Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture

By Alex Hughes; Keith Reader | Go to book overview
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Further reading

Lacouture, J. (1973) André Malraux, Paris: Éditions du Seuil (biography).
Looseley, D.L. (1995) The Politics of Fun: Cultural Policy and Debate in Contemporary France, Oxford: Berg (examines Malraux the minister).

Malraux act

This law, passed in 1962 and named after André Malraux (then Minister of Cultural Affairs), legislated for the protection, development and restructuring of historically significant urban areas (secteurs sauvegardés), in the face of modern urban expansion. The act influenced conservation strategies adopted by other European governments of the 1960s, notably that of the UK.


See also: architecture; conservation zones; renovation projects

Man Ray

b. 1890, Philadelphia, USA;

d. 1976, Paris

Photographer and artist

Trained as a painter, Man Ray discovered the work of Duchamp and Picabia at the 1913 Armory Show. The following year he began taking photographs, originally to reproduce his paintings. He went to Paris in 1921 and was part of the Dadaist and then Surrealist movements, whose members he famously photographed. His work includes such celebrated photographic images as Ingres's Violin (Le Violon d'Ingres) of 1924 and Tears (Larmes) from 1930. He spent 1940 to 1951 in the United States, where he had several one-man shows, painted a great deal and, again, photographed many of the great writers and painters of the period. He was the inventor of several photographic techniques, particularly using light effects such as solarizations and 'rayographs', a personal variant of the photogram.


See also: photography

Major works

Man Ray (1963) Self Portrait, London: André Deutsch (an autobiography in which he also explains his techniques).

management style

The management style of the French has often been criticized for being overly authoritarian and distant. Indeed, the traditional French approach to management is seen as partly to blame for the confrontational nature of industrial relations in France. In order to understand how this management style developed, it is necessary to trace the history of the French management class, les cadres.

Small family-run firms continued to dominate the economy in France until much later than in its main competitor countries, and this had a significant influence on French management style. In such companies, the owner, or patron, retained much everyday control of the labour force and the production process. In other words, there was no distinction to be made between the owners of these businesses and their managers. Unsurprisingly, these petits patrons were often authoritarian and paternalistic in their dealings with their workforce.

It was only in the larger companies in the 1930s that a new class grew up in French industry situated between the patronat on the one hand, and the workers on the other. This new class was that of the cadres. This category of employee normally constituted the engineers who took control of production processes,


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