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Les États-Unis au lycée (1905-2004). Généalogie de la géographie des États-Unis en classe de terminale en France.

Wastable Marielle 1
GC (UMR_8504) - Géographie-cités
Abstract : This work depicts the genealogy of the representation of the USA of the 20th Century in geography lessons for Terminales (final year of secondary school). It analyses the transfers between how geography is taught at university and in secondary schools as well as the influence of the non-scientific context and the social representations on the setting up of the strict way in which geography is taught at school. The USA are implicitly represented as a counter-image of France and Europe, a competitor which can be dangerous and needs to be outdone or opposed. Thus, the importance of France and Europe is asserted in the minds of the pupils. The first part settles the methodological and epistemological bases and deals with the position of the USA in geography textbooks. It studies the links between university geographers and the USA as a research topic, as a global power and as a country in which several geography schools of thought were born: it allows to set the scientific context of the drafting of the academic discourse. The second part studies the places and people of the USA as they are taught at school. It tackles the way the secondary school discourse frees itself from the university geography on the topic of the regionalization of the USA. It shows that, in textbooks, some models are defined, which condense the so-called characteristics of American cities or people; however these characteristics depend on a comparative or ethnocentric interpretation of the American reality. The third part deals with the American example in the academic discourse through the analysis of the power of the USA. Although until the 70s the American production system is presented as an example to be followed by France, the American example is more and more controversial as soon as its drawbacks appear and the power of the USA becomes a worldwide "soft power".
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Contributor : Marielle Wastable <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 3:22:57 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 23, 2020 - 4:51:44 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00691557, version 1


Wastable Marielle. Les États-Unis au lycée (1905-2004). Généalogie de la géographie des États-Unis en classe de terminale en France.. Géographie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2011. Français. ⟨tel-00691557⟩



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