en périphérie. Mais la présence des forces de l’ordre n’est toujours pas pas équitable en France en raison de la forte croissance des banlieues.


by tsoucarre, March 10, 2014, 9:26 PM
Les banlieues françaises ne sont pas toujours des quartiers difficiles. Les mots divers/diversité ont d’ailleurs été cités. Cependant, les banlieues calmes font forcément bien moins parler d’elles dans les médias que les banlieues difficiles/violentes.
Il existe des banlieues occupées par une population aisée mais ce n’est pas la première chose à laquelle on pense lorsqu’on parle de banlieue.