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Cultural analysis of France

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  1. Brief discussion of the country's relevant history
  2. Geographical setting
    1. Location
    2. Climate
    3. Topography
  3. Social institutions
    1. Family
    2. Business customs and practices
  4. Religion and aesthetics
    1. Religion and other belief systems
    2. Business customs and practices
    3. Aesthetics
  5. Living conditions
    1. Diet and nutrition
    2. Housing
    3. Clothing
    4. Recreation, sports, and other leisure activities
    5. Social security and Health Care
  6. Language
    1. Official language(s)
    2. Spoken versus written language(s)
    3. Dialects

France is one of the 27 member States of the European Union. This means it enjoys the four fundamental freedoms within the European market: freedom of movement for people, money, services and goods. France is located in Western Europe, a developed area with all the necessary infrastructures for the circulation of goods and people (by road, railway, air and sea transport). It also enjoys a very good network for telecommunication, high speed Internet. All these elements have a positive effect on the French economy.

France is a country located in Western Europe (north hemisphere), with several overseas islands and territories located on other continents. In this study, we focus on metropolitan France.
Number of inhabitants: 64,350,759 people (on 1st January 2009).

Three types of climate may be found within France: oceanic, continental, and Mediterranean.
The oceanic climate prevails in the western parts of the country. It is characterized by small temperature range, ample rainfall, cool summers, and cool but seldom very cold winters. The continental climate, found over much of eastern and central France, is one of warmer summers and colder winters than areas farther west; rainfall is ample, and winters tend to be snowy, especially in the higher areas.

[...] Higher education (quality, levels of development, etc.) Higher education in France is divided between public universities and ?grandes ecoles?. Most are engineering schools or business schools. ?Grandes ecoles? literally means "great schools", "elite schools". They are considered more prestigious than universities and they are very selective in regards to the admission of students (there's no selection for university). They are close to the labor market, and contrary to students graduated from university, students graduated from ?grandes ecoles? have (almost) no problem in securing employment. [...]

[...] Nowadays, France is in good terms with the bulk of its European neighbors. - In May 1968, massive confrontations between police, students and workers brought on a general strike. The claims helped the country to shift towards a more liberal moral ideal (equality, sexual liberation, human rights) that today better describes French society. Until the 20th century, France was a country with conservative Catholic mores, but since then, the population has largely become more secular. - 2000: settlement of the 35-hour working week (more free time). [...]

[...] The diameter of the hexagon measures close to 1,000 km from each of its six corners to the opposite corner. Metropolitan France covers 547,030 km2 (largest area among European Union members) and offers varied landscapes: vast sandy beaches, rough cliffs, mountain ranges (The Alps in the south-east, the ?Massif Central? in the south-central and Pyrenees? in the south-west), countryside, huge cities (Paris, the capital, and its suburbs concentrates about 12 million people), forests, etc. France has several harbors and rivers such as the Rhine (border with Germany), the Loire, the Garonne, the Seine (that crosses Paris) and the Rhone. [...]

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