Beyond assimilation: The Second Generation in France
Seminar to be held in ERC 115 at 2:00 pm.
After being one of the most renowned “assimilationnist’s country” in the world, France has recently been engaged in quick changes in its framing of incorporation of “immigrants”. Indeed, not only the concepts and theories used to portray the processes behind the “remaking of the French mainstream” have dramatically changed but the categories of those targeted by these processes have also been renewed. Access of “new second generations” (i.e. those born from the waves of immigration of the 1950s and 1960s) to the job market and their visibility in social, political and cultural life have challenged the “French model of integration”.
This presentation will confront the normative model of integration, the so-called republican model, to the prospects of the second generation. I will argue that the salience of race and ethnicity for minority members in contemporary France is challenging the expectations of a convergence in norms, values and practices at the second generation. A specific attention will be given to the role played by religion (Islam) and political participation. Data come from a new survey Trajectories and Origins: a survey on population diversity in France, which is the largest survey ever done in France on immigrants and second generation. Promoted by INED and the French National Statistical Institute (INSEE), the survey gathered information via a long questionnaire administered in face-to-face interviews to 22 000 respondents from 5 specific sub-samples: Immigrants (8300), descendents of Immigrants (8200), Overseas French (700), descendents of Overseas French (700) and “mainstream population” (3900). The questionnaire covers wide-ranging areas of social experience (education, employment, housing, family formation, language, religion, transnational ties, political participation and citizenship…) and focuses on experiences of discrimination and identity. Findings on religion, political participation, employment, neighborhoods and discrimination will be presented to support the thesis of an ongoing process of racialization of the French society and the rise of ethnic and racial minorities.
Patrick Simon is Director of research at INED (Institut National d’Etudes Demographiques –National demographic institute) (F) and is fellow researcher at the Center of European Studies (CEE) at Sciences Po. He is currently Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in NYC and Fullbright Fellow. Train as socio-demographer at EHESS (Doctoral degree circa 1994), he has studied social and ethnic segregation in French cities, antidiscrimination policies and the integration of ethnic minorities in European countries. He has participated to several European projects, such as URBEX (The spatial dimensions of Urban Social Exclusion and Integration) and EMILIE (A European Approach to Multicultural Citizenship. Legal Political and Educational Challenges). He is coordinating the RTN TIES funded by Marie Curie funds. He is chairing the scientific panel “Integration of immigrants” at the IUSSP (International Union for the Scientific Studies of Population) and has been appointed as a member of the Scientific Board of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Commission in Vienna.