Feminite a la francaise: Femininity, social change and French national identity: 1945--1970. Sharon Elise Cline

ISBN: 9781109047356

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238 pages


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Feminite a la francaise: Femininity, social change and French national identity: 1945--1970.  by  Sharon Elise Cline

Feminite a la francaise: Femininity, social change and French national identity: 1945--1970. by Sharon Elise Cline
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This dissertation investigates the dramatic reconceptualization of femininity that took place between 1945 and 1970, explores the ways in which this gender shift was intertwined with discussions of Frenchness and shows how gender, nation and theMoreThis dissertation investigates the dramatic reconceptualization of femininity that took place between 1945 and 1970, explores the ways in which this gender shift was intertwined with discussions of Frenchness and shows how gender, nation and the relationships between them shifted to meet Frances changing circumstances.

The analysis identifies the cultural, social and legal processes that contributed to the evolution of new ideas about what it meant to be feminine and shows how constructions of gender, because they were so deeply imbricated in the historical conceptions of nationness, consistently provided a vehicle for articulations of and debates about what it meant to be French.-To discover how femininity and Frenchness were constructed in the years from 1945 to 1970, I compiled a broad base of published and archival sources including several of the top-circulating womens magazines, publications geared toward wider audiences, intellectually oriented journals, opinion polls, demographic analyses, sexological and sociological studies, studies of la jeunesse, publications of groups seeking to reform the legal status of women and official records of the political processes in which they were involved, selected political magazines as well as administrative reports, memoranda and other government documents.-Women as a symbol of recuperative national culture in late forties and early fifties became a symbol of an emerging forward and outward-looking national culture in the 60s.

From domestic arts and refinement to egalitarian marriage, sexual liberty and a cosmopolitan youth culture, a conception of French femininity grounded in youth, revolution and individual liberty had, by the end of the 1960s, outstripped the representations that had allowed the nation to rebuild itself following the Second World War.

Images of femininity and masculinity, of proper relations between men and women, of marriage and sexuality, this thesis shows the centrality of these constructions to a larger process through which Frenchness was fundamentally redefined to meet new domestic and international circumstances.



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