Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture

By Alex Hughes; Keith Reader | Go to book overview

Further reading

b
Bradby, D. (1991) Modern French Drama 1940-1990, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (essential reading).

Mano Negra

Musicians

A leading indie group of the 1990s at the confluence of rockabilly, hip-hop and punk, rap, raï', salsa and many more styles, which they mix with panache. Singing in French, Arabic, English and Spanish, they are generous, unconventional and exuberant performers on the world circuit. Their latest products are Puta's Fever (1990) and Casa Babylone (1994).

GÉRALD POULET

See also: rock and pop

manufacturing industry

The manufacturing industry was the backbone of the thirty glorious years of French economic growth from 1945 to 1974; since then, however, a deep crisis has affected a number of 'traditional' industries, contributing to increasing unemployment and to the decay of regional infrastructure. Now the fourth industrial power in the world, France has developed some larger world-weight conglomerates, especially in the 1980s, but still lags behind European competitors in this respect.

Manufacturing, excluding activities such as energy and building, only accounts for one-fifth of France's national product and employment, and the sector has lost the leading role it had in the economy from 1945 to 1974. During that period, French society underwent deep material changes which helped the development of manufacturing industries catering for the new mass markets-cars, white and brown electrical goods, leisure goods-or infrastructures required by the postwar reconstruction and the sudden transformation of urban areas. France, which had long trailed behind other countries, then entered consumer society with a vengeance. After the 1974 crisis, however, manufacturing industry suffered a succession of problems, which resulted in the closure of many plants, with pockets of mass unemployment particularly concentrated in areas of old industry, such as the north or Lorraine, or in the industrial towns surrounding the Massif Central. In other cases, efforts to increase competitiveness brought considerable loss of jobs-the so-called dégraissage (slimming down). In the car industry, for instance, the Renault workforce went down from 223,000 to 138,000 employees between 1980 and 1994.

Manufacturing industry is highly diversified, from traditional shoemaking, say, to high-tech space electronics. Since the mid-1980s, firms have made considerable efforts to penetrate foreign markets, especially European ones. Indeed, some companies are true multinationals, but they are usually only mid-table in world size rankings.

Manufacturing in the past was concentrated in specific areas (the Vosges mountains for textiles mills; the Alpine valleys for aluminium; toy-making and watch assembly a speciality of farmers in the Jura...), because of either availability of natural resources or a skilled workforce. This regional distribution has changed dramatically. Regions of heavy traditional industries have suffered badly since the 1970s. Other regions, however, have benefited from recent development, such as those of Toulouse (home of the aerospace industry) or Grenoble, but localization of industries is now more flexible, and manufacturing employment less important than services.

FRANÇOIS NECTOUX

See also: agriculture; economy; transport


Further reading

s
Szarka, J. (1992) Business in France: An

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface x
  • Introduction xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Classified Contents List xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 3
  • Further Reading 13
  • Further Reading 18
  • Further Reading 26
  • Further Reading 27
  • Further Reading 30
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 66
  • Further Reading 70
  • Major Works 79
  • C 85
  • Further Reading 91
  • Further Reading 99
  • Further Reading 111
  • Further Reading 113
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 144
  • Further Reading 150
  • Major Works 152
  • E 168
  • Further Reading 194
  • F 197
  • Further Reading 200
  • Further Reading 207
  • Major Works 214
  • Further Reading 245
  • G 252
  • Further Reading 279
  • Further Reading 280
  • H 283
  • I 290
  • Further Reading 297
  • J 302
  • Further Reading 303
  • Major Works 307
  • K 310
  • Further Reading 317
  • L 318
  • Major Works 324
  • Major Works 325
  • M 350
  • Further Reading 352
  • Further Reading 354
  • Major Works 364
  • Further Reading 379
  • Further Reading 380
  • N 388
  • Further Reading 397
  • O 401
  • P 404
  • Further Reading 419
  • Major Works 424
  • Q 449
  • R 450
  • Further Reading 462
  • Further Reading 469
  • Major Works 470
  • Major Works 472
  • Further Reading 474
  • S 478
  • Further Reading 484
  • Further Reading 508
  • T 515
  • U 540
  • V 544
  • Further Reading 549
  • Further Reading 554
  • W 555
  • Further Reading 560
  • X 568
  • Y 569
  • Index 572
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