The Reconstruction of Culture: Peuple et Culture and the Popular Education Movement

  • Brian Rigby
Part of the Warwick Studies in the European Humanities book series (WSEH)


Peuple et Culture has recently been described as ‘the major cultural organisation of the Liberation’.1 It called itself a ‘national movement of popular culture’, 2 and its central ambition was to ‘give culture back to the people and give the people back to culture’.3 The movement was begun by a small group of people in Grenoble after the Liberation and emerged from the Commission Education of the Comité de Libération de l’Isère.4 The name ‘Peuple et Culture’ is said to have been taken from a Collège du Travail formed in 1935.5 The principal members of Peuple et Culture had played an important part in the Ecole des cadres at Uriage and then in the maquis of the Vercors. Before that, the founding president of Peuple et Culture, Joffre Dumazedier,6 had formed the Collège du Travail at Noisy-le-Sec in 1936,7 and had been deeply involved in the Auberges de la Jeunesse movement at the time of the Popular Front and afterwards.8 It was during his activities in the Resistance that Dumazedier conceived the idea of Peuple et Culture as an organisation to be formed after the Liberation.


Popular Culture Mass Culture Cultural Policy Common Culture Popular Front 
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  1. 9.
    B. Cacérès, Histoire de l’éducation populaire ( Paris: Seuil, 1964 );Google Scholar
  2. B. Cacérès, Les Deux rivages: Itinéraire d’un animateur d’éducation populaire ( Paris: La Découverte, 1982 ).Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    B. Cacérès, L’Espoir au coeur ( Paris: Seuil, 1967 ) pp. 158–9.Google Scholar
  4. 34.
    B. Bing, La Vraie Libération. Voix de la France. Voix du Travail ( Grenoble: Peuple et Culture, 1945 ) p. 37.Google Scholar
  5. 45.
    Quoted in M. Crubellier, Histoire culturelle de la France, XIXe-XXe siècle ( Paris: Armand Colin, 1974 ) pp. 325–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicholas Hewitt 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Rigby

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