The French Foreign Legion: Forging Transnational Identities and Meanings

Nikki Cooper

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


An analysis of the ways in which national or ethnic identities are transformed and a new common identity is forged amongst legionnaires intersects with key factors which have been perennially important to the discussion of transnational communities: the very creation of that sense of community, the importance of a shared history and heritage, the transmission of a cultural memory. Different versions of the legionnaire ‘myth’ in popular culture show how the image of the Legion readily adapts to culturally and historically specific milieux, thereby translating across national borders. Thus although it might be argued that the Legion disseminates a certain idea of Frenchness across borders, it also serves as a useful vehicle for other nations’ own mythologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-284
Number of pages15
JournalFrench Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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