Cultural Resistance: Production of Politics and Politics of Production in the Atelier Populaire
This thesis explores a poster-‐production facility in the French 1968 to reveal the production of politics, and the politics of culture. I argue that the work of the Atelier Populaire must be seen as a reaction to, and an insurrection against, a historically constructed culture of productive and social alienation. In particular, the Fouchet educational reforms – an attempt to ‘Americanize’ the university system – are unveiled by the students as a program to subject education and ideology to the needs and desires of the marketplace: to rationalize French society. The role of the State in implementing this rationalization placed its contestation squarely in the realm of State/Subject relationship. Particularly, the rationalization of the political placed the protestors demands within a contest over substantive citizenship. Building on that perspective, this investigation poses critical questions about substantive citizenship, notions of the social contract, and the legitimacy of technocratic democracy. My analysis not only adds to the existing literature on the French 1968, but also builds on the sociology of culture (Becker, 1982; Benjamin, 2002; Seidman, 1996) and political sociology literature (Alvarez et al.., 1998; Marx, 2010; Mills, 1959; Tarrow, 1993; Zolberg, 1972). The Atelier Populaire’s critical response to rationalization, and their reconceptualization of the future is made visible by interviews with participants and by images and messages produced at the occupied art schools.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2013
- F&M Theses Collection 
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