Journal of Undergraduate Research


LDS public affairs, campaigns, Mormonism


Fine Arts and Communications




The French have found Mormons fascinating since 1860. Jules Verne depicted Mormons as utopian menaces in his 1863 novel Paris in the 20th Century1, French cartoonists illustrated polygamous and mixed-race Mormon couples as satire, and French outcasts occupied Nauvoo after the great Mormon exodus west. In the time since the early days of the American church, little changed regarding the perception of Mormons until the internet allowed real-time flow of information. My own experience as a missionary and as an intern in France piqued my interest in how French people viewed Mormons. I met people who had never heard of Mormons, people who immediately assumed I was Amish (despite using a smartphone) and people whose only experience with a Mormon was following Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. This diverse misunderstanding of Mormons mixed with several professors’ research which I had previously read led me to question the sources and reasons behind the French view of Mormonism. This study focuses on the perception of Mormons in France over 15 prominent years in contemporary Mormon history, 2001-2015.

Included in

Communication Commons