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Internationalism, National Identities, and Study AbroadFrance and the United States, 1890-1970$
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Whitney Walton

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762533

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762533.001.0001

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§ Sexuality, Gender, and National Identities in Twentieth-century Franco-American Exchanges

§ Sexuality, Gender, and National Identities in Twentieth-century Franco-American Exchanges

(p.171) § 7 Sexuality, Gender, and National Identities in Twentieth-century Franco-American Exchanges
Internationalism, National Identities, and Study Abroad
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the role of sexuality in national imaginaries of France and United States throughout the twentieth century, and how students dealt with sexual fantasies and constructed social as well as sexual experiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Based on images derived from movies, travelers' accounts, veterans' stories, and French and American literature, Americans viewed France as a land of sexual liberation and French men as inveterate seducers. For their part, the United States was often portrayed by French authors as puritanical and averse to all kinds of sensuous pleasures. In particular, the French viewed American women as assertive, immoral, and even sexually promiscuous. Both the power and the limitations of these stereotypes were shaped and transformed by students' encounters with daily life. The chapter demonstrates how gender and sexuality influence international cultural relations, both in discourse and practice.

Keywords:   gender, sexuality, France, United States, students, sexual fantasies, stereotypes, cultural relations

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