Through French Windows: An Introduction to France in the Nineties

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A cultural portrait of contemporary France and its people that dispels persistent stereotypes and myths.
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Overview

A cultural portrait of contemporary France and its people that dispels persistent stereotypes and myths.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Scholar Corbett digs beneath the surface of cliches and stereotypes about France to reveal the naked realities of a country whose modernity has been overshadowed by myth and misrepresentation. France in the '90s, maintains Corbett, is more than a fetching synonym for romance, rich living and cultural heritage. Instead it is in the European vanguard of such things as technological excellence and state-funded AIDS research. Corbett purposefully steers away from French literature, music and arts, focusing on the country's economic, political and social underpinnings. The result is iconoclastic and rewarding. In his attempts to provide an objective overview of French contemporary life, Corbett masterfully weaves together statistics, surveys, demographics and reports through accessible writing and a somewhat inconsistent wit. In his chapter on the sexual revolution, Corbett cites several surveys on the sexual behavior of French teenagers (who are not as promiscuous as many think) and surmises craftily that ``Love is one of the main values of young people according to all the surveys--but that is hardly a major discovery.'' Comparisons between France and the United States are frequent and enriching if unevenly distributed, but this is a minor faux-pas in a globally informative work. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472064694
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/1994
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 From Soap to Smart Cards
Ch. 1 The Hexagon 11
Ch. 2 Town and Country 22
Ch. 3 Communications and Telecommunications 33
Pt. 2 La Vie, L'Amour, La Mort
Ch. 4 The Sexual Revolution 53
Ch. 5 Demographics 71
Pt. 3 The Sweat Shop
Ch. 6 From Early Education to College 93
Ch. 7 From Lycee to Universite 112
Pt. 4 The Wheel of Fortune
Ch. 8 Wealth and Equality 135
Ch. 9 The Price of Health 156
Ch. 10 Health and Body 167
Pt. 5 Social Relations
Ch. 11 Community 183
Ch. 12 The Right to Be Different 193
Pt. 6 Right, Left, and Center
Ch. 13 The Fifth Republic 213
Ch. 14 The Rock and the River 232
Ch. 15 Politics Today 247
Ch. 16 The French Garden 281
Pt. 7 France, Inc.
Ch. 17 Understanding the French Economy 299
Ch. 18 Assets and Liabilities 320
Ch. 19 The Macadam Fields 339
Ch. 20 A Tough Job 348
Pt. 8 Opening French Windows Wide
Ch. 21 From Cognac to Europe 367
Appendix 389
Index 393
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