Read e-book online Au Contraire: Figuring out the French PDF

By Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron

Whilst Coca-Cola entered the French industry with a hard-core bottom-line administration sort, they have been met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. on the release of Euro Disney in Paris, Mickey Mouse was once greeted via indignant protestors hurling tomatoes and eggs. As a tradition, the French are fiercely autonomous but romantic, conservative but avant-garde, rational but emotional.Written for an individual attracted to or interacting with the French, Au Contraire!: realizing the French finds the often-invisible cultural forces that govern habit. Gilles Asselin and Ruth Mastron draw upon their very own stories as specialists and running shoes, in addition to that of expatriate scholars and execs, to supply the simplest and Most worthy research and recommendation on French-American intercultural kin. Going past the most obvious, this bilingual and bicultural writer group explores what lies in the back of what we see: the assumptions, attitudes, styles of concept and ideology that make the French so.French.In a world global full of multinational mergers and foreign partnerships, Au Contraire! presents context and standpoint on what occurs while americans and the French come jointly at paintings, at domestic, and in any social atmosphere, referring to concerns like schooling, play, friendship, romance and politics. They spotlight the dynamics of operating and coping with around the French and American cultural divide with an in-depth case examine of the way pharmaceutical monstrous Rhone-Poulenc Rorer overcame demanding situations through fostering cross-cultural teamwork. With a short and helpful consultant to social etiquette instructions for managers operating within the usa and in France, Au Contraire! offers serious instruments to improve inventive and applicable responses to any state of affairs, in accordance with a deep realizing of the original dynamics of those cultures.

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However, because of their strong feelings about individuality, the French tend to resist rigid procedures and look for a more personalized way of doing things. This is a way of establishing their unique character, not knuckling under to an anonymous system. National Solidarity and French Individualism. The French political and social system reflects a concern with national What Makes the French So French? 19 solidarity. Citizens in essence agree that the unemployed, the homeless, the poor, and the sick must be protected and cannot simply be left to their fate—at the mercy of economic forces.

The pattern suggested by these events indicates that the French may be wary of American initiatives simply because they are American. The actual merits of the initiative may not be the issue. Despite the success of American pop culture, the French tend to be suspicious of the tidal wave of worldwide Americanization and standardization. They worry that it may sweep away their uniqueness and identity as French people. Their concerns are not only political and economic; they reverberate in the cultural area as well, as the French see their youth being caught up in the dehumanization of mass consumption.

Some modern-day aristocrats live quite modestly and work for a living. The key to the upper reaches of French society is education. The French Revolution essentially replaced an aristocratic class based on bloodlines with an aristocracy of educational degrees. The French system is unapologetically elitist, despite efforts to reduce the pressure on primary and secondary schoolchildren. The brightest and the best are noted early on and encouraged by their teachers and parents. The goal is acceptance in and success at one of the grandes écoles—a group of institutions of higher learning, a degree from which virtually guarantees access to the highest levels of power, prestige, and wealth.

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Au Contraire: Figuring out the French by Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron


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