Au Contraire: Figuring out the French by Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron

By Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron

While Coca-Cola entered the French industry with a hard-core bottom-line administration sort, they have been met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. on the release of Euro Disney in Paris, Mickey Mouse used to be greeted by way of indignant protestors hurling tomatoes and eggs. As a tradition, the French are fiercely autonomous but romantic, conservative but avant-garde, rational but emotional.Written for an individual drawn to or interacting with the French, Au Contraire!: knowing the French finds the often-invisible cultural forces that govern habit. Gilles Asselin and Ruth Mastron draw upon their very own reviews as experts and running shoes, in addition to that of expatriate scholars and execs, to provide the easiest and most dear research and suggestion on French-American intercultural family. Going past the most obvious, this bilingual and bicultural writer staff explores what lies at the back of what we see: the assumptions, attitudes, styles of concept and ideology that make the French so.French.In an international global packed with multinational mergers and overseas partnerships, Au Contraire! offers context and viewpoint on what occurs while american citizens and the French come jointly at paintings, at domestic, and in any social atmosphere, relating concerns like schooling, play, friendship, romance and politics. They spotlight the dynamics of operating and dealing with around the French and American cultural divide with an in-depth case learn of the way pharmaceutical tremendous Rhone-Poulenc Rorer overcame demanding situations through fostering cross-cultural teamwork. With a brief and valuable advisor to social etiquette guidance for managers operating within the usa and in France, Au Contraire! presents serious instruments to strengthen artistic and acceptable responses to any scenario, in keeping with a deep realizing of the original dynamics of those cultures.

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Show no respect for rules, procedures, and deadlines. Stereotypes and Generalizations about Americans. Americans • are loud, vulgar, unsophisticated, and uncultured. • are slaves to a money culture that is no culture. • believe that the American way is the only way. • act first, then think; shoot from the hip. • are superficial. • need to be the first everywhere and are cultural imperialists. • believe in the “change is best” policy. • are extravagant and exaggerate grossly. • give more importance to glitter and hype than to substance.

Look again at the map of l’Hexagone and you can see that all roads—and railways, for that matter—lead to Paris. The country’s system of transport is built on the assumption that everyone wants to, or has to, 16 get to Paris. In some cases, it is difficult or impossible to get directly from one major provincial city to another; you must first go to Paris. Education. Public education—“gratuite, obligatoire, et laïque” (“free, compulsory, and secular”) in the words of the great nineteenth-century educational reformer Jules Ferry— is the key to advancement and acculturation in French society and the keystone in the edifice of French culture.

Louis XIV (1638–1715). Louis XIV, the sun king, was largely responsible for the centralization of power and influence in France at a national level. He reigned as absolute monarch and was preoccupied with glory and etiquette. The castle of Versailles is proof of the extravagance and splendor that characterized his domination of the country. His elegant court was the backdrop for many political intrigues, a tradition continued in the courts of his successors. Under his reign, France experienced her most glorious and frivolous decades and her mission civilisatrice to the world was launched.

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