We use cookies on this site. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. Close this message Find out more

Home > SMLLC home > Information for current students > FR2104 Culture and Ideology: La France et la Francophonie
More in this section Information for current students

FR2104 Culture and Ideology: La France et la Francophonie

FR2104 Culture and Ideology: La France et la Francophonie 

Terms 1-2 

Convenor: Prof James Williams
Tutors: Prof Ruth Harvey, Professor James Williams, Prof Eric Robertson


Coursework (100%):
0% Formative written piece and four pre-block reading tests (0%)
30% Essay 1 (1,500-2,000)
70% Essay 2 (2,000-2,500)


This course considers ways in which culture embodies ideological concerns. Ideology can be seen as a potent system of concepts, myths, images and representations which, in any given society, affirm a hierarchy of values and seek to shape individual and collective perception and behaviour. Such a system of ideas is tied to an economic, political, ethnic, sexual or other grouping, expressing and valorizing its interests. As such, ideology has certain basic functions: it rationalizes a vision of the world and presents that view as universal; it seeks to eternalize historically particular and relative values; it mystifies by disguising the true nature of a situation, masking class interests or sexual or racial exploitation; it seeks to achieve social stability; it mobilizes individual and collective energies and directs these towards action. 

The workings of ideology are explored through study of key issues in French culture, including colonization to decolonization; issues of immigration, working-class life, gender roles in French society. 

Key Primary Bibliography: 

Set Texts: 

Block 1 – Annie Ernaux, La Place [1983] (Gallimard ‘Folio’, 1986) 

Block 2 – Ferdinand Oyono,  Une vie de boy  [1956] (Pocket, 2006)

Block 3  - Claire Etcherelli, Elise ou la vraie vie [1967] (Folio, 1973)

Block 4 -  Albert Camus, L’étranger [1942] (Folio, 1971) 

Secondary Literature: General, Theoretical, Introductory 

You do not need to read all of these texts, though your lecturers may refer to some of the names here, and dipping into some of them will help you think about some of the questions raised in the course and to research your essay questions. Further, more specialised bibliographies will be made available to you to support the four blocks. 

Peter Barry, Beginning Theory, fifth edition, (Manchester University Press, 2009). 

Toril Moi, Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (Routledge, 2002). 

Philip Dine. Images of the Algerian War  (Oxford, Clarendon 1994) 

Alec Hargreaves, Immigration in Post-War France (London: Methuen, 1987) 

Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (London: Chatto and Windus, 1993) 

Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society  (Fontana, 1976) 


Comment on this page

Did you find the information you were looking for? Is there a broken link or content that needs updating? Let us know so we can improve the page.

Note: If you need further information or have a question that cannot be satisfied by this page, please call our switchboard on +44 (0)1784 434455.

This window will close when you submit your comment.

Add Your Feedback