Popular Music Nostalgia in Contemporary French Media Discourse

Chris Tinker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In recent years nostalgia has become a prominent feature of the popular music and media culture of France, particularly following the launch of successful tours such as Age tendre et têtes de bois and RFM Party 80. Building on existing studies of popular music, the media and nostalgia both within and beyond French Studies (in disciplines such as psychology, marketing, popular music and media studies), this chapter will examine how written and spoken discourses of nostalgia in the mass media and on the internet have contributed over the last decade towards shaping contemporary popular music culture and identities in France.

The chapter will consider how media and internet coverage of popular music-related nostalgia emphasises particular artists, songs (‘original’ and cover versions), albums, music genres and performance venues; represents the emotional impact of popular nostalgia on audiences; and engages in critical debates concerning the mediatisation and commercialism of popular music nostalgia. While the focus of the chapter is on written and spoken discourses rather than on visual features/mise en scène, these will be discussed where they inform our understanding of particular representations.

Case studies will focus on notable developments in France, including the successful, long-running nostalgia tours Age tendre et têtes de bois (2006–15) and RFM Party 80/Stars 80 (2007–), the film Stars 80 (Frédéric Forestier and Thomas Langmann, 2012), the variety television programme Les Années bonheur (France 2, 2006–) as well as the phenomenon of the popular music ‘sosie’ or tribute artist.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of French Politics and Culture
EditorsMarion Demossier, David Lees, Aurélien Mondon, Nina Parish
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315656717
ISBN (Print)9781138101753, 9781032176505
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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