This thesis analyzes and demonstrates the similarities and differences between some of the national symbols of France and the United States. This includes the shared and borrowed aspects of each one and the ways in which each culture is reflected through, and built around them. The flags, national anthems, and several national icons such as France's Marianne and Uncle Sam are discussed. This analysis deals with the historical contexts and cultural meanings of the symbols, showing the changes each has undertaken in form and in national and international importance. Through the study of national symbols, this thesis reveals the similarities along with the differences between the two nations, which are often perceived as being highly dissimilar and even opposing in belief systems, cultures, and histories.
Numerous laws are being directed toward subduing the visible presence of Islam throughout France, and in return French Muslims are becoming bolder in the projection of their faith. This thesis examines the presence of Islam in France throughout history and in contemporary French civilization. Specifically, this thesis addresses the issues regarding the visible presence of Islam in France through such institutions as mosques and how they are the key symbols representing the prominence of Islam in France. It looks at what lies in the collective French mind that creates such an influence on today's policies and outlook, as well as identifies the key characters that dominate the current affairs surrounding Islam in France. The thesis reviews the country's past relations with the visible presence of Islam through the controversies surrounding the construction of famous mosques. In addition, this thesis underlines key areas where both the State and the Muslim population must make concessions in order to avoid further conflict.
Spain underwent drastic social and political changes in the last decades of the twentieth century which also affected the nation’s patterns of emigration. Contemporary Spanish literature and film that portray these decades reflect the country’s fluctuating characteristics of migration. ¡Vente a Alemania, Pepe! (1971) by Pedro Lazaga, Coto vedado (1985) by Juan Goytisolo, El hijo del acordeonista (2003) by Bernardo Atxaga, and Yoyes (2000) by Helena Taberna demonstrate Spain’s migration trends during the last years of Franco’s dictatorship and the transition to democracy. The nation’s highly increased socioeconomic development in the 1970s and 1980s which eventually led to a first-world status also affected emigration, which can be seen in Carlota Fainberg (1999) by Antonio Muñoz Molina, Kasbah (2000) by Mariano Barroso, Restos de carmine (1999) by Juan Madrid, and Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009) by Isabel Coixet.