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Selective Empathy

Workers, Colonial Subjects, and the Affective Politics of French Romantic Socialism

Naomi J. Andrews

thousands throughout the July Monarchy. 3 Military violence in Algeria was an ongoing backdrop to episodic rebellions in France’s slave colonies in the Caribbean, and to frequent and often widespread worker unrest in French cities in the 1830s and 40s

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Worker Reactions to Crisis

Explaining 'Bossnappings'

Nick Parsons

In France in 2009-10, several managers announcing redundancies were held hostage by workers. Although the global economic crisis and an attendant rise in unemployment may provide a catalyst for "bossnappings," the real explanations for the phenomenon have to be found partly in the institutional make up of French industrial relations that have resulted in weak, divided unions and weak and conflictual collective bargaining mechanisms. However, such institutional factors cannot provide the whole explanation. Ideas also matter, and these underlying structural weaknesses have been unable to contain radical outbursts of anger when allied to pre-existing concerns over globalization—which appeared to be vindicated by the current economic crisis—, the reactions of the government to crisis, and the incapacity of unions or the state to respond to it.

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Michèle Lamont

In recent years, surveys have consistently shown relatively high levels of racism and xenophobia in France. In particular, a 1999 Harris poll conducted for the Commission nationale consultative des droits de l’homme revealed that 68 percent of the respondents in a national sample declared themselves somewhat racist; 61 percent believed that there are too many foreigners in France; 63 percent believed that there are too many Arabs (up 12 percent compared with 1998); and 38 percent believed that there are too many blacks (up 8 percent compared with 1998).1 Against the backdrop of a long, difficult, and partly repressed colonial past, a full 28 percent of French voters have, since 1983, voted at least once for the openly racist and anti-Semitic Front National.2 These results clash with the popular image of a Republican France, where the dominant political ideology affirms that the ascribed characteristics of citizens are irrelevant to their participation in the polity.

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Frédéric Viguier, Michael Lipsky, and Vincent Dubois

Welfare As It Is Frédéric Viguier

French Welfare Workers as Street-level Bureaucrats Michael Lipsky

A Reply to Michael Lipsky and Frédéric Viguier’s Comments Vincent Dubois

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Nicolas Mariot

manual workers and petty employees of humble extraction, and a small number of bourgeois and intellectuals? I aim to present some key themes in my book on this subject. 6 My purpose, when starting the study dealing with this topic, was to write a social

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Liberating the Land or Absorbing a Community

Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris's Banlieues

Melissa K. Byrnes

In the late-1950s, the Parisian suburbs of Saint-Denis and Asnières-sur-Seine launched major urban renovation projects to eliminate the bidonvilles, shantytowns that often housed North African migrants. While Asnières viewed the bidonville occupants as obstacles to modernization, Saint-Denis billed its efforts as a humanitarian project to provide migrants with better housing and to support migrants' rights and social welfare. Officials in Asnières used their renovation plans to bring new, metropolitan French, families into the reclaimed areas and redistribute the single male workers outside their city. Dionysien officials, however, aimed at inclusion, providing new accommodation within the city for many families and a majority of workers. The renovation efforts in these two cities demonstrate the diversity of French reactions to North African migrants, suggest the existence of alternative notions of local community identity, and highlight the importance of the Algerian War in defining France's migration framework.

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Joshua Cole

Kader was there on 17 October 1961—at the Madeleine metro station at about 6:30 in the evening. He was also there at the Palais des Sports three days after the demonstration, and for 33 days at the police department’s Identification Center at Vincennes. In 1981, when Kader gave this testimony to Libération, he was still “there”—in France—living in the same worker’s dormitory that had been his home in 1961. After being held in a camp in Algeria, he had returned to the country where he felt humiliated and where he had been tortured, because his family had been killed and his political allies exiled. He was not bitter. “We were at war.” Who is this “we”?

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Regards croisés

La presse frontiste face aux mouvements des « sans » dans les années 1990

Frédéric Royall

This article considers the ways that elements of the far-right press in France have dealt with the emergence of groups representing marginalized people—the unemployed, undocumented workers, the badly housed—during the 1990s. The first part considers the ideological leanings of the main far-right political group—the National Front—and of its press. The final part of the article analyzes the press's discourse on marginalized people and considers the political significance of such discourse.

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Michael Scott Christofferson

Jeremy Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Detente (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

Arthur Marwick, The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c.1958-c.1974 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Michael Seidman, The Imaginary Revolution: Parisian Students and Workers in 1968 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004).

Kristin Ross, May ’68 and Its Afterlives (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Jean-Pierre Le Goff, Mai 68: L’Héritage impossible (Paris: La Découverte, 1998).

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Volume 6, issue 1 of Sartre Studies International, published at a moment when Sartre’s work is gaining increasing prominence in France, emphatically illustrates the full range and complexity of the Sartrean project. Sartre Studies International’s commitment to make available in English translation less well known texts by Sartre continues with the publication of Sartre’s 1945 articles on the American worker. Published initially in Combat, they appear for the first time in English translated by Adrian van den Hoven with a commentary by Ronald Aronson.