Popular culture, symbolism and rural radicalism in nineteenth‐century France
This article explores the relationship between the modernisation of economic life, collective protest and politics and the centuries?old pattern of popular festivals and rituals. The rise of social?democratic republicanism among the small peasants of Mediterranean France in the mid?nineteenth century did not occur at the expense of popular culture. The reconciliation of these two mainsprings of collective life was facilitated by the use of symbolic modes of public behaviour, investing politics and popular culture with mutually reinforcing potency. Only in later decades did socio?economic and political developments decay this culture.