Abstract In the fall of 2005, France experienced the most important series of riots in its recent history. The unrest lasted for three weeks and expanded from the Paris suburbs or “banlieues” to some three hundred towns in the entire country. However, the expansion effect was the result of forces at play between the rioters, the government, and the media. The “event” became a spectacle that staged an asymmetrical communication between these three actors, opening a space for “play.” The riot can be seen as a play in three acts: first; the tragedy in Clichy, the subsequent Paris Suburbs burning, and finally a performance of the absurd, erupting in the provinces. Through the play element, this dissertation explores what the public sphere and the “paper riot” circled around but did not address fully. The notion of “jeu” in French translates to play and game in English (in their multiple forms). Thus, this work examines the nature of these forms of play. It reveals the political game as mostly a linguistic one and that of the media as a play on images. In that process, the fusion of politics with the media offered an official version of the riots, a spectacular one. The play of the rioters took shape in the “contagion” effect that made the riots national. When television channels realized their broadcast of the unrest had a role to play in the spreading of the unrest, they soon realized the irony and the limitations of their role. For the rioters though, play did not oppose the political, but quite the opposite: it equaled resistance for a brief moment. While the majority of the audience understood some of the hardship that the youth in the “banlieues” experiences on a daily basis, overall it did not understand the rioters’ acts, burning cars, gymnasiums and schools in their own neighborhoods. In that sense, the spectacle brought attention on the treatment of visible minorities in France but it failed to decipher their means of expression. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.)
|Commitee:||Bowles, Brett, Fogarty, Richard|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Modern language, European Studies, Social structure|
|Keywords:||Banlieue, Emeutes 2005, Jeu, Spectacle, Theatre, Violence collective|
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