Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1



Beginning with popular commentary on the 2013 Taubira Affair, this article aims to unsettle some common assumptions about “French identity.” More generally, it asks how best to approach the notion of culture in upperdivision culture and society courses. Drawing on recent debates in anthropology, it suggests an approach that moves away from an understanding of culture as a bound entity that promotes a common sense of orientation and purpose toward one where culture is viewed as a reservoir of references, whose meanings and values are continuously interpreted, negotiated, and contested.

Required Publisher's Statement

Original version is available from the publisher at: