Analyse des strategies d'emancipation ou d'adaptation des personnages de romans beurs a la realite des marches sociaux de l'echange

Staebler, Marie-Anne (2009-12)

Thesis (MA (Modern Foreign Languages))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The publication in 1983 of Medhi Charef’s novel Le thé au harem d’Archi Ahmed marked the beginning of Beur literature, a collection of narratives concerning the lives of individuals of North African origin in the French suburbs. The term “beur”, derived from the double inversion of the word “arabe”, would become synonymous with “Maghrebians” and be used to define a cultural movement claiming its uniqueness. Beur writers or those who make use of Beur heroes in their novels reveal, often in autobiographical form, the daily experiences of a marginalized minority living in identical socio-economic conditions, which are sources of conflicts, whether latent or manifest, with the dominant culture. The sensitivity of Beur writers as manifested in their writings enables us to obtain images of the lives of people living in shantytowns or the large conglomerations on the outskirts of French cities. However, this literature provides more than just a simple description of context or situation, since it also contains the verdict of young Beurs on the legitimacy of the established social order and their strategies to transform or to adapt to this order. Work, home, school, politics or affective relations are concrete examples of areas where the individual is faced with an established system of values and norms, inequality of resources and convergent or divergent interests that need to be taken into account during the process of exchange in order to satisfy his/her needs. In this interdisciplinary research we apply the sociological concepts of exchange and conflict theory in order to disclose the strategies used by characters in Beur novels to adapt or free themselves from given conditions of exchange and power configurations on different social markets of exchange.

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