There are no Minorities Here. Cultures of scholarship and Public Debate on Immigrants and Integration in France
Title: There are no Minorities Here. Cultures of scholarship and Public Debate on Immigrants and Integration in France
Citation: International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 2006, 47, 3-4, 191-215
Migration studies have long been characterized as an illegitimate field of research in the French social sciences. This results from the strong influence of the so-called ‘republican’ ideology on social sciences, the constant politicization of the subject in the public arena, the maintenance of a number of taboos revolving around the colonial experience, and a history of the concepts (race, ethnicity, minority) that makes their potential use in scientific analysis controversial. This difficulty of reflecting upon the ethnic fact or racial relations contributed to the implementation of a normative framework, which until recently gave priority to the analysis of integration, leaving the content of ‘racial and ethnic studies' little explored in France. This article offers a historical perspective on the way knowledge has been produced in this field. It highlights the ‘doxa’ of the French integration model in social sciences, elaborating on the controversy over the production and use of ethnic categories in statistics, the various taboos revolving around the role of ethnicity in politics, the discussions launched by the emergence of a post-colonial question and the transition from an analysis of racism to the understanding of a system of discriminations.
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