The Politics of the Veil

Princeton University Press
1
Free sample

In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. The Politics of the Veil is an explosive refutation of this view, one that bears important implications for us all.

Joan Wallach Scott, the renowned pioneer of gender studies, argues that the law is symptomatic of France's failure to integrate its former colonial subjects as full citizens. She examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate--how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. She shows how the insistence on homogeneity is no longer feasible for France--or the West in general--and how it creates the very "clash of civilizations" said to be at the root of these tensions.



The Politics of the Veil calls for a new vision of community where common ground is found amid our differences, and where the embracing of diversity--not its suppression--is recognized as the best path to social harmony.

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Joan Wallach Scott is the Harold F. Linder Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Her books include Parite!: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism and Gender and the Politics of History.
Read more
Collapse
5.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Apr 11, 2009
Read more
Collapse
Pages
224
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781400827893
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
History / Europe / France
History / Europe / General
Political Science / Civil Rights
Political Science / Political Freedom
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Nationalism & Patriotism
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Emigration & Immigration
Social Science / Minority Studies
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
France has long defined itself as a color-blind nation where racial bias has no place. Even today, the French universal curriculum for secondary students makes no mention of race or slavery, and many French scholars still resist addressing racial questions. Yet, as this groundbreaking volume shows, color and other racial markers have been major factors in French national life for more than three hundred years. The sixteen essays in The Color of Liberty offer a wealth of innovative research on the neglected history of race in France, ranging from the early modern period to the present.

The Color of Liberty addresses four major themes: the evolution of race as an idea in France; representations of "the other" in French literature, art, government, and trade; the international dimensions of French racial thinking, particularly in relation to colonialism; and the impact of racial differences on the shaping of the modern French city. The many permutations of race in French history—as assigned identity, consumer product icon, scientific discourse, philosophical problem, by-product of migration, or tool in empire building—here receive nuanced treatments confronting the malleability of ideas about race and the uses to which they have been put.

Contributors. Leora Auslander, Claude Blanckaert, Alice Conklin, Fred Constant, Laurent Dubois, Yaël Simpson Fletcher, Richard Fogarty, John Garrigus, Dana Hale, Thomas C. Holt, Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Dennis McEnnerney, Michael A. Osborne, Lynn Palermo, Sue Peabody, Pierre H. Boulle, Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, Tyler Stovall, Michael G. Vann, Gary Wilder

While public debates over America's current foreign policy often treat American empire as a new phenomenon, this lively collection of essays offers a pointed reminder that visions of national and imperial greatness were a cornerstone of the new country when it was founded. In fact, notions of empire have long framed debates over western expansion, Indian removal, African slavery, Asian immigration, and global economic dominance, and they persist today despite the proliferation of anti-imperialist rhetoric.

In fifteen essays, distinguished historians examine the central role of empire in American race relations, nationalism, and foreign policy from the founding of the United States to the twenty-first century. The essays trace the global expansion of American merchant capital, the rise of an evangelical Christian mission movement, the dispossession and historical erasure of indigenous peoples, the birth of new identities, and the continuous struggles over the place of darker-skinned peoples in a settler society that still fundamentally imagines itself as white. Full of transnational connections and cross-pollinations, of people appearing in unexpected places, the essays are also stories of people being put, quite literally, in their place by the bitter struggles over the boundaries of race and nation. Collectively, these essays demonstrate that the seemingly contradictory processes of boundary crossing and boundary making are and always have been intertwined.

Contributors:
James T. Campbell, Brown University
Ruth Feldstein, Rutgers University-Newark
Kevin K. Gaines, University of Michigan
Matt Garcia, Brown University
Matthew Pratt Guterl, Indiana University
George Hutchinson, Indiana University
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University
Prema Kurien, Syracuse University
Robert G. Lee, Brown University
Eric Love, University of Colorado, Boulder
Melani McAlister, George Washington University
Joanne Pope Melish, University of Kentucky
Louise M. Newman, University of Florida
Vernon J. Williams Jr., Indiana University
Natasha Zaretsky, Southern Illinois University Carbondale



Political conservatives have long believed that the best government is a small government. But if this were true, noted economist Jeff Madrick argues, the nation would not be experiencing stagnant wages, rising health care costs, increasing unemployment, and concentrations of wealth for a narrow elite. In this perceptive and eye-opening book, Madrick proves that an engaged government--a big government of high taxes and wise regulations--is necessary for the social and economic answers that Americans desperately need in changing times. He shows that the big governments of past eras fostered greatness and prosperity, while weak, laissez-faire governments marked periods of corruption and exploitation. The Case for Big Government considers whether the government can adjust its current policies and set the country right.

Madrick explains why politics and economics should go hand in hand; why America benefits when the government actively nourishes economic growth; and why America must reject free market orthodoxy and adopt ambitious government-centered programs. He looks critically at today's politicians--at Republicans seeking to revive nineteenth-century principles, and at Democrats who are abandoning the pioneering efforts of the Great Society. Madrick paints a devastating portrait of the nation's declining social opportunities and how the economy has failed its workers. He looks critically at today's politicians and demonstrates that the government must correct itself to address these serious issues.


A practical call to arms, The Case for Big Government asks for innovation, experimentation, and a willingness to fail. The book sets aside ideology and proposes bold steps to ensure the nation's vitality.

The French government's 2004 decision to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious signs from public schools puzzled many observers, both because it seemed to infringe needlessly on religious freedom, and because it was hailed by many in France as an answer to a surprisingly wide range of social ills, from violence against females in poor suburbs to anti-Semitism. Why the French Don't Like Headscarves explains why headscarves on schoolgirls caused such a furor, and why the furor yielded this law. Making sense of the dramatic debate from his perspective as an American anthropologist in France at the time, John Bowen writes about everyday life and public events while also presenting interviews with officials and intellectuals, and analyzing French television programs and other media.

Bowen argues that the focus on headscarves came from a century-old sensitivity to the public presence of religion in schools, feared links between public expressions of Islamic identity and radical Islam, and a media-driven frenzy that built support for a headscarf ban during 2003-2004. Although the defense of laïcité (secularity) was cited as the law's major justification, politicians, intellectuals, and the media linked the scarves to more concrete social anxieties--about "communalism," political Islam, and violence toward women.


Written in engaging, jargon-free prose, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves is the first comprehensive and objective analysis of this subject, in any language, and it speaks to tensions between assimilation and diversity that extend well beyond France's borders.

Americans have always put the past to political ends. The Union laid claim to the Revolution--so did the Confederacy. Civil rights leaders said they were the true sons of liberty--so did Southern segregationists. This book tells the story of the centuries-long struggle over the meaning of the nation's founding, including the battle waged by the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and evangelical Christians to "take back America."

Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, offers a careful and concerned look at American history according to the far right, from the "rant heard round the world," which launched the Tea Party, to the Texas School Board's adoption of a social-studies curriculum that teaches that the United States was established as a Christian nation. Along the way, she provides rare insight into the eighteenth-century struggle for independence--a history of the Revolution, from the archives. Lepore traces the roots of the far right's reactionary history to the bicentennial in the 1970s, when no one could agree on what story a divided nation should tell about its unruly beginnings. Behind the Tea Party's Revolution, she argues, lies a nostalgic and even heartbreaking yearning for an imagined past--a time less troubled by ambiguity, strife, and uncertainty--a yearning for an America that never was.



The Whites of Their Eyes reveals that the far right has embraced a narrative about America's founding that is not only a fable but is also, finally, a variety of fundamentalism--anti-intellectual, antihistorical, and dangerously antipluralist.


In a new afterword, Lepore addresses both the recent shift in Tea Party rhetoric from the Revolution to the Constitution and the diminished role of scholars as political commentators over the last half century of public debate.

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.