Start reading Legislating the French Family: Feminism, Theater, and Rep... on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Legislating the French Family: Feminism, Theater, and Republican Politics: 1870-1920 [Kindle Edition]

Jean Elisabeth Pedersen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Digital List Price: $45.00 What's this?
Print List Price: $60.00
Kindle Price: $36.00
You Save: $24.00 (40%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $36.00  
Hardcover $54.77  
Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Book Description

Legislating the French Family examines family law reform in France from the foundation of the Third Republic in 1870 to the aftermath of World War I in 1920. Combining literary and historical approaches, Jean Elisabeth Pedersen provides a unique perspective on the political culture of modern France, analyzing French "problem" plays and their reception both as a measure of public opinion and as a force for social change. This approach reveals the complex cultural narratives within, against, and in spite of what the feminist activists, journalists, medical experts, and politicians debated. Pedersen's work demonstrates how republican political debates over divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and birth control both provoked and responded to larger arguments about the meanings of French citizenship, national identity, and imperial expansion. She argues that these debates complicated the idea of French citizenship and exposed the myth of the supposedly ungendered individual citizen.
This new approach to the study of political culture and social reform during the period reveals the intricate intersections among family law, class, religious belief, republican citizenship, national identity, and imperial policy.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Elisabeth Pedersen is an associate professor of history at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3802 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (July 8, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000RMS0BC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,043,685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What makes books like Legislating the French Family so interesting are in how they broaden our perspectives on history. In the book, Pedersen theorizes that family policy debates were closely tied to debates about French national identity. In some ways, this is similar to today's continued debates about the state and its role toward the family. While we have much more to accomplish egalitarianism even today, it was refreshing to remind me how far we've come

While it is an academic text, I found that Pedersen's examination of family legislation--laws on divorce, paternity suits, and reproductive rights--broadened my understanding of 19th century developments of French egalitarianism. Pedersen does this by examining 19th century French laws through the combined lenses of theatre, feminist activism, and parliamentary contests to argue that her analysis of particularly "controversial" plays and their reception brings into relief the "broad cultural narratives." I'd say that similar public arenas exist today and many similar egalitarian issues are still debated.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category