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Reviewed by:
  • Contemporary French Cultures and Societies
  • Tony Chafer
Contemporary French Cultures and Societies. Edited by Frédéric Royall . Bern, Peter Lang, 2004. 421 pp. Pb £22.00; £37.95; €31.40.

This is the twenty-sixth volume in Peter Lang's 'Modern French Identities' series. It comprises twenty chapters divided into four parts, covering politics and society, arts and culture, developments in the French language and francophone literatures. With such wide scope, this is a book to dip into rather than a book to read from cover to cover. Recent elections, the state of the economy, the role of intellectuals in public life, education policy, social movements, euroscepticism and the press are all analysed in the first part; popular music, cinema and theatre in the second; the French language in Belgium, Quebec and gender and language in francophone countries, as well as minority languages in France, are the subject of the third part; and developments in both Francophone literatures across the world and women's writing are surveyed in the fourth. The quality of the contributions is generally high. I especially enjoyed the chapters by Bowd on intellectuals and by Thompson on Euroscepticism in France, but this reflects my own interest in contemporary ideas. If you teach a course on any aspect of contemporary French society and culture, there will be at least one chapter here that you will want to include in your bibliographies.

Tony Chafer
University of Portsmouth


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