This book traces the experiences of young French and Algerian women students in a Parisian vocational school—how they negotiate their class, gender, and ethnic/racial identities in relation to school, family, romance, and future work in a changing and unpromising economy. Drawn from classroom observations and personal interviews, the book provides a theoretical framework for analyzing the complex network of cultural and historical discourses, limitations, and expectations that form the students' present lives and future outlook.
The author links the micro and macro levels of her analysis by grounding her study in the nature of the French school, the discursive boundaries of French society, and the volatile French economy. The book contributes to an overall understanding of the processes of identity formation; class, race/ethnicity, and gender intersections; and women's responses to schooling and education.
Catherine Raissiguier is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Cincinnati.