In this study of space and power and knowledge in France from the 1830s through the 1930s, Rabinow uses the tools of anthropology, philosophy, and cultural criticism to examine how social environment was perceived and described. Ranging from epidemiology to the layout of colonial cities, he shows how modernity was revealed in urban planning, architecture, health and welfare administration, and social legislation.
French Urban Planning 1940 1968
"French Urban Planning 1940-1968" explores the creation and progressive dismantling of France's centralized, authoritarian system of urban and architectural planning. Established in the wake of World War II to facilitate the reconstruction and expansion of cities, this planning program led to the evolution of large suburban housing estates plagued by inter/intra family conflict, juvenile delinquency, and other social difficulties, which sociologists connected to poor planning and design. Critics began calling for the democratization of planning to remedy design problems, and the government of Charles de Gaulle started reforming planning procedures in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This book moves beyond technical and political issues to explore forces of religion, gender, and class that affected planning practices. Key critics and state officials emerged from the Catholic Left. Some were women from working-class backgrounds, and they manipulated gender stereotypes to insert working- and middle-class women into the design process. Sometimes in opposition, but often together, these reformers initiated the most significant change of architectural and urban planning until the introduction of Francois Mitterrand's decentralization reforms in the 1980s. "French Urban Planning 1940-1968" will appeal to scholars and students interested in architectural, urban, and social trends in twentieth-century France."
At Home in Postwar France
After World War II, France embarked on a project of modernization, which included the development of the modern mass home. At Home in Postwar France examines key groups of actors - state officials, architects, sociologists and tastemakers - arguing that modernizers looked to the home as a site for social engineering and nation-building; designers and advocates of the modern home contributed to the democratization of French society; and the French home of the Trente Glorieuses, as it was built and inhabited, was a hybrid product of architects', planners', and residents' understandings of modernity. This volume identifies the "right to comfort" as an invention of the postwar period and suggests that the modern mass home played a vital role in shaping new expectations for well-being and happiness.
The City of Refuge complex—commissioned by the Salvation Army as part of its program to transform social outcasts into spiritually renewed workers—represents a significant confluence of design principles, technological experiments, and attitudes on reform. It also provides rare insights into the work of one of the twentieth century's greatest architects, Le Corbusier. Brian Brace Taylor draws on extensive archival research to reconstruct each step of the architect's attraction to the commission, his design process and technological innovations, the social and philosophical compatibility of the Salvation Army with Le Corbusier's own ideas for urban planning, and finally, the many modifications required, first to eliminate defects and later to accommodate changes in the services the building provided. Throughout, Taylor focuses on Le Corbusier's environmental, technological, and social intentions as opposed to his strictly formal intentions. He shows that the City of Refuge became primarily a laboratory for the architect's own research and not simply a conventional solution to residents' requirements or the Salvation Army's program.
Creating the Welfare State in France 1880 1940
Smith shows that France's most important social legislation to date - providing medical insurance, maternity benefits, modest pensions, and disability benefits to millions of people - was passed in 1928 (and amended and put into practice in 1930). This law, misrepresented in textbooks as being an utter failure, covered over 50 percent of the population by 1940. Few other nations could have claimed this sort of social insurance success. As well, by 1937 the centuries-old public assistance residency requirements had been transferred from the local to the departmental (regional) level. France's success in introducing important social reforms may require us to rethink - or at least modify - the common view of interwar France as a time of utter political, economic, and social failure.
Native to the Republic
In Native to the Republic, Minayo Nasiali traces the process through which expectations about living standards and decent housing came to be understood as social rights in late twentieth-century France. These ideas evolved through everyday negotiations between ordinary people, municipal authorities, central state bureaucrats, elected officials, and social scientists in postwar Marseille. Nasiali shows how these local-level interactions fundamentally informed evolving ideas about French citizenship and the built environment, namely that the institutionalization of social citizenship also created new spaces for exclusion. Although everyone deserved social rights, some were supposedly more deserving than others. From the 1940s through the early 1990s, metropolitan discussions about the potential for town planning to transform everyday life were shaped by colonial and, later, postcolonial migration within the changing empire. As a port and the historical gateway to and from the colonies, Marseille's interrelated projects to develop welfare institutions and manage urban space make it a particularly significant site for exploring this uneven process. Neighborhood debates about the meaning and goals of modernization contributed to normative understandings about which residents deserved access to expanding social rights. Nasiali argues that assumptions about racial, social, and spatial differences profoundly structured a differential system of housing in postwar France. Native to the Republic highlights the value of new approaches to studying empire, membership in the nation, and the welfare state by showing how social citizenship was not simply constituted within "imagined communities" but also through practices involving the contestation of spaces and the enjoyment of rights.
The Politics of Design in French Colonial Urbanism
Politics and culture are at once semi-autonomous and intertwined. Nowhere is this more revealingly illustrated than in urban design, a field that encompasses architecture and social life, traditions and modernization. Here aesthetic goals and political intentions meet, sometimes in collaboration, sometimes in conflict. Here the formal qualities of art confront the complexities of history. When urban design policies are implemented, they reveal underlying aesthetic, cultural, and political dilemmas with startling clarity. Gwendolyn Wright focuses on three French colonies—Indochina, Morocco, and Madagascar—that were the most discussed, most often photographed, and most admired showpieces of the French empire in the early twentieth century. She explores how urban policy and design fit into the French colonial policy of "association," a strategy that accepted, even encouraged, cultural differences while it promoted modern urban improvements that would foster economic development for Western investors. Wright shows how these colonial cities evolved, tracing the distinctive nature of each locale under French imperialism. She also relates these cities to the larger category of French architecture and urbanism, showing how consistently the French tried to resolve certain stylistic and policy problems they faced at home and abroad. With the advice of architects and sociologists, art historians and geographers, colonial administrators sought to exert greater control over such matters as family life and working conditions, industrial growth and cultural memory. The issues Wright confronts—the potent implications of traditional norms, cultural continuity, modernization, and radical urban experiments—still challenge us today.