La geode, Paris
French 438 is designed to provide students with a background in social, cultural, political, and institutional aspects of contemporary French society in the context of recent history. We will first examine the role of geography, history, education, and politics in shaping contemporary French attitudes, cultural practices, and institutions since the Second World War. We will then focus on important social questions facing contemporary France: changing family structures, the role of women, religion, immigration, and France’s place in the European union.

Course materials include readings from the French press and other published sources, films, music, internet exploration, and radio and television broadcasts. The course strongly emphasizes oral participation and discussion, and students are expected to follow current events throughout the semester.

Want to know more about religion, the economy, women, youth culture, education, the family, and other important topics in contemporary France? Check out the up-to-date information presented in the websites created by our undergraduates.


Students in this class designed these websites for high school students and teachers interested in learning more about contemporary French culture.

Economy and the World of Work
Europe and Globalization
Immigration and Immigrants
Youth Culture
Religion and Secularism
Health and Health Care
Political Life


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