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Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwe

Catholicism, Social Science, and Democratic Planning

W. Brian Newsome

Over the course of his career, urban sociologist Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwe evolved from a sociological interpreter of human needs into an advocate of the democratization of city planning. The major factors shaping this trajectory were his contacts with liberal Catholic associations, his education under ethnologist Marcel Mauss, his teaching experience at the École des cadres d'Uriage, and his own studies of working-class communities. Chombart de Lauwe took French urban sociology in novel directions and effected an important and underappreciated liberalization of city planning. Analysis of Chombart de Lauwe also challenges recent trends in the historiography of the Catholic Left.

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Colonizing Revolutionary Politics

Algeria and the French Revolution of 1848

Jennifer E. Sessions

This article examines the key role of the French colony in Algeria in the political culture of the Revolution of 1848. Eugène Cavaignac and other army officers with Algerian experience led the state's repression of radical unrest, and their colonial backgrounds became a central narrative trope in debates about political violence in France, especially after the June Days uprising. Following the closure of the National Workshops, legislators adopted a major scheme for working-class emigration to and settlement in Algeria to replace the workshops and resolve unrest. Throughout 1848, Algeria operated as a symbolic and practical field for the struggle between social and political revolution in France.

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Kathleen Wider

Phyllis Sutton Morris, co-founder of the Sartre Society of North America and member of its executive committee for several years, died on May 31, 1997 from complications due to cancer. Phyllis received her undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley and her doctorate from the University of Michigan. She taught for several years at Kirkland College in New York and was, at various times in more recent years, on the faculty at LeMoyne College, Oberlin College, and the University of Michigan. She was a devoted teacher who dedicated a great deal of time and energy to preparing her classes and to meeting with students.

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Margaret A. Majumdar

Writing in 1966, Roger Garaudy saw Althusser and Sartre occupying the two poles of contemporary French Marxist thought.1 While no-one would deny their fundamental difference in approach, the fact remains that both were participants in the same project – the modernisation of Marxism in the light of theoretical and political problems which had affected its development, with the aim of achieving an autonomous space for the intellectual to engage with Marxist theory and the practice of the working-class struggle. Both were primarily intellectuals; both were capable of intransigence

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David A. Bell Qu’est-ce qu’un Français? Histoire de la nationalité française depuis la Révolution by Patrick Weil

Judith Stone To Be a Citizen: The Political Culture of the Early French Third Republic by James R. Lehning

K.H. Adler Vichy in the Tropics: Pétain’s National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-44 by Eric T. Jennings

Tyler Stovall Childhood in the Promised Land: Working-Class Movements and the Colonies de Vacances in France, 1880-1960 by Laura Lee Downs

Donald Reid Workers’ Participation in Post-Liberation France by Adam Steinhouse

Mark Kesselman Pour une critique du jugement politique: Comment repolitiser le jeu démocratique by Dick Howard

Michael S. Lewis-Beck Ces Français qui votent Le Pen by Nonna Mayer

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Nicholas Toloudis

Most studies of the social and political upheavals of the Second Republic treat violence as the main way people resisted the military coup and repression of 1851 and view political dissent through the lens of class. But the suppression of unorthodox political voices in the academy brings another form of resistance to light. Close personal networks and the organizational culture of the French academy distinguished the universitaires' animosity toward Louis Napoleon. To map the patterns of teachers' dissent, I use the proceedings of the Carnot Commission, an organ created by the emergency government of 1870 to gather information about the universitaires who had suffered political persecution around the time of the 1851 coup and offer them restitution. The Commission's work reveals a pattern of personal connections and distaste for authoritarianism that reflected the republican consensus as it emerged in the 1870s.

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"Nothing Fails Like Success"

The Marxism of Raymond Aron

Max Likin

One of the most influential thinkers in twentieth-century French intellectual debates, Raymond Aron (1905-1983) spent a lifetime studying Karl Marx. Aron's adaptable interpretations of the German thinker began on the eve of the Second World War, continued in his Sorbonne lectures, and ended in his celebrated Memoirs. Far from being a mere object of derision linked to totalitarian regimes, the "semi-god" provided Aron with an unrivaled stage to promote his own evolving views on an array of critical epistemological and political issues linked to heterogeneous values, historical determinism, class warfare, and the role of Communist parties. Aron cleverly segmented his views on Marx so as to address different audiences and seduce the largest possible number of young people on the side of liberal democracy.

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A Camp for Foreigners and “Aliens”

The Harkis' Exile at the Rivesaltes Camp (1962–1964)

Jeannette E. Miller

The French government placed 20,000 of the approximately 100,000 harkis repatriated to France following the Algerian War in the Rivesaltes camp. Located in rural French Catalonia, it had previously lodged foreigners and French citizens whom the government removed from society. The decision to house the harkis in this camp, made during summer 1962 as the French government extricated itself from its 132-year empire in Algeria, symbolized that they were aliens: Berber and Arab repatriates, nearly all of whom obtained French nationality shortly after they arrived in France, were targeted by government housing policies that distanced them from public view. The camp's architecture, living conditions, isolation from French citizens, military oversight, and “reeducation” classes, beyond functioning as powerful symbols, reinforced—and contributed to—the government's treatment of the harkis as aliens. Over the twenty-seven months it remained open, Rivesaltes fostered an exilic existence for these harkis and socially excluded them from French society.

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The prépa de proximité

A French Attempt at Affirmative Action in Higher Education?

William Poulin-Deltour

French Republicanism prohibits the creation of American-style affirmative action based on racial and ethnic descent. Nevertheless, France has its own affirmative action programs based on socio-economic indicators in given geographical zones. Over the past ten years, there have also been experimental and informal efforts to diversify selective institutions of higher education. This article assesses, through ethnographic field work and in-depth interviews, one of these programs—the establishing of a classe préparatoire aux grandes écoles in a working-class and heavily immigrant suburb east of Paris. The article reveals that while local underprivileged students who attend the classe préparatoire are most unlikely to wind up in a grande école, they just the same receive essential instruction that readies them for university study. As members of the original teaching team leave and are replaced, however, the future of the prépa's mission is far from certain.

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David Drake

When considering Sartre’s and Camus’ positions on the Algerian War of Independence, it is useful to begin by briefly locating both men in relation to colonialism in general and Algeria in particular. The first point, an obvious one, but one which needs to be made, is that while Camus, the child of Belcourt, had first-hand knowledge of life in working-class Algiers, and as a journalist of the misery of Kabylia in the late 1930s, Sartre, the Parisian intellectual par excellence, had almost no direct knowledge of the country. I say almost no direct knowledge because he and de Beauvoir did pass through southern Algeria en route to French West Africa in 1950 but apparently paid scant attention to the political situation in that country.