Marianne d’aujourd’hui?: The figure of the beurette in contemporary French feminist discourses

Kemp, Anna (2009) Marianne d’aujourd’hui?: The figure of the beurette in contemporary French feminist discourses. Modern and Contemporary France, 17, (1), 19-33. (doi:10.1080/09639480802639751).


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This article argues that the enthusiastic defence of 'la cause des femmes' during the notorious French headscarf affair of 2004 signalled not so much a revival, but a stagnation of mainstream feminist discourses in France. In particular, it focuses on the construction of the 'beurette' stereotype perpetuated by mainstream French feminist discourses and by some recent examples of 'beur women's writing', arguing that, far from being an emancipatory model, the figure of the beurette has become inflected both by islamophobic and anti-feminist agendas. This article will consider the dynamics of the feminist discourses that emerged during the 'affaire' before looking in detail at the production and publication of Samira Bellil's autobiographical text 'Dans l'Enfer des tournantes'. In particular it will draw attention to the way in which the figure of the 'beurette' facilitates the elaboration of a seemingly emancipatory but in fact regressive notion of French femininity.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/09639480802639751
ISSNs: 0963-9489 (print)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Modern Languages
ePrint ID: 182795
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
January 2009Published
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 11:08
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:36

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