March 1-9, 2013
This is a Global Classroom series class, a semester-long course taught at Marymount that includes an international field experience during Spring Break as a component of the class.
Officially, France is among the world’s more secular countries. By law, there is a strict separation of church and state, known as “laicite.” This law is enforced by a governmental bureau that monitors the public display of religious symbols and related behavior. To be “French” is to divest oneself of other competing identities, be they ethnic or religious. Unofficially, the picture is quite different. Religious affiliation and practices are central to the lives of many minority group members, particularly Jews and Muslims, and to a lesser degree to the country’s Catholic majority. Expressing religious affiliation, both privately and publicly, is an important part of the social identity of many French residents.
In this course students will explore the tensions between these official and unofficial versions of religious affiliation, examining how minority group members navigate between the two. Students will tour the City’s Jewish and Muslim districts, visit the Jewish History and Shoah Museums, the Grand Mosque of Paris, the Institute du Monde Arabe and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Students will also participate in discussions about the topic with scholars, religious leaders, and social activists. In addition to the academic sites, there will be an opportunity to visit the Chateau de Versailles, the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower.
SOC 325 The Struggle to Belong: Religious Minorities in Contemporary France (3 credits)
Prerequisite: SOC 131
This course will examine the role of religious affiliation and practice for two groups residing in France: Jews and Muslims. Topics to be addressed include the historic patterns of immigration, origins, and current expression, of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; the social status of the groups over time; and the effects of external events to their treatment by the majority, Catholic, society. In addition, students will compare and contrast the experience of the two minorities in France and the United States.
Faculty: Dr. Chuck Harris
Professor Harris specializes in the sociology of minority groups, particularly their treatment by the dominant group and their responses to this treatment. He has studied minority group treatment in the U.S., France, and Israel.
|January - February
||Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Gailhac G208|
||Departure from Dulles|
||Arrive in Paris. Check-in at hotel.|
||Day visit to Chateau de Versailles|
||Presentations on history of Jews in France. Visit to Notre Dame.|
||Tour of Jewish Quarters, Jewish History, and Shoah Museums|
||Presentations on Muslims in France. Tour Grand Mosque of Paris. Visits to Louvre and Eiffel Tower.|
||Class discussions. Tour of Muslim Quarter. Visit to Institute de Monde Arabe.|
||Presentation from Jewish and Muslim community activists|
||Return to Dulles|
|March - May
||Class meetings at Marymount|
Program Cost: $750
The program cost includes
- round trip airfare
- double or triple occupancy accommodations
- ground transportation and entrance fees to all required site visits
Application Deadline: October 12, 2012
MU reserves the right to make any necessary changes, including adjustments in the program cost, in the event that unforeseen circumstances arise. Financial aid may apply. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office
as soon as possible. You are responsible for making all timely payments to Marymount University.
The Center for Global Education will register students for this course after the student has successfully submitted the online study abroad application. Full-time students do not need to pay additional tuition for this course provided they are registered for no more than 18 credits during the spring semester, including this course. Full-time students enrolled for more than 18 credits are subject to over-enrollment fees.