The social geography of ethnic minorities in metropolitan Paris: a challenge to the French model of social cohesion?

Abstract : In order to address the specific social challenges of immigrants and ethnic minorities in the poorest urban neighbourhoods in Paris, new policies of social cohesion have been implemented over the past three decades that focus on place of residence rather than on ethnicity or national origin. The design of a social cohesion policy that deals with socio-geographic inequality rather than with ethnicized populations as such has been a subtle way of addressing the ethnic issue without directly calling into question the postulate of republican universalism. From this perspective, Audebert attempts to understand the role of place and social geography in the formalization of collective identities that have emerged in response to decades of public policies that have been unable to respond to the social, economic and political demands of ethnic minorities. He also attempts to analyse how the French state has relied on social geography as a way to address racial and ethnic issues without directly endowing them with an institutionalized dimension. His hypothesis is that the issue of social cohesion in contemporary France and the way it is dealt with by republican institutions is above all a matter of social geography. The French approach that gives prominence to the urban territorialization of social inequalities over the ethnic categorization approach remains firmly based on republican ideals. Nonetheless, such a policy is innovative in the French context, as it differs from the French traditional assimilationist model and takes into account social and cultural diversity in large metropolitan areas. Audebert's article provides a better understanding of the influence of this integration model on the construction of Otherness. It puts into relief the role of urban geography in the emergence of ethnicity and the design of innovative policy that addresses the issue of cultural diversity.
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Journal articles
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https://hal.univ-antilles.fr/hal-01952179
Contributor : Cédric Audebert <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 11:44:33 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 1:21:28 AM

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Cédric Audebert. The social geography of ethnic minorities in metropolitan Paris: a challenge to the French model of social cohesion?. Patterns of Prejudice, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2013, Social Cohesion and Social Change in Europe, 47 (3), pp.309-327. ⟨https://www.tandfonline.com/⟩. ⟨10.1080/0031322X.2013.814876⟩. ⟨hal-01952179⟩

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