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The State of Emergency at Home

House Arrests, House Searches, and Intimacies in France

Flora Hergon


This article focuses on the massive house searches and house arrests that occurred during the state of emergency in France between 2015 and 2017. It draws from critical studies on counterterrorism as well as sociology of the intimate to analyze the aftermath of these measures on the Muslim households that experienced these procedures without being sentenced afterward. It examines how house arrests and searches redefine the respondents’ relationships to their domestic space and local environment as these places become spaces of fear, surveillance, discipline, and self-control. The analysis reveals a set of embodied and discursive strategies to prove an innocence that implies a reappropriation of state categories around social integration and the promotion of an acceptable and non-suspect religiosity.