For Immediate Release
April 11, 2012
Brockport, NY-Elise Micale ‘13 illuminated on how France is coping with their descent from atop the cultural world powers in her presentation “Fracophonie: An Alternate Education for Globalization.” Once a leader in the fine arts, literature, and politics France has slowly fallen from global influence, as the United States' cultural strength has grown. The country is now on the defensive and in order to save their language, and culture, La Francophonie was established. La Francophonie is an organization of 75 French speaking countries whose goal is promote the French language, culture, linguistic diversity, peace, democracy and human rights. In addition, the organization plans to support education, including higher education and research, while developing cooperation among all of the nations involved.
Essentially La Francophonie was formed to protect French language and culture in the face of Americanization. The French government has gone so far as to institute laws regulating the amount of foreign cultural products allowed in the country. Forty percent of TV shows and songs on the radio must be French created, and 60 percent of all movies shown must be French films.
Elise explained that the age-old assumption of the French’s distain for Americans isn’t completely true. Though they feel threatened by America’s ever growing global presence, the French actually admire some aspects of American culture. For example, it has become fashionable in France to speak English, and some American slang has worked its way into their vocabulary such as “cool.” Their fondness for slang terms doesn’t derail their desire to resist most Americanization efforts.
That is the mission of La Francophonie, to protect French culture from getting watered down, and to reestablish France as a leader in all things cultural. So the next time you’re in France make sure to take in and respect their language, music, art, and literature. With your respect in mind they will be accommodating and hospitable in return.
Story written by Emily Kellas '12, marketing intern.
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