Dire la France
Culture(s) et identités nationales (1981-1995)
National culture(s) and identities (1981–1995)
For over a decade, the controversial debate over national identity has torn political groups asunder, divided the intellectual sphere and engulfed French society as a whole.
While the genealogical roots of this obsession with identity remain unclear, they nonetheless shed light on a forgotten piece of history when, during the 1980s, political ambitions to define France and 'Frenchness' chose to equate culture and national identity. During that time, how did culture emerge as a major issue, becoming the cornerstone of the national narrative? Revisiting the high points of cultural policy under François Mitterrand, recalling the fight against American imperialism and examining the policies that instated the ‘right to cultural difference’ and their culmination in the victory of cultural exception during the 1993 Gatt negotiations, Vincent Martigny captures the spirit of a decade that remains crucial to understand contemporary disputes over the question of identity.