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Between Resistance and the State

Caribbean Activism and the Invention of a National Memory of Slavery in France

Itay Lotem

French society and given too much space for particular group identities. Indeed, from the late 1990s into the 2000s, the struggles of Caribbean activists turned the national conversation toward France’s involvement in the enslavement of Africans. The

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Vincent Martigny

The 2007 Presidential election has been the occasion of a fierce debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolène Royal on the issue of national identity. The victory of Nicolas Sarkozy has led to the creation of a Ministry of National Identity and Immigration, linking in a controversial way the management of newcomers and their acceptance of allegedly historical national "values." This article examines the debate during the campaign. It provides an analysis of the reasons why the definition and defense of national identity was discussed in the course of the election, and outlines the viewpoints of the two candidates on this issue. Finally, it argues that the temptation to fix politically the content of national identity is an ancient one in France. What has been presented as part of Nicolas Sarkozy's "rupture" with the past in this domain is in fact the latest development of a form of "state nationalism" that has been prevailing in France in recent decades.

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Jeffrey Jackson The Place de la Bastille: The Story of a Quartier by Keith Reader

Carol E. Harrison Heroes and Legends of Fin-de-siècle France: Gender, Politics, and National Identity by Venita Datta

Marie-Emmanuelle Chessel Women and Mass Consumer Society in Postwar France by Rebecca Pulju

Mark Ingram Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft by Graham Jones

Pepper D. Culpepper Contingent Capital: Short-Term Investors and the Evolution of Corporate Governance in France and Germany by Michel Goyer

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From Black-Blanc-Beur to Black-Black-Black?

“L'Affaire des Quotas” and the Shattered “Image of 1998” in Twenty-First-Century France

Christopher S. Thompson

Since the mid-1990s, France's national soccer team has been given considerable significance in French debates about post-colonial immigration, national identity, republican citizenship, and the enduring legacies of French imperialism. This article explores the role played by representations of the team in those debates with a particular focus on the so-called “affaire des quotas” of 2010–2011. It argues that those representations reveal that the boundary between the purportedly inclusive civic nationalism of French republicanism according to which any person willing to embrace the duties and rights of democratic citizenship may theoretically become French, and the exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the xenophobic Front national is far less impermeable than is generally assumed in France. Indeed, race and ethnicity inform notions of French citizenship even among persons who reject the essentialist views of the Far Right.

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Laird Boswell

Eugen Weber's Peasants into Frenchmen has had an enduring impact on historians of European nationalism. This article situates Weber's influence on the field of nationalism and focuses on regions that played a crucial role in his analysis: peripheries. Peripheries are central to historians studying the construction of the French nation and the forging of contemporary European identity. Scholars have moved beyond Weber by developing a dynamic model of the relationship between center and periphery, and they have paid close attention to the relationship between regional and national identities. While the field of nationalism has evolved substantially since Weber's time, the questions he posed over thirty years ago still lie at the center of scholarly concerns.

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Is Integration a Zero-Sum Game?

Negotiating Space for Ethnic Minorities in Europe

Amanda Garrett

Jennifer Fredette, Constructing Muslims in France: Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014).

Maxwell Rahsaan, Ethnic Minority Migrants in Britain and France: Integration Trade-Offs (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

This article reviews two books that address the inherently complicated puzzle of ethnic minority accommodation in Europe. These works recognize the pressing need to understand the parameters within which minority populations and states build relationships and delineate identities, and thus the process of minority inclusion. In doing so they contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship devoted to examining how host societies manage the real and perceived threats to social, economic, and political cohesion. But questions remain. How should we define the concept of successful integration and how must we measure it? What are the factors driving successful versus failed integration? How do these factors change over time and across national contexts?

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Continental Collaboration

The Transition from Ultranationalism to Pan-Europeanism by the Interwar French Fascist Right

Sarah Shurts

This article considers the emergence of pan-European discourse and the creation of transnational networks by the intellectual extreme Right during the interwar and occupation years. Through a close reading of the essays, speeches, and texts of French fascist intellectuals Abel Bonnard, Alphonse de Châteaubriant, and Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, the author contends that it was during the interwar and wartime decades that the French extreme Right transitioned from its traditional ultranationalism to a new concept of French national identity as European identity. More importantly, these three leading fascist intellectuals worked to distinguish their concept of European federation and transnational cultural exchange as anterior to and independent of submission to Nazi Germany. It was, therefore, in the discourse and the transnational socio-professional networks of the interwar period that we can find the foundation for the new language of Europeanism that became ubiquitous among the postwar Eurofascists and the Nouvelle Droite today.

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The Muslim Veteran in Postcolonial France

The Politics of the Integration of Harkis After 1962

Sung Choi

During the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), France mobilized tens of thousands of native Algerian soldiers, known as the harkis, for counterinsurgent operations directed against their own countrymen of the National Liberation Front. As recruits for the French army, the harkis were given French status, which was then revoked when Algeria gained its independence. France later accepted the harkis as veterans and “repatriates,” only to confine them in camps until the 1970s. The abuse of the harkis has been noted as a “forgotten” episode in French postcolonial history. This article argues that the harkis were far from having been “forgotten,” and in fact were considered important throughout the Fifth Republic as a powerful counterpoint to the more problematic immigrant Algerian population in France. The harkis represented the key tension in postcolonial France between the notion of an irrevocable civil status and a national identity that favored a Eurocentric culture.

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Donald Reid

Faced with a troubled past, national collectivities can negotiate identities through iconic figures. Prescient hero Charles de Gaulle and later Resistance martyr Jean Moulin played this role in France in the decades after World War II. More recently, other individuals from the same generation have come to the fore as exemplary actors through whom the French enact reconciliation with their nation’s wartime history. Marc Bloch, a Jew executed for his Resistance activity, has become a figure who allows French republicans to work their way out of what Henry Rousso terms the obsessive phase of the Vichy Syndrome.

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Between Venus and Mercury

The 1920s Beauty Contest in France and America

Holly Grout

This article examines the beauty contest as a cultural register for shifting definitions of femininity in the 1920s. It focuses on the photographic beauty competition, the “Miss“ pageant, and the film Prix de Beauté, to show how beauty contests in France and the United States engendered transnational debates about feminine beauty, identity, and visibility. It asks how, as valueladen cultural enterprises and as popular commercial entertainments, these events fashioned models of modern womanhood that were simultaneously respectable and risqué; national and international; ordinary and exceptional.