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Composing the CitizenMusic as Public Utility in Third Republic France$
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Jann Pasler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257405

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257405.001.0001

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Useful Distractions and Economic Liberalism in the Belle Epoque

Useful Distractions and Economic Liberalism in the Belle Epoque

(p.451) 8 Useful Distractions and Economic Liberalism in the Belle Epoque
Composing the Citizen

Jann Pasler

University of California Press

This chapter studies commercial culture, which helped bring people together and encouraged sociability among the classes. It introduces the belle époque, or the period of greater consumption, gaiety, and entertainment. Next, it studies how department stores (which were erected during the 1880s) brought both the strengths and weaknesses of the republican ideology out in the open. It notes that the shift from education to commerce and finance as the main focus of government policy led to competition within the musical world. Expanded performances for men and women were introduced during the 1880s, while government policies led to several improvements in theater and popular music.

Keywords:   commercial culture, belle époque, department stores, republican ideology, competition, expanded performances, improvements

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