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Course Description
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History 344: Identity, Immigration, and Nation in France
The American Business School in Paris
Paris, France

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
History, Cultural Studies 300 English 3 45 None

The course explores the nature and importance of ethnic (and other) identities.  We will look at how French identities have been formed over time, the dynamics of change, the impact of recent immigrations on identity and current issues of identity affected by terrorism and economy.  There will be a historical overview of French nation building and some focus on the notion of a French identity and immigration policy.  Some attention will be paid to the alienation of Muslims and others and the recent riots in the Parisian suburbs.

The course consists of class lectures, individual/group presentations on various assignments, and class discussions.  There will also be a visit to the Immigration Museum.  Will be covered in class:

- Introduction: How we view our personal identities
- Assimilation, acculturation, integration
- Racial formation theory; how ethnic groups construct an identity
- The nation building process
- The non-building process
- The modern, multi-ethnic nation (visit to Immigration Museum)
- The French headscarf controversy in secular France
- Alienation and backlash in the suburbs
- The Sarkozy administration and the Roma expulsions

  • Ethnicity and Race: Making Identities in a Changing World by Cornell & Hartman
  • Multi-Ethnic France: Immigration, Politics, Culture by Alec Hargreaves
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
EVALUATION: The final grade will be made up of class participation and presentations (15%), a mid-term exam (30%), three short reviews (45%), and a final personal paper (10%).

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