Examines major social and political trends, events, debates and personalities which help place various aspects of contemporary French culture in their historical perspective. Topics include the heritage of the French Revolution, the growth and consequences of colonialism, the role of intellectuals in public debates, the impact of the Occupation, the modernization of the economy and of social structures. Also studied are the sources and meanings of national symbols, monuments, myths and manifestoes. Documents include fiction, films, essays, newspaper articles, and television shows. Recommended for students planning to study abroad. Taught in French.