Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925


There is a complex relationship between national identity and cultural identity in France. School has played an important role in reducing the 'other' to the 'same' by promoting a monistic citizenship and by considering the secularist (non-clerical) ideology as neutral. The need to 'teach the Nation' in a country where education is determined nationally (the same for all) can be explained by a number of historical facts. In our political history the part played by the modern state in the birth of the citizen starts with the teaching of common values seen as an ideology and school contributes to a sense of national identity. France's history is an essential part of such an ideological system. But a universalist perspective may explain what lies behind ideas of identity and nation. This vision of what it means to be a citizen relegates what Durkheim coined 'mechanical solidarity' not to the political sphere but to the cultural sphere, not to the public sphere but to the private sphere. If it is considered that citizenship denies personal allegiance, whether it is infra- or supra-national, it cannot be denied that national identity is a narrative identity that is often put at stake in a power struggle. Today schools addressing what ethno-religious minorities can bring to national identity in the context of religious and cultural pluralism.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): citizenship; Islam; memory; minorities; national identity; school; state
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error