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  • Author: Sophie Meunier
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The most common perception of France found these days in the American media is that of an arrogant country, whose international gesticulations are the last hurrah masking its inevitable decline into oblivion. The French have not yet come to terms with their lengthy collapse, which started with the devastation of World War I, continued with the humiliation of their defeat in 1940 and was furthered by the loss of their colonial empire. This would explain their support, still to this day, for a Gaullist policy made up of power incantations, in contrast to real power-or lack thereof.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Lionel Jospin
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Since the relationship between France and the United States is going through a difficult period, we must find opportunities to talk things over. It is true that it is not always easy to broach the subject of this relationship between the US and France in a balanced and reasonable way. We idealize its past and blacken its present. On the one hand, invoking the illustrious names of such figures as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Pierre- Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, or the marquis de la Fayette romanticizes the actually very complicated political and diplomatic process that brought France to America's aid during the War of Independence. Neither the monarchical France of the Ancien Régime, nor that of the revolutionary Terror that led up to the Caesar-state of Bonaparte could have been in perfect symbiosis with the young American democratic republic, despite our shared Enlightenment references.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Richard Kuisel
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: What do the French think of Americans and the United States? This is a grand question whose answer reveals a crucial dimension of the current tension in Franco-American relations. It is also a question that can be answered reasonably well. Transatlantic troubles have stirred interest in ascertaining the state of public opinion. The result is an extraordinary number of comprehensive surveys conducted over the last five years. The US Department of State, for example, has systematically monitored French attitudes. So have many French and American polling agencies like SOFRES, CSA, and the Pew Center. Foundations like the French-American Foundation and the German Marshall Fund of the US have also sponsored research. Between fifteen and twenty thousand Frenchmen and women have recorded their opinion in such surveys. This evidence provides a unique opportunity for research into how the man- or woman-in-the-street views the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Brian A. McKenzie
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: This article examines the promotion of American tourism to France during the Marshall Plan. The paper assesses the cultural and economic goals of the tourism program. Economic aid provided by the United States was essential for the post-war reconstruction of the French tourism industry. Furthermore, transatlantic air carriers adopted new guidelines for tourist class airfares at the urging of U.S. officials. The paper also examines marketing strategies and the creation of tourism infrastructures that facilitated transatlantic tourism. Representatives from the French tourism industry visited the United States to study American hotels and they agreed to adopt practices and rebuild French hotels in ways that would be congenial to American tourists. The paper demonstrates that French and American officials and tourism professionals Americanized the French tourism industry during the Marshall Plan.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France
  • Author: Christopher Endy
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In the late 1950s and 1960s, many French politicians, journalists, and travel industry leaders argued that the French had lost their manners. Although some foreigners, most notably Americans, spoke of rude French hosts, this negative stereotype was largely a French construction. Defenders of artisanal tradition reinforced the idea of French rudeness to highlight the dangers of postwar modernization, while technocratic commentators used the stereotype to criticize artisanal practices. Responding to this perceived crisis in hospitality, Charles de Gaulle's Fifth Republic expanded its involvement in mass tourism, launching "amicability" campaigns and boosting investment in high-rise hotels. The discourse of French rudeness helps explain the evolution of France's travel industry and illuminates cultural dimensions to postwar modernization and Franco-American relations.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The new Mansfield and Winthrop translation of Tocqueville's classic text, notable for the lengthy introduction the translators provide as well as their determined effort to create the most literal word-for-word translation that has ever been published of the work, draws the critical eye of four Tocqueville specialists. Focusing on the introduction, Seymour Drescher points out that the translators' decision to regard the Democracy of 1935 and the one of 1840 as a single work, a decision made against the grain of recent scholarship, leads them into misunderstandings of how Tocqueville came to view the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy by the 1840s. Arthur Goldhammer, at work on his own translation of Democracy, goes beyond the longstanding debates over literal versus interpretive translation to point out a large number of errors in rendering French expressions into English. Melvin Richter explores a number of instances where the pursuit of literalness leads to distortions, and then focuses on the consequences translating l'état social as "social state" rather than "state of society." Cheryl Welch examines how the decision to translate inquiet as "restive" rather than "restless" or "anxious," as she would have preferred, leads the translators to underestimate how much Tocqueville's views of religion and women were informed by his own anxieties about moral disorder in a democratic society. Mansfield and Winthrop respond to their critics with a detailed discussion of several of their most controversial word choices and with a defense of their strategy of literal translation.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gilberte Furstenberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: The MIT Cultura project juxtaposes French/American opinion and expression, in order to involve respondents in a collaborative and ongoing process designed to identify perspectives and values, and so to undermine cross-cultural misconceptions and stereotypes.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Sophie Body-Gendrot
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Analysis of opinion polls shows that even Americans unfamiliar with France are prepared to hold opinions about the country. Many see France as a non-America, a positive or negative counter-model. Moreover, "Americans" comprise many different perspectives and so "France" does not mean the same thing to everyone.
  • Political Geography: America, France
  • Author: Jean-Phlippe Mathy
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Francophobia is at base a systematic and recurrent critique of an alleged societal model based on political centralization and cultural elitism, seen as beginning with the monarchy and continuing on into the Republic, and contrasting with American liberalism, democracy, egalitarianism, and anti-statism.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Justin Vaïsse
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Francophobia, a set of stereotypes, insults, and ready-made judgments designed to prove one's patriotism and score political points, is based primarily in diplomatic and conservative circles. The war in Iraq was a moment of special mobilization of Francophobia by the administration and a large share of the media, and may prove to have been a crystallizing moment for the discourse.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America