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French Culture: the decline - Essay Example

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With the publication of an obituary declaring the demise of French Culture, on the cover page of the European edition of the TIME magazine in December 2007 began the controversial debate pertaining to the validity and relevance of French culture in the 21st century…
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Download file to see previous pages There is no denying the fact that such aspersions stand correct to some extent. Over the years, there has been a considerable dilution in the creative verve of the nation that once happened to be the cultural capital of the world.
Sad but true, France no longer happens to be the sole cultural superpower of the world. Irrespective of the tons of money being spent by the French government in subsidizing French art and culture, and despite concerted initiatives of French diplomacy to safeguard global symbols of French culture, French culture is slowly but steadily on the decline. The very existence of French culture is being precariously jeopardized by an onslaught of more potent influences like American culture. All the pivotal aspects of French culture be it the language, religion, family structure, role of the state, food and lifestyle, sports and recreation, fashion, art, etc seem to be heading towards a morass of dullness and banality. Though a significant number of French intellectuals do tend to argue that the potency of French culture need not be assessed by its ability to influence the more dominant American culture, it is a fact that French auction houses today account for merely 8 percent of the global sales of contemporary art as compared to 50 percent in America. This dissertation tends to testify to and substantiate the decline of French culture by attempting an in depth research and analysis of the available publications, news reports and web content pertaining to the topic under consideration.
2. Introduction
French society inherently seems to have a tendency to revere and respect the culturally refined while holding on to its staunchly democratic foundations (Geoffrey, 272). This stands to be true not only of a metropolis like Paris, but also of the less known and remoter French suburbs and villages. French intelligentsia always stood for the cause of culture and human values, against an onslaught of the trivial and recidivist aspects of the contemporary life (Geoffrey, 271). However, the French culture at present is loosing its finer aspects to an outright preference for a bland uniformity being accepted and imposed in the name of globalization. There is no denying the fact that the French now stands to be a weak subordinate to the English language in the international arena. The French society is getting increasingly secular, with family values and household structure being its direct victims. The state seems to be more interested in patching the existing system, instead of opting for a fresh and salubrious change. Finer points of French life like food, fashion, wine, art and literature are being pummelled by a quest for base profitability.
3. Statement of the Problem
France has always been considered a nation that was thankfully insulated from grossly philistine national pursuits, which definitely enticed its financially pragmatic allies like the US and the UK. It is not a surprise that in a post II World War scenario, a majority of the French intelligentsia opted for politics and civil services, instead of business and commerce (Time Europe, 54). While having a British or American nationality was always associated with the notions of base individuality, being French was unexceptionally considered a collective and lofty mission dedicated to uphold the best of culture and art (Time Europe, 54).
However, the things are no more as they used to be. The very country, which boasted ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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