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The French RepublicHistory, Values, Debates$
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Edward Ducler Berenson, Vincent Duclert, and Christophe Prochasson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449017

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449017.001.0001

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Order and Disorder in the Family

Order and Disorder in the Family

(p.308) 34 Order and Disorder in the Family
The French Republic

Éric Fassin

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at the politics of family life in the French Republic. The intersections of the two versions of family politics (church and state) in the first decades of the twentieth century indicate simultaneously an implicit consensus and an explicit dissent. The family was then a shared battleground, as secular morality competed with its religious (counter)model under the authority of state science—in particular with the development of demographic knowledge solidified in bureaucratic institutions. Thus the chapter shows how familialism is not to be understood merely as an ideology, but as the object of a political struggle relying on the same assumptions—that is, on similar categories of thought, often crystallized in state institutions. This is why the family that defines antirepublican rhetoric could also find its place, if not in the Republic's motto, then at least in its politics and policies.

Keywords:   family politics, familialism, antirepublican rhetoric, biopolitics, race, family life, French Republic

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