DOI: 10.22281/2413-9912-2022-06-03-51-55

Goncharov E.V.


The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 altered the traditional French view about German society. The French, demoralized by their quick defeat, were forced to re-evaluate their view of the German people. During the several decades before the Great War, each of the two countries had cultivated certain views and stereotypes about the national character of its opponent, creating a kind of «enemy» image in their own society. Projecting negative traits onto another people was also an essential step in the consolidation of national identity. Views of Germany were created and reinforced at many different cultural levels in France. Hostile mythologies combined with increasing international tensions, which contributed to a consequent further proliferation of hateful images. As the title implies the article describes the attempt to study the constructed stereotypes about Germany in France during the period from 1870-1914, using the image of a German woman as an example. A number of visual and written sources in which this image was embodied are analysed. The study of the image of the German woman, which was formed in the French society, will help to shed light on the peculiarities of mutual perception of the peoples in the pre-war years.

Keywords: World War I, propaganda, gender, stereotype, female image, caricature, public opinion, France, Germany.

Academician I.G. Petrovskii Bryansk State University (Russia)

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