Childhood and Youth in French and Francophone Cultures

Black and white photo of a small crowd of high school age boys and girls talking and laughing among themselves.

A small crowd of Parisian high school students interacting. (Image by Martin Le Roy on Flickr.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2013



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course studies the transformation of childhood and youth since the 18th century in France, as well as the development of sentimentality within the family in a francophone context. Students will examine the personification of children, both as a source of inspiration for artistic creation and a political ideal aimed at protecting future generations, and consider various representations of childhood and youth in literature (e.g., Pagnol, Proust, Sarraute, Lave, Morgievre), movies (e.g., Truffaut), and songs (e.g., Brel, Barbara). This course is taught entirely in French.

Related Content

Bruno Perreau. 21G.321 Childhood and Youth in French and Francophone Cultures. Spring 2013. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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