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|Title: ||Language, cultural policy and national identity in France, 1989-97|
|Authors: ||Strode, Louise|
|Keywords: ||French State|
|Issue Date: ||1999|
|Publisher: ||© Louise Strode|
|Abstract: ||The French State, and political elites operating within it, have a long tradition of involvement in the
production, management and even the control of language and culture. This has been - and remains
- important in terms of the construction and definition of a State-led model of French identity.
Against this background, the present thesis examines conceptions of French identity held by
political elites, the agents of the State, in relation to language and cultural issues prominent on the
policy-making agenda in the 1990s. The thesis specifically considers the possibility that elite
visions of identity may be changing under the influence both of new approaches to French cultural
policy-making introduced from the 1980s by the Socialists, and specifically the Ministry of Culture
led by Jack Lang, and of a series of potentially destabilising challenges to French models of cultural
policy and identity which have been debated in the 1990s.
In order to examine these issues, the thesis takes three case studies, focusing on political
debates in the public arena surrounding a number of language and cultural policy issues which have
been perceived as symbols of French identity. The regulation and promotion of the French
language, audiovisual broadcasting policy and the Internet are selected as case study areas, which
reveal these perceptions, and point to anxieties about identity in the debates which surround them.
Thus these debates are used as a means of reexamining contemporary elite perceptions of French
identity. This examination is carried out through the close reading of contributions to the debates,
made by political figures of significance in each case study area. The term 'political elites' is used
in the sense of Pareto's definition (1935, in Parry, 1969, pp. 34,46) of the elite as a 'governing elite', composed of all political 'influentials', whether or not they act for the State, as part of a
government, or indirectly as part of the wider polity, in opposition.
The cases tudiesd emonstrateth at elite conceptions of identity in France of the 1990s, whilst
disturbed by contemporary challenges to French cultural policy-making, did not change in any
fundamental way. Instead, they illustrated a reversion to traditional, rigid conceptions of identity,
rather than the welcoming of more dynamic and hybrid ones.|
|Description: ||A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.|
|Appears in Collections:||PhD Theses (Politics and International Studies)|
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