La France Est Sa Banlieue: L'Identité Française et Sa Périphérie Urbaine à Travers le Cinéma, les Médias et la Musique

by Provot, Karine M.

Abstract (Summary)
The aim of this dissertation is to explore the complex phenomenon of French identity and Frenchness in the 21st century by exploring the geographical, social and cultural site around which the November 2005 riots occurred. The banlieue, literally the suburbs, figuratively the projects, embodies the necessity to examine the dynamics of a location, marked by stigmatization and framed by a hegemonic political discourse. In chapter one, I examine the history and the architecture that characterizes the French banlieue as a site of fear and rejection. Through the study of the classic movie La Haine, directed by Mathieu Kassovitz in 1995, these fears are questioned and manifest the necessity to scrutinize obsolete notions of integration and communautarism as ethnocentric strongholds and expressions of ideological and cultural preferences. In chapter two, I demonstrate the hegemonic media framing of the banlieue as a foreign, dirty, poor and uneducated site. This biased reading and depicting reproduces colonial schemes of an old European nation. By closely reading various newspapers articles, a narrative stamped by racism emerges, thus revealing a post-traumatic syndrome of memory repressed on the subject matter of colonization, decolonization and immigration. This repressed memory explodes in the anger of the alienated inhabitants of the banlieue, and in their writings, analyzed in a subpart to articulate the accurate symptoms of a post-colonial and postmodern trauma. Last but not least, I argue through the study of its history, impact and evolution in France, that Rap music has become the polyphonic expression of repressed voices, emphasizing the great need for France to acknowledge the presence and the contributions of all its citizens. By exploring the works of the writer/rapper Abd Al Malik, who grew up in the projects of Strasbourg, a dynamic space for a creative discourse of identity materializes itself and gives way to a new France, that of the VIth Republic.
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:france banlieue riots 2005 identity rap music


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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