Theses Master's

Laïcité in Contemporary France: Analyzing the Implementation and Retention of Religious Programming on Publically Supported Television

Turner, Elizabeth

This research seeks to understand the rationale behind the implementation and retention of religious programming on publicly supported television in France. Centering on questions of laïcité in the post-Vatican II era of the early 1950s, this thesis will attempt to delineate the ways in which the separation between church and state is understood and enacted within the context of a secular nation. A consideration of the substantial influence imposed upon the State by the historical dominance of the Catholic Church in France will further provide the background for understanding the environment and political influences that led to the establishment of religious programming. Looking specifically at the program Le Jour du Seigneur, broadcasted on the public service station France 2, this research will examine the decisions made towards the program’s conception and further follow its trajectory into the contemporary era. The particular content of the program, as well as understanding the demographics of its viewership and its reception over time, offers insight into the specific climate that fostered the establishment of Le Jour du Seigneur. Further, a comparison with other similar religious broadcasts, on both public and privatized stations, will illustrate the motives behind continued retention, particularly amidst the backdrop of increasing secularization and declining religious worship. The ultimate objective of this research is to put the question of religious programming on public service stations in conversation with the governing principles of laïcité to determine how pluralism and republican values continue to incite conflict in the secular nation of France.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Michel, Florian
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
October 30, 2017