The study of French culture has long ceased to be purely centred on literature. Undergraduate French courses now embrace all forms of cultural production and consumption, and students need to have a broad knowledge of everything from day-time TV and the latest detective novels to debates about national identity and immigration policies.
This stimulating text is an introduction to the full range of contemporary French culture. Written by a group of leading academics both within and outside France, each chapter focuses on a topic from the French cultural scene today. Starting with an overview of resources for further information (both in print and online), the text discusses the varied forms of French cultural expression and looks critically at what 'Frenchness' itself means. The book also explores examples of cultural production ranging from sport, media and literature to theatre, cinema, festivals and music. An essential resource for students and scholars alike, this text provides detailed material and analysis, as well as a launch-pad for further study.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Introduction and Sources
France @ your fingertips
Part 2 The Background to French Cultural Exceptionalism
How the French present is shaped by the past: the last 100 years in historical perspective
French cultural policy: the special role of the state
French education: equal or elitist?
Part 3 Cultural Differences and Identity Politics in France Today
Social differences: age and place
Sexual fault lines: sex and gender in cultural context
The challenge of multiculturalism: regional and religious differences in France today
French political culture: homogenous or fragmented?
Part 4 Frenchness Revisited: Forces for Cultural Unity
If it isn't clear it isn't French: language and identity
French public culture: spaces and places
Frenchness constructed and reconstructed
Part 5 French Cultural Production at the turn of the Twenty-First Century
Sport and identity in the new France
No Coca-cola please, we're French! The advertising culture in France
A night out: theatre and opera
Cinema in a nation of filmgoers
Festivals and fetes populaires
The changing French media: press barons, NRG and digital TV
From Messian to MC Solaar: music in France in the late twentieth century
Reading books in France: la culture du livre
Intellectuals in French culture: where to look today
A guide to contemporary cultural analysis: the French contribution
This book should prove enormously useful to undergraduate readers who are seeking to gain an overall orientation within the field of French culture. An excellent resource to the general academic reader who might wish to decipher and interpret the complex and polyphonic text of French culture.
European Journal of Communication
Both editors and contributors are to be congratulated on producing a book that works both as an undergraduate introduction and as a series of critical essays on French culture on the cusp of the twenty-first century.
Journal of European Area Studies