‘Touche pas à mon pain au chocolat!’ The theme of food in current French political discourses

L. Binet

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Current French political discourses contain numerous references to food. The phenomenon began in the late 1990s with the issue of food safety and references to ‘la malbouffe’, as the population became increasingly anxious about the consequences of globalisation. In the 2010s the phenomenon gained momentum, particularly during the 2012 presidential elections as the debate focused on French identity and the place of Islam in France. Today, both the far right and the mainstream right include the issue of food in their discourses. Careful analysis suggests that the Identitaires, an electorally weak but ideologically influential political movement, were ahead of the tide before being followed by the Front National, which focused on the issue of halal meat, and finally other key figures from the former Union pour un Mouvement Populaire. This study highlights how the parties on the right appropriated the theme of food at different times and underscores similarities with regards to their frequent recourse to discursive strategies based on a dichotomy between ‘us’ and ‘them’. The topic of food therefore represents a new strand in the right’s and far right’s traditional discourses on immigration and identity and can be viewed as a new rhetorical tool to mark otherness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalModern & Contemporary France
VolumeIn press
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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