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Christopher Konovalov
Christopher Konovalov

French Culture And Civilization [HOT]



Because if you want to drill down into France, make it your best friend, there's no getting around it... you'll have to make friends with its history, culture and lifestyle, its foods and traditions, its art, and yes, its genius.




French Culture And Civilization



A cultural icon is something that represents a culture, something that, when you see or hear it, screams its origins. When you see a baguette, you think of France. The same happens with Coco Chanel or a Citroën or the Cannes Film Festival.


FRE 355 - French Culture and Civilization IThis course, conducted in French, is designed to trace the evolution of the civilization of France from its origins to 1789. It addresses such aspects as the growth and culture of the French state, with an emphasis on the formation and development of social, economical and artistic movements and ideas. Special attention is drawn to corresponding developments and parallels in the arts, music, architecture, painting, socio-economic developments, etc.Prerequisite: FRE 301 or 302, or instructor permission.Offered: Not on a regular basisCredit: 3


A course dealing with the literature, culture, and contributions of France to civilization, with emphasis on contemporary culture, history, and life in France. MFREN 4200 meets with MFREN 3200, with differentiated assignment lengths and expectations by level.Prerequisite(s): MFREN 2020 French Stage 4: Global Connections or permission of the department chair.


FREN 100 SC - French Culture and Civilization Through a historical survey of the major characteristics of French civilization, this course will focus on interrelationships between trends in art, history of ideas, political institutions, and social traditions that have shaped modern France. Taught in French.Prerequisite(s): FREN 044 or equivalent.Course Credit: 1.0Please refer to the course schedule on the Scripps Portal for current course offerings and details.


The culture of France has been shaped by geography, by historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture since the 17th century and from the 19th century on, worldwide. From the late 19th century, France has also played an important role in cinema, fashion, cuisine, literature, technology, the social sciences, and mathematics. The importance of French culture has waxed and waned over the centuries, depending on its economic, political and military importance. French culture today is marked both by great regional and socioeconomic differences and strong unifying tendencies. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw France ranked as the country with the fourth most positive influence in the world (behind Germany, Canada and the UK) in 2014.[1]


Some action has been taken by the government to promote French culture and the French language. For instance, they have established a system of subsidies and preferential loans for supporting French cinema. The Toubon law, from the name of the conservative culture minister who promoted it, makes it mandatory to use French in advertisements directed to the general public. Note that contrary to some misconceptions sometimes found in the Anglophone media, the French government neither regulates the language used by private parties in commercial settings, nor makes it compulsory that France-based WWW sites should be in French.


Long the established state religion, the Catholic Church has historically played a significant role in French culture and in French life. Kings were prominent members as well as head of the state and social order. Most French people are Catholics;[8] however, many of them are secular but still place high value on Catholicism.[9]


There are huge differences in life style, socioeconomic status and world view between Paris and the provinces. The French often use the expression "la France profonde" ("Deep France", similar to "heartland") to designate the profoundly "French" aspects of provincial towns, village life and rural agricultural culture, which escape the hegemony of Paris. The expression can however have a pejorative meaning, similar to the expression "le désert français" ("the French desert") used to describe a lack of acculturation of the provinces. Another expression, "terroir" is a French term originally used for wine and coffee to denote the special characteristics that geography bestowed upon these products. It can be very loosely translated as "a sense of place" which is embodied in certain qualities, and the sum of the effects that the local environment (especially the "soil") has had on the growth of the product. The use of the term has since been generalized to talk about many cultural products.


In addition to its metropolitan territory, France also consists of overseas departments made up of its former colonies of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana in the Caribbean, and Mayotte and Réunion in the Indian Ocean. (There also exists a number of "overseas collectivities" and "overseas territories". For a full discussion, see administrative divisions of France. Since 1982, following the French government's policy of decentralisation, overseas departments have elected regional councils with powers similar to those of the regions of metropolitan France. As a result of a constitutional revision which occurred in 2003, these regions are now to be called overseas regions.) These overseas departments have the same political status as metropolitan departments and are integral parts of France, (similar to the way in which Hawaii is a state and an integral part of the United States), yet they also have specific cultural and linguistic traditions which set them apart. Certain elements of overseas culture have also been introduced to metropolitan culture (as, for example, the musical form the biguine).


Industrialization, immigration and urbanization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have also created new socioeconomic regional communities in France, both urban (like Paris, Lyon, Villeurbanne, Lille, Marseille, etc.) and the suburban and working class hinterlands (like Seine-Saint-Denis) of urban agglomerations (called variously banlieues ("suburbs", sometimes qualified as "chic" or "pauvres" or les cités "housing projects")) which have developed their own "sense of place" and local culture (much like the various boroughs of New York City or suburbs of Los Angeles), as well as cultural identity.


Paris has traditionally been associated with alternative, artistic or intellectual subcultures, many of which involved foreigners. Such subcultures include the "Bohemians" of the mid-nineteenth century, the Impressionists, artistic circles of the Belle époque (around such artists as Picasso and Alfred Jarry), the Dadaists, Surrealists, the "Lost Generation" (Hemingway, Gertrude Stein) and the post-war "intellectuals" associated with Montparnasse (Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir).


The French state has traditionally played an important role in promoting and supporting culture through the educational, linguistic, cultural and economic policies of the government and through its promotion of national identity. Because of the closeness of this relationship, cultural changes in France are often linked to, or produce, political crisis.[22]


The relationship between the French state and culture is an old one. Under Louis XIII's minister Richelieu, the independent Académie française came under state supervision and became an official organ of control over the French language and seventeenth-century literature. During Louis XIV's reign, his minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert brought French luxury industries, like textile and porcelain, under royal control and the architecture, furniture, fashion and etiquette of the royal court (particularly at the Château de Versailles) became the preeminent model of noble culture in France (and, to a great degree, throughout Europe) during the latter half of the seventeenth century.


The cultural policies of the (current) French Fifth Republic have been varied, but a consensus seems to exist around the need for preservation of French regionalisms (such as food and language) as long as these don't undermine national identity. Meanwhile, the French state remains ambivalent over the integration into "French" culture of cultural traditions from recent immigrant groups and from foreign cultures, particularly American culture (movies, music, fashion, fast food, language, etc.). There also exists a certain fear over the perceived loss of French identity and culture in the European system and under American "cultural hegemony".


The Minister of Culture is in the Government of France, the cabinet member in charge of national museums and monuments; promoting and protecting the arts (visual, plastic, theatrical, musical, dance, architectural, literary, televisual and cinematographic) in France and abroad; and managing the national archives and regional "maisons de culture" (culture centres). The Ministry of Culture is located on the Palais Royal in Paris.


Traditional French culture places a high priority on the enjoyment of food.[29] French cuisine was codified in the 20th century by Georges Auguste Escoffier to become the modern version of haute cuisine. Escoffier's major work, however, left out much of the regional character to be found in the provinces of France. Gastro-tourism and the Guide Michelin helped to bring people to the countryside during the 20th century and beyond, to sample this rich bourgeois and peasant cuisine of France. Basque cuisine has also been a great influence over the cuisine in the southwest of France.


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