I have to do an essay on the topic :
“As to the duty of pursuing equality, there is no such consent among us. Indeed, the consent is the other way, the consent is against equality. Equality before the law we all take as a matter of course; that is not the equality which we mean when we talk of equality. When we talk of equality, we understand social equality; and for equality in this Frenchified sense of the term almost everybody in England has a hard word”.

Discuss this opinion in intercultural terms and illustrate your view with concrete examples.

The matter is that I don't really understand the topic.
What is the meaning of hard word at the end. Is it a pejorative term for French social equality ?

Then, I'm wondering if I must talk about the differences between British and French notion of equality or if I must talk about what is equality for Bristish people (like freedom for example) because of the sentence consent is against equality ?

I would really appreciate your help Emotion: smile

A "hard word" means a "bad word". In other words, almost everybody in England thinks that social equality is a bad idea, in the author's opinion. (Whether the author himself thinks that social equality is a bad idea is not clear from what's quoted.)

I think that you should discuss: (1) the opinion that "equality" to most English people means "social equality" (rather than other types of equality, such as equality in the eyes of the law); (2) the opinion that the English are generally opposed to social equality. Are these views reasonable? Does the evidence support them? I think I would personally be inclined to focus more on (2) than on (1).

As part of the discussion you should weave in some stuff contrasting the English perspective with that of other cultures generally. Although the notion of social equality is called "Frenchified" -- presumably a reference to the French revolution, when the old French system of class and privilege was overturned -- "intercultural terms" does not, as I understand it, limit you to just the French.

I suspect that the stated opinion is a historical one (but I could be wrong). If it is then I'm not sure if you are expected to put your conclusions into a historical context or just discuss the points in terms of modern society.
Thanks for your reply, it helps me a lot Emotion: smile
AnonymousI suspect that the stated opinion is a historical one
Actually, the stated opinion was from the British poet and essayist Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)