This timely study sheds new light on debates about humour and identity in France, and is the first book about humour and identity in France to be published in either English or French that analyses both debates about Charlie Hebdo and standup comedy. It examines humour, freedom of expression, and social cohesion in France during a crucial time in France’s recent history punctuated by the Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 2015. It evaluates the state of French society and attitudes to humour in France in the aftermath of the events of January 2015. This book argues that debates surrounding Charlie Hebdo, although significant, only provide part of the picture when it comes to understanding humour and multiculturalism in France. This monograph fills significant gaps in French and international media coverage and academic writing, which has generally failed to adequately examine the broader picture that emerges when one examines career trajectories of notable contemporary French comedians. By addressing this failing, this book provides a more complete picture of humour, identity, and Republican values in France. By focusing primarily on contemporary comedians in France, this book explores competing uses of French Republican discourse in debates about humour, offensiveness, and freedom of expression. Ultimately, it argues that studying humour and identity in France often reveals a sense of national unease within the Republic at a time of considerable turmoil.
'This is a well-researched, accessible and timely book. It deals with very important issues in an informed and illuminating way.'
John Marks, University of Nottingham