Twentieth-century France invented for itself an "exception" that successfully preserved the French culture industry. Postcolonial France is experiencing another "French exception" that renders a "virtuous racism" commonplace and legitimates the discrimination that expresses this racism by identifying the undesirable "new French" as scapegoat figures. Four gender-specific stereotypes strengthen the belief that there is a form of sexism exclusive to the segregated neighborhoods of the suburbs that are inhabited primarily by French people of immigrant and colonial descent. Associated with the central figure of the garçon arabe are the beurette, the veiled Muslim French woman, and the secular Muslim. The article argues that the model of abstract, universalist France has become one of a fundamentalist republicanism that plays diverse expressions of otherness and singular identities off of one another in order to preserve a soft regime of oppression.
The Other French Exception
Virtuous Racism and the War of the Sexes in Postcolonial France
Representations of Women in the French Imaginary
Historicizing the Gallic Singularity
Jean Elisabeth Pedersen
variously as “the Gallic singularity,” “the French singularity,” or even “the French exception”: the idea that French men and women have a distinctly different way of organizing social and political relations between men and women than the men and women of
Some Observations on the Impact of Neoliberalism on Research Policy in France
This article addresses the issue of the influence of neoliberalism on French research institutions, especially the future of the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research), a public organisation devoted exclusively to doing research. CNRS's detractors argue that there is no reason to keep a specific research organisation in France. The hiring of fewer and fewer researchers, as soon as the baby-boomers retire, means the disappearance of what is considered, at the European level, a French exception. In this paper I try to analyse the impact of the change occuring in research policy, and to characterise the specific features of the global ideological context.
What's in a Scarf?
The Debate on Laïcité in France
The issue of the Islamic headscarf has troubled French society since the end of the 1980s and led to legislation, enacted on 15 March 2004, proscribing the wearing of headscarves or any other "conspicuous" religious symbol in schools. But what strained relationship between the state and religions, and more generally minorities, is hidden by this long controversy that preceded the centennial of the 1905 law separating church and state? This article aims to summarize for American readers the stakes involved in this long debate while putting it into historical perspective by trying to clear up misunderstandings that may crop up in discussions (on both sides of the Atlantic) of a subject where the famous "French exception" seems to be crystallized, that is, the practice of laïcité. Underlying these discussions, one must locate the treatment of religious minorities as put into place during the Napoleonic era in the case of the Jews, which has remained, mutatis mutandis, a model for the organization of Islam in the Hexagon at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Such a model is one of an assignment community, organized with the goal, inherited from the Revolution, of emancipating its members and responding to questions of public order.
Think Global, Fight Local
Recontextualizing the French Army in Algeria, 1954–1962
Terrence G. Peterson
français et leur mémoire (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2016); Denis Leroux, “Une armée révolutionnaire: La guerre d'Algérie du 5 e Bureau” (PhD diss., Université Paris-I, 2018). 8 Élie Tenenbaum, “French Exception or Western Variation? A Historical Look at the