FREN 152 essays

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  1. What period is designated the “Second Empire” and what is noteworthy about this period?
    The Second Empire was from 1852 to 1870. It was reigned by Napoleon III. He constituted that all executive power would belong to the head of state
  2. What is meant by the “haussmannization of Paris”?
    It was a mass remodel of Paris. Napoleon III commisioned it. This was an effort to modernize the city. It was led by the prefect Baron Haussmann between 1853 and 1870.
  3. What is the importance of the huge city square in
    Paris called the Place de la Bastille?
    It was where Bastille prsion once stood. It ended up being destroyed by the "Storming of the Bastille" from 1789-1790. Now there stands the July Column which commemorates these events. Because of its historical significance, it is often a site of political demonstrations.
  4. Why do people recognize the events of May 1968 as a
    “cultural revolution”?
    At this time, workers went on strike without the approval of their union. Being the largest general strike ever, it practically brought the economy to a standstill. This was an opportunity to review France's society and moralities, with a particular focus on education and employment. With over 11 million participants, their voices were heard.
  5. Identify the five levels of governance the French practice and briefly explain each level (you may use a comparative term between the French level and an equivalent U.S. level).
    • President: shares executive power with PM.
    • Prime Minister: as “head of government” s/he is to “direct the operation of government” and “ensure the execution of the laws.” Head of Council of Ministers (US= the Cabinet)
    • National Assembly: legislation power as part of legislative brance
    • Senate: check legality of legislation passed, working with the Assembly.
    • Supreme Court: judicial branch that manages courts for civil and criminal cases.
  6. Explain briefly the “dual nature” of the Executive
    Branch of the French government.
    The executive branch is ran by two individuals. The President acts as "head of state." The Prime Minister acts as "head of government." The President approves the appointment of the PM.
  7. What happened during the 2005 Presidential elections in France (regarding the candidates who ran for election) and why it was lived as a national disaster (or international embarrassment) by many French?
    Chirac and Le Pen were the winners of the first round of elections. Le Pen belonged to the National Front Party, and his presence was quite unexpected. Many French were shocked that he had made it, as many only voted for him to not vote for others. Resultantly, Chirac won in a landslide second round with an overwhelming 82% of votes.
  8. Identify five differences in the working conditions of the
    French (different from American working
    • - Limited to a 35 hr work week opposed to our 40
    • - Requried 5 weeks vacations
    • - Retirement age is 60
    • - Paid maternity leave for up to two years
  9. Briefly explain why French taxes are very high (approx.. 47% on income) but why the French seemed generally
    satisfied in paying higher taxes.
    They are so high mostly because it equates to more benefits. For example, their health coverage is government mandated, so they receive very high quality service for a low copay. If they didn't pay for it now they'd have to pay for it later in some manner, so most are accepting of these rates.
  10. Identify the two Far-Right parties in France and briefly outline their respective platforms
    National Front is only true Far Right: Profile is based on nationalism. Protect the economy. Anti-immigration. Zero tolerance approach to law.
  11. Grandes Ecoles education system
    are higher education establishments outside the main framework of the French university system. The grandes écoles select students for admission based chiefly on national ranking in competitive written and oral exams. work to educated France's high-ranking civil servants, politicians and executives, as well as many scientists, writers and philosophers
  12. Identify at least five differences between the French educational system and the American education system.
    • -French Ministiry oversees curriculum
    • -Daycare for chilredn 2-6 is free
    • - Have reading requirement for 6 years old
    • - Longer work weeks
    • - Choose course track they want to be on for prep
    • - Choose a lycee (highschool) based on future
  13. Explain why
    Charles De Gaulle remains the most important public figure of 20th-century France.
    He led the French Free Forces during WWII. Started French Fifth Republic. Served as President. Found his own political party Rally for the French People. Later became a PM. Issued new currency
  14. Which fundamental French values have been threatened by the “social fracture” first articulated during the 1990’s?
    French social identity was being threatened. Is it a matter of citizenship or cultural inheritance? Also, it threatened social solidarity. This refers to their motto of equality, liberty, and fraternity.
  15. How does Marguerite Duras’s novel, The Lover, problematize issues surrounding xenophobia and marginalization of 20th-century France?
    As a French-white, the girl is allowed to do whatever she wants in the school because of her decent. The school wants to keep her around for their reputation. Obvious racism is seen in the inherent views of society which condemn the relationship between the French girl and the Chinese millionare. She must also grapple with poverty, racism, and economic exclusion.
  16. Explain three sources of anti-immigrant sentiment
    in France today
    • Xenophobia
    • Nationalism
    • 2005 civil unrest
    • economic recession
  17. Explain why French citizens of Arab descent feel they do not always enjoy the same rights and privileges of any other
    French citizen
    French hold a long standing discrimination against Arabs. This is because they have a perceived inability of them to assimilate to French identity. Many are worried that their incorporation risks harming their Nationalism.
  18. Explain the expression “black, beur, blanc” and why it became a popular slogan after France’s victory in the World Soccer Cup games
    of 1998.
    It is a play on the colors of France that highlights the idea of multicultralism is France. It is an effort to equalize individuals and say that we all have great purpose-- we are flying our colors. It became a popular slogan because the soccer team was composed of a racially diverse group of individuals. This team was proof that integration had been a success
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FREN 152 essays
2011-12-15 15:30:17
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