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Identities on the Move

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Edited By Flocel Sabaté

This book contains selected papers from the meetings «To think the Identity» and «Identities on the move» held in the Institute for Research into Identities and Society (University of Lleida) during 2010. The aim is to understand the reasons that allow social cohesion throughout the creation of identities and its adaptation. Identity is individual and collective, momentary and secular, apparently contradictory terms that can only coexist and fructify if they entail a constant adaptation. Thus, in a changing world, the identities are always on the move and the continuity of society requires a permanent move. Values, Culture, Language and History show the societies in permanent evolution, and demand an interdisciplinary perspective for studying. Attending this scope, outstanding historians, sociologists, linguistics and scientists offer here a diachronic and interdisciplinary approach to this phenomenon: how men and women have been combining the identity and the move in order to feel save into a social life from Middle Ages to current days, and how different items, in our present society, built the framework of identities.
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Identities on the Move, Foreign and Colonial Students in France (20th century – 1960s): Caroline Barrera

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Caroline BARRERA

Centre Universitaire Jean-François Champollion

From the XIX century to the 1960s France received a growing number of students, from the colonies and from other countries as well, going from 585 students in 1885 to 5000 in 1910, 17,000 in 1931, and 10,000 in 1950; from 6 per cent in 1890 to 10 per cent from 1908 to 1940. What happened to these students in terms of identity is complex; first of all of course, because they were youngsters, constructing their lives. Second of all, because there were different kinds of study trips and each of them involved different problems. In the case of students who were simply on a study trip, and would be going back to their own countries, what was most important was the influence this student’s travel might have on their homeland, for example, regarding political or economic modernization. When dealing with exiled students, students who were traveling under pressure, their identities were more subject to being seduced by the host country, especially if it was more democratic and there was more freedom.

In both cases, they were confronted with the local culture and the need to affirm their own identities while living in France. It’s a typical problem but this inner confrontation was complex because of what France represented to these foreign guests. On one hand, they had been welcomed in the universities since the XIX century, according to the country’s foreign policy at the...

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