Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

Cultural Analysis of France

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The nation of France has provided substantial contributions to both society and culture over the course of history. This essay assesses the French culture with a focus on leadership and business aspects that drive the nation’s philosophy. With results demonstrating the dynamic potential available in the French culture, this evaluation has found many continuing contributions to the international community. This research will be of value to any person studying French culture.

Cultural Analysis of France

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France has long held a position of interest in the area of culture and leadership (Kuhn, 2013). This assessment focuses on leadership elements that provide a clear demonstration of the French philosophy and interactive potential. Beginning with a brief overview that incorporates key components including location, history and social infrastructure will build an easily understood foundation. Next will be an evaluation of cultural and business practices that will serve to outline the French philosophy at work. The combination of these segments will create the opportunity to identify the leadership qualities needed to be successful in French society.


Blanchard, Lemaire, Bancel, Thomas & Pernsteiner (2012) describe France as one of the most important actors in Europe. France is recognized as the largest physical nation within the boundaries of Europe with over 60 million French speaking citizens (Blanchard et al, 2012). Featuring regional boundaries created by the passage of time and tradition, each section of France possesses unique religious and social attributes that set it apart making the associated culture complex (, 2014).

Once flourishing as a colonial empire French holdings extended around the world, directly impacting international development (, 2014). With distinct offerings in areas of law including jurisprudence the French contribution to worldwide civilization has been fundamental (Zimmerman, 2014). The Spirit of the Laws, created during the Age of Enlightenment is one of many reflections of value that the French philosophy place on the areas of science and art (Blanchard et al, 2012).

Evolving from a monarchy to a modern democratic society, with rule devolving from the population, France created the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen in order to clarify human rights (Zimmerman, 2014). This form of leadership supports the French position of innovation and development in the cultural arena. With territories still extant overseas, the French economy is rated to be the fifth largest in the world, further illustrating the strength and vitality of the French system (Zimmerman, 2014).

Cultural Elements

Goldhammer (2010) describes the French culture since the revolution of the nineteenth century as a combination of three aspects: Humanist, or the philosophical aspect, the scientific and the industrial. The French culture emphasizes the areas of civil rights and education in a direct effort to increase the overall standard of living (Summerfield, 2013). With past leaders including the conqueror Napoleon contributing directly to the French educational tradition, there is a lasting identification of the French population with the learning arts (Rigby, 1991). Modern evaluation of the French educational system ranks it midway between the highest and the lowest, with many substantial individuals attributing their philosophy to the system (Summerfield, 2013). This lasting identification with art is transferred to the very high rate of tourism in the nation of France, number one in the world, which is in turn credited with spreading of French concepts of education and learning (Zimmerman, 2014). With premier artists and concepts including Cubism, Impressionism and Symbolism by such renowned artists as Manet, Monet and Renoir long comprising the French ranks, there is a real sense of gravitas to be felt in the cultural inclination of art (Summerfield, 2013). This is demonstrated the by the unrivalled French capacity to attract visitors which then spread their cultural ideals and artistic values.

Among the arts and educational values held by the French there is a real sense of scientific and innovative components (Kuhn, 2013). With major universities producing practical applications in the fields of business and economics, the French culture stresses the need to continually revisit and consider new ideas (Zimmerman, 2014). This same element of cultural leadership is exhibited in areas including fashion and advertising (Summerfield, 2013). With several leading institutions including Dior and Chanel, the French society has created a cultural expectation of style and chic (The Economist, 2014).

With a positive world outlook, modern French culture boasts one of the very best reputations for trust and integrity on the world stage (Zimmerman, 2014). This fact drives the perception that the society ranks among the best overall systems of governance (The Economist, 2014). Despite the upbeat overall outlook, many internal polls cite the depressed attitude of the culture itself (, 2014). With a high moral and ethical standard, yet an open and inclusive society, the French society epitomizes their slogan: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” (Blanchard et al, 2012:43).

Leadership and Business Characteristics

France has been characterized by significant leaders of both sexes including Napoleon and Joan of Arc; there is a tradition of strong, opinionated leadership (Blanchard et al, 2012). Coupled with a history of monarchies including the reign of notables such as Louis the 14th, there is an expectation of grandiose and innovative concepts from the upper tier (Stephenson, 2011). With the French revolution and the rise of democracy these principles of strength and vision in leadership have carried over, providing impetus for the modern crop of French leadership (The Economist, 2014). With a business culture that recognizes the value of leisure and employee satisfaction, there is a focus on providing the best possible environment in order to produce the best possible result (Rigby, 1991).


France is a multi-tiered culture that has provided and will continue to be a positive influence on the entire world society. With attributes including practicality, integrity, innovation and adaptation there is a real perception of value to found in the culture. Taking elements that have been refined over the centuries including French art, educational and civil rights philosophies and cultural values the nation of France can be credited with substantial contribution to modern international society. With a need to be forthright, decisive and stalwart in the face of criticism the French leadership and business community have served to drive the nation to the position of prominence that it now enjoys.

In the end, past actions, modern practices and future potential combine to illustrate France as a competitive nation that produces well educated individuals fit for leading the international community. With a well-rounded consumer base coupled with a dynamic business environment, there is every reason to expect the French culture to continue to be a leader into the next era.


Blanchard, P., Lemaire, S., Bancel, N., Thomas, D. R. D. & Pernsteiner, A. (2012). Colonial culture in France since the revolution. (2014). French culture. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 8 Mar 2014].

Goldhammer, A. (2010). The future of French culture. French Politics, Culture & Society, 28 (3), pp. 97–113

Kuhn, R. (2013). Imagining the popular in contemporary French culture. Modern & Contemporary France, 21 (3), pp. 396–397.

Rigby, B. (1991). Popular culture in modern France. London: Routledge.

Stephenson, P. (2011). The death of French culture (trans. Andrew brown). Journal Of Contemporary European Studies, 19 (4), pp. 582–583.

Summerfield, M. (2013). Wine drinking culture in France: a national myth or a modern passion?. Journal Of Wine Research, 24 (1), pp. 81–82.

The Economist. (2014). Bleak chic. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 8 Mar 2014].

Zimmermann, K. (2014). French culture: customs & traditions. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 8 Mar 2014].

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