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Promoting youth between the two World Wars : the case of the magazine Télémaque in France in 1934

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posted on 20.04.2020, 11:50 by Christophe Premat

The magazine Télémaque was a bi-monthly magazine that aimed to reaching out a young audience with topics such as sport, culture and education. It mixed comics, pictures and proposed competitions for the readers. Four numbers were published in 1934 that give an accurate impression of how youth was integrated in a national narrative. Here, the word youth is used to enhance the social construction of a transformation between childhood and parenthood (Douglas, Poletti, 2016: 9) but the paradox is that there is no real voice given to young people because of a strong ideological posture of the editors. It seems that the magazine does not include a self-representation of youth as French youth is only described and addressed from an external point of view. The young generation is rather defined as a potential audience of readers, a form of collective persona but there are no real testimonies of young people, just a form of investigation on cultural habits of the young generation (Sadoski, 1992). The aim of the presentation is show how an ideological discourse on the youth emerged in the thirties in these kinds of cultural magazines in France. By focusing on sports, leisure activities and culture, the discourse constructs an idealistic and nationalistic persona of what the youth should be and act in France between the two World Wars. The tools of the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) will be applied to the corpus (four numbers of Télémaque) to analyze the synopsis of the numbers, the disposition of pictures, comics, interviews and articles as well as the recurrent topics. CDA is useful to see how the youth is represented with expressions of Othering (Van Dijk, 2006) where the youth is mentioned as a collective target for the magazine.


-Douglas, K. & Poletti, A. (2016). Life Narratives and Youth Culture Representation, Agency and Participation. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.

-Sadoski, M. (1992). Imagination, cognition, and persona. Rhetoric Review, 10(2), 266-278.

-Van Dijk, T. A (2006). “Ideology and discourse analysis“. Journal of Political Ideologies, 11(2): 115-140.


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Presentation given for "Future States: a nearly carbon-neutral conference 30 March – 17 April 2020, Brighton"

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Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)

165 Romanska och klassiska institutionen | Department of Romance Studies and Classics