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Brittany's New 'Bonnets Rouges' and their Critics

Ronan Le Coadic 1
1 CRBC Rennes - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
UR2 - Université de Rennes 2 : EA 4451, CRBC - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
Abstract : In November 2013, tens of thousands of protesters marched twice in cities of western Brittany, wearing a red cap with reference to a large peasant revolt led in Brittany in 1675 and bloodily repressed by the troops of Louis XIV. Beyond their immediate demands, the issues of demonstrations in 2013 were multiple: governance crisis in France, economic crisis, social crisis... However, these events were judged harshly by many French politicians and journalists, who described them as a disparate movement, practicing class alliance and Poujadism (a French populist movement of the 1950s against taxes, industrialization and urbanization), who wrongfully assumed the legacy of the Red Caps of 1675. Our hypothesis is that these harsh judgments are part of a struggle for symbolic domination. To verify this, we conducted two types of searches: a comparison of the revolt of 1675 and of 2013 events; and a comparison of the remarks made by the elites in 2013 and of traditional social representations of the Breton people in France. It shows, first, that, mutatis mutandis, 1675 and 2013 have many similarities, and, secondly, that many of the arguments of the elites are part of the extension of (sometimes centuries-old) stereotypes on the Bretons. This means that the use of the symbolic red cap by protesters is not usurped and, above all, that, beyond a legitimate reserve, the hostility to this popular movement is part of a conservative approach.
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Ronan Le Coadic. Brittany's New 'Bonnets Rouges' and their Critics. Liam Anton Brannelly; Gregory Darwin; Patrick McCoy; Kathryn O’Neill. Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium, 34, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015, 9780674088566. ⟨hal-01257580⟩



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