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La Dpartementalisation: Les DOM-ROM entre postcolonial et postcontact

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At the origin of the Assimilation Law of the four old colonies of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guiana and Reunion, passed on March 19, 1946, is a demand for the assimilation to France that dates back to the seventeenth-century. The ideological content of the concept of assimilation is analyzed in the speech delivered during the aftermath of World War II by Aim Csaire, the deputy from Martinique, before the French Constituent Assembly in his March 12 1946 report. A paradigm for the concept is constructed with terms present in the speech such as integration, equalization, standardization, unification. The terms show the evolution of Csaire's thinking and allow us to clarify political and symbolic aspects of the demand for the departmentalization which are quite specific to the French Caribbean. It reflects a postcontact mentality that is in contrast with the postcolonial mentality being born at the time, in the nineteen-forties, and which expanded throughout the Francophone world in the nineteen-fifties. At the end of the essay, this postcontact mentality is highlighted through a parallel drawn between today's DOM-ROMs in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean and the two French dpartements of the island of Corsica.
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Keywords: Aim Csaire; Corse; DOM-ROM; Dpartementalisation; Loi d'assimilation du 19 mars 1946; Martinique; Postcontact; Rapport du 12 mars 1946

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Iowa.

Publication date: 2008-06-16

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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