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Marshall B (2012) Introduction, French Cultural Studies, 23 (2), pp. 99-103.

First paragraph: The publication of Retour à Reims in 2009 gained new readerships for, and to an extent renewed scholarly attention on, a thinker whose intellectual engagement is characterised by both a relevance and even an urgency with regard to contemporary cultural and political debates, and by a range of issues - pertaining to class and sexuality, most notably - that eloquently speak to each other. This was no more evident than in the Retour, which sought in a highly personal journey to trace those processes of subjectivation involved in growing up gay in a rather harsh working-class environment, in navigating - and ascending - the structures of the republican education system, in acquiring cultural capital and (some) social status, and in casting anew an eye on that itinerary with its mix of contradiction, shame and eagerness to understand past and present familial ‘choices' and the parameters within which a class-stratified society permitted them (or not). Among other insights, the text makes crucial reading for anyone wishing to understand the transformations - and continuities - in French working-class identities across the switch from support for the Communist Party to the Front national.

Pierre Bourdieu; class; Antonio Gramsci; queer; republican; Raymond Williams

AuthorsMarshall Bill
Publication date05/2012
ISSN 0957-1558

French Cultural Studies: Volume 23, Issue 2

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