As French as Everyone Else?

As French as Everyone Else?: A Survey of French Citizens of Maghrebin, African, and Turkish Origin

Foreword by Paul M. Sniderman
Translated by Jennifer Fredette
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 131
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  • Book Info
    As French as Everyone Else?
    Book Description:

    France is often depicted as the model of assimilationist or republican integration in the international literature on immigration. However, rarely have surveys drilled down to provide individual responses from a double representative sample. InAs French as Everyone Else?, Sylvain Brouard and Vincent Tiberj provide a comprehensive assessment of the state of integration in France and challenge the usual crisis of integration by systematically comparing the "new French" immigrants, as well as their children and grandchildren born in France, with a sample of the French general population.

    The authors' survey considers a wide range of topics, including religious affiliation and religiosity, political attitudes and political efficacy, value systems (including gender roles, work ethics, and anti-Semitism), patterns of integration, multiple identities and national belongings, and affirmative action. As the authors show, despite existing differences, immigrants of Maghrebin, African, and Turkish origin share a wide scope of commonality with other French citizens.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0297-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword to the English Edition
    (pp. vii-x)
    Paul M. Sniderman

    WESTERN EUROPE faces a political crisis even deeper than its current economic crisis. The predicament goes so deep because it is double edged. Historically, the countries of Europe were countries of emigration, not immigration. So they share a common identity and ancestry—a constructed common identity and ancestry, to be sure, but shared all the same to a degree unimaginable to Americans. That is one edge of the predicament. The other edge is that the immigrants who are now coming to them differ in many salient ways: language, tradition, culture. Some of these differences—most conspicuously beliefs about the roles...

  4. A Note on the Translation
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Foreword to the French Edition
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Pascal Perrineau

    FOR NEARLY a quarter of a century, immigration has been a powerful and persistent issue in French public debates. Th roughout questions of integration, discrimination, unemployment, insecurity, violence,laïcité,*education, andcommunautarisme,† the “image of the immigrant” remains omnipresent, continually returning to the foreground of the political agenda. We need, therefore, to carefully explore the attitudes and behavior of French men and women with an immigrant background, particularly those whose origins are African or Turkish, for it is in respect to them that the aforementioned questions are so often raised. How do these people, whether immigrants or the descendants of...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  7. INTRODUCTION: Why This Question?
    (pp. 1-8)

    FOR A CENTURY AND A HALF, France, like the United States, has been a major country for immigration. And as in the United States, France’s citizenship policies have been largely shaped by the principle ofjus soli, or birthright citizenship (Noiriel 1988). France has received wave after wave of immigrants from eastern Europe, Italy, and the Iberian peninsula. Since World War II, France has also received immigrants from Algeria, soon followed by immigrants from other countries of the Maghreb and the rest of Africa, not to mention immigrants from Southeast Asia. In 1999, the number of people in France with...

  8. CHAPTER 1 Are the New French More Religious and Less Laïque?
    (pp. 9-30)

    UNTIL NOW, the religious affiliation and practice of French people who immigrated or are the descendants of immigrants from Africa or Turkey has rarely been the object of systematic, rigorous, and in-depth study. Indeed, the few existing surveys focus on Muslims and are subject to numerous critiques as to their methodological foundations. Because, for legal reasons, there are no questions about religious belonging on the French census, it is impossible to construct a representative sample of the Muslim population using a quota method. “The bottom line of survey methodology is that one cannot represent an unknown population” (Tribalat 2004b, p....

  9. CHAPTER 2 Integration into the French Political System
    (pp. 31-48)

    AN INDIVIDUAL’S RELATIONSHIP to politics includes several dimensions, and we examine them one by one: the relationship to the political system in general (confidence or distrust, interest or alienation), the political preoccupations of the New French and their differences from (or similarities to) the rest of the electorate, their political preferences and ideological orientations, and the sources of these orientations.

    One of the most enduring tendencies of French political life for the last three decades has been the continual rise of electoral distrust of politicians. In 1977, 32 percent of people surveyed believed that “as a general rule, elected officials”...

  10. CHAPTER 3 A Welfare Culture?
    (pp. 49-60)

    SINCE THE END of the 1980s, the left/right divide that traditionally characterized political life in France has been subject to multiple strains. The crumbling of the Eastern bloc, the conversion of an entire section of the left to marketplace economics, the crisis in the welfare state and the persistence of unemployment, the retreat of state authority from the economic sphere—many elements led some analysts to diagnose the left as obsolete, incapable of satisfying the expectations and socioeconomic preferences of the French. Thus, in the beginning of April 2002, on five political issues—security, retirement, taxes, the best way to...

  11. CHAPTER 4 Women, Mores, and Homosexuality
    (pp. 61-76)

    THE CULTURAL ATTITUDES and values of the New French raise numerous questions. Are they more conservative when it comes to morals, especially those regarding women? At the time of the debate on the Islamic veil at school, the media spoke of a Muslim culture of submission, if not oppression, of young women, basing this on the declarations of religious leaders who oft en represented only a minority of believers. The question of their representativeness was rarely asked, and until now the proportion of Muslims who might share this culture of subordination was unknown, for lack of surveys on the subject....

  12. CHAPTER 5 Racism and Anti-Semitism
    (pp. 77-88)

    ON RACISM, as with other subjects covered in this work, we are used to hearing diametrically opposed hypotheses, difficult to prove or disprove owing to a lack of sufficient or relevant data. Because the New French are the primary victims of discrimination based on skin color or origins, they should be immune to this intolerance that endures in French society. At the same time, people evoke intercommunity tensions more and more often: some argue, though it is not proven, that racist insults are becoming more frequent on athletic courts, that anti-white racism is becoming commonplace, and that anti-Semitism is growing....

  13. CHAPTER 6 Integration and Equal Opportunity
    (pp. 89-98)

    THE TERM “integration” immediately comes to mind when we talk about immigration. The word, with its multiple meanings, poses a problem (Richard 2004). In general, integration no longer means a process—the insertion of foreigners into a society—but indicates a state of being, which itself is the object of disagreement. Thus, integration can correspond to assimilation or to a less demanding method of insertion. With these reservations in mind, we analyze the attitudes toward integration in France, which will be a way to describe more precisely what is understood by integration. Two questions inspire our analysis: do the opinions...

  14. CHAPTER 7 What Identity/Identities?
    (pp. 99-112)

    THE THEME ofcommunautarismeis extremely prevalent in today’s public debate. The “communautaire phenomenon” is one of the qualities of the “segmented societies” that are so well known in sociology. InLe ghetto français(2004), Éric Maurin characterizes French society as a type of segmented society. He emphasizes the strong spatial concentration of social groups. In fact, the social composition of places of residence is very homogeneous. Different social categories are juxtaposed by territory. The concentration of immigrants or poorer populations in specific neighborhoods is not a unique phenomenon, but rather just one of the illustrations of a larger phenomenon...

  15. CONCLUSION: As French as Everyone Else
    (pp. 113-116)

    THIS FIRST STUDY to compare the New French with the French in general directly examined the commonly accepted and more or less implicit notion that “the New French are not as French as everyone else,” and yields four answers.

    First, our results invalidate this hypothesis. The New French do not seem to confine their nationality to a strictly legal question. Their identification with their compatriots does not depart from that of the French in general. And if the New French are unique in any way, with regard to religion, for example,they are far from being on the margins, or...

  16. APPENDIX: Methodology
    (pp. 117-128)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 129-131)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 132-132)