France: the European transformation
of the French model
Introduction: ‘Maastricht’ as a major challenge
Since Maastricht the politicisation of European ‘high politics’ promises to
be a very hazardous political venture in France. A newspaper headline
such as this from 1991: ‘Government and MPs concerned about French
indifference to European integration’,1 would be inconceivable today. It is
not exaggerated to presume that Maastricht stands for a fundamental
shift in how the French political system copes with
My project is socialist and I am a Socialist. I am neither vulnerable to the sirens of neoliberalism nor the supporter of a state which decides everything above the heads of citizens, society and the social partners. I am not a moderate Socialist nor moderately socialist. I am simply a Socialist. (PS presidential candidate François Hollande, 16 March 2012)
The truth is that the French voted for the left and found themselves with the programme of the German right. (Former PS
The revolt of democratic Christianity and the rise of public opinion
The Enlightenment and religion
France: the revolt of
and the rise of public opinion
This chapter focuses on the emergence of religious toleration in
France and the degree to which it was brought about by broad politico-religious struggle rather than by the philosophes.1 The discussion will, therefore, not provide the usual Enlightenment studies
degree of focus upon the philosophes. Much of the research necessary for a revision of the role of the philosophes in France has been
accumulating for several decades, but there has not yet been
Recent pressures for change in France have impacted upon a country which, from 1945 to 1975, had featured both unprecedented economic growth and the building of a powerful state. Drawing upon a plethora of social science research and data, this book sets out what has been made in France since that period and, as importantly, what this ‘made’ the French. By examining the institutions and asymmetric power relations that have structured French society, together with the ‘political work’ that has changed or reproduced them, in seven chapters the book takes the reader ‘from the cradle to the grave’ to assess whether and where significant change has occurred over the last four decades, then explain the outcomes identified. Overall, the book provides a comprehensive account of French society and politics, while proposing an original generic analytical framework that is applicable to other nations and their comparative analysis.
Châteaux and landed estates, family portraits, names, titles and coats of arms are symbols of aristocratic identity and integral to the collective memory of nobility. In this study of tangible and intangible cultural heritage Elizabeth Macknight explains the significance of nobles’ conservationist traditions for public engagement with the history of France. During the French Revolution nobles’ property was seized, destroyed, or sold off by the nation. State intervention during the nineteenth century meant historic monuments became protected under law in the public interest. The Journées du Patrimoine, created in 1984 by the French Ministry for Culture, became a Europe-wide calendar event in 1991. Each year millions of French and international visitors enter residences and museums to admire France’s aristocratic cultural heritage. Drawing on archival evidence from across the country, Macknight presents a compelling account of power, interest and emotion in family dynamics and nobles’ relations with rural and urban communities.
This is a study of how lifestyle choices intersect with migration, and how this relationship frames and shapes post-migration lives. It presents a conceptual framework for understanding post-migration lives that incorporates culturally specific imaginings, lived experiences, individual life histories, and personal circumstances. Through an ethnographic lens incorporating in-depth interviews, participant observation, life and migration histories, this monograph reveals the complex process by which migrants negotiate and make meaningful their lives following migration. By promoting their own ideologies and lifestyle choices relative to those of others, British migrants in rural France reinforce their position as members of the British middle class, but also take authorship of their lives in a way not possible before migration. This is evident in the pursuit of a better life that initially motivated migration and continues to characterise post-migration lives. As the book argues, this ongoing quest is both reflective of wider ideologies about living, particularly the desire for authentic living, and subtle processes of social distinction. In these respects, the book provides an empirical example of the relationship between the pursuit of authenticity and middle-class identification practices.
This book, which is about what ‘popular culture’ means in France, and how the term's shifting meanings have been negotiated and contested, represents a theoretically informed study of the way that popular culture is lived, imagined, fought over and negotiated in modern and contemporary France. It covers a wide range of overarching concerns: the roles of state policy, the market, political ideologies, changing social contexts and new technologies in the construction of the popular. But the book also provides a set of specific case studies showing how popular songs, stories, films, TV programmes and language styles have become indispensable elements of ‘culture’ in France. Deploying yet also rethinking a ‘Cultural Studies’ approach to the popular, it therefore challenges dominant views of what French culture really means today.
The issue of ethnicity in France, and how ethnicities are represented there visually, remains one of the most important and polemical aspects of French post-colonial politics and society. This is the first book to analyse how a range of different ethnicities have been represented across contemporary French visual culture. Via a wide series of case studies – from the worldwide hit film Amélie to France’s popular TV series Plus belle la vie – it probes how ethnicities have been represented across different media, including film, photography, television and the visual arts. Four chapters examine distinct areas of particular importance: national identity, people of Algerian heritage, Jewishness and France’s second city Marseille.
In a world defined by the flow of people, goods and cultures, many contemporary French films explore the multicultural nature of today's France through language. In a cinematic landscape increasingly characterised by multiculturalism and linguistic diversity, a number of contemporary French films are beginning to represent multilingualism as a means of attaining and exerting social power. This book is the first substantial study of multilingual film in France. Unpacking the power dynamics at play in the dialogue of eight emblematic films, it argues that many contemporary French films take a new approach to language and power. The book begins in central Paris in Polisse and Entre les murs, then travels to the banlieue in Un prophete and Dheepan. It then heads to another culturally loaded but very different space with Welcome and La Graine et le mulet, whose border-crossing stories unfold in the port cities of Calais and Sete respectively. Then, in London River and Des hommes et des dieux, the book steps off French soil, travelling to the English capital and former French colony of Algeria. It explores characters whose lives are marked not only by France, but by former colonies, foreign countries and other European states. In its depiction of strategic code-switching in transcultural scenarios, contemporary French multilingual cinema shows the potential for symbolic power inherent in French, other dominant Western tongues, and many migrant and minority languages. The book offers a unique insight into the place of language and power in French cinema today.
This book is about the lives of refugee women in Britain and France. Who are they? Where do they come from? What happens to them when they arrive, while they wait for a decision on their claim for asylum, and after the decision, whether positive or negative? The book shows how laws and processes designed to meet the needs of men fleeing political persecution often fail to protect women from persecution in their home countries and fail to meet their needs during and after the decision-making process. It portrays refugee women as resilient, resourceful and potentially active participants in British and French social, political and cultural life. The book exposes the obstacles that make active participation difficult.