In this article, we engage in a debate that first took place in France ten years ago, but that has revived today. This debate concerns the question of whether to introduce ethnic categories in statistical surveys in France. There is strong opposition between those who argue for statistical categories to measure ethnic or racial populations as part of an effort to fight against discrimination, and those who argue against such statistics. The latter, including the authors of the present article, discuss the impossibility of building such categories, their inadequacies, and the political and social consequences they could have because of the way they represent society. They also argue that there are better, more efficient ways to measure discrimination and to fight against it. After describing the history of this debate, the authors present the different positions and explore the larger implications of the debate for French public life.
The Illusion of "Ethnic Statistics"
Alain Blum and France Guérin-Pace
A Global View
Iryna M. Zharovska, Vitaliy B. Kovalchuk, Nataliya M. Gren, Yaryna S. Bohiv, and Iryna I. Shulhan
Discrimination on the basis of age remains widespread in all areas of society. A recent report from the European Commission provides further argument to strengthen protection against age discrimination, in particular outside the area of labour. We
Public Policy Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in France
Alec G. Hargreaves
The inadequacy of government efforts to curb discrimination against postcolonial minorities, referred to in everyday discourse as “Arabs,” “Muslims,” and “blacks,” is a major weakness in French public policy, feeding resentment that contributes to violent extremism. The first part of this article presents a brief overview of the main policy frames that have been adopted towards postcolonial immigrant minorities in France. The second section examines the development of public policy against racial and ethnic discrimination, highlighting serious limitations with particular reference to police racism, ethnically-based data-gathering, and the Haute Autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l'égalité (HALDE). The third section reviews evidence documenting the high levels of discrimination experienced by racial and ethnic minorities and the ineffectiveness of efforts to combat it. The fourth offers an explanatory framework for the fitful and largely unproductive nature of those efforts.
The Debate on Ethnic and Racial Statistics in France
For more than a century, statistics describing immigration and assimilation in France have been based on citizenship and place of birth. The recent concern for racial discrimination has given rise to a heated controversy over whether to introduce so-called "ethnic categories" into official statistics. In this article, I make an assessment of the kind of statistics that are available today and the rationale behind their design. I then discuss the main arguments put forward in the controversy and argue that antidiscrimination policies have created a new need for statistics that outweigh the arguments against the use of "ethnic statistics." In fact, beyond the technical dimension of this controversy lies a more general political debate about the multicultural dimensions of French society.
The Name Taboo, the Number Taboo
In 2005, black people in France decided to create a national organization: the CRAN. The country had lived for decades on the myth of human rights and equality, and as a result, minorities were invisible, and were expected to remain so. Therefore, the two most important goals of the CRAN have been: to give a name, to give a figure. The taboo of the name was broken when black people decided to stand up for what they are, to call themselves "black," however unusual this might sound in French public discourse; the taboo of the figure was also broken when the CRAN decided to launch the issue of ethnic statistics in France. Until then, blacks would not exist as such in this country, and racial discrimination would remain ignored for the most part. But since this campaign was launched, ethnic statistics have become an important issue. The debate is still going on.
Engagement républicain contre les discriminations
Jean-François Amadieu, Patrick Weil, Dominique Sopo, Samuel Thomas, and Mouloud Aounit
Article paru dans le journal Libération du 23 février 2007
Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison
Le présent article se propose d'étudier, le "principe" du régime, au sens montesquivien du terme, établi dans les territoires d'outre-mer de la Troisième République en s'intéressant aux passions et aux agissements des colons et des "indigènes" afin de mieux comprendre comment une minorité blanche parvient, en plus des prérogatives exorbitantes confiées au détenteur du pouvoir, à s'imposer jour après jour en donnant d'ellemême une image de toute-puissance. Pour analyser les ressorts de cette situation, il faut chercher à atteindre la quotidienneté et l'intimité des rapports de domination imposés par les Français grâce l'instauration de nombreuses règles écrites et non-écrites qui régissent la vie des autochtones. Langue particulière, violences symboliques et discriminations raciales multiples; telles sont les principaux éléments qui contribuent à la pérennité de l'ordre colonial.
Stephen Grant Baines
’: Criminalised Indigenous persons fall under both forms of lack of consideration, which can be defined as serious violations of human rights, as both consist of forms of discrimination for denying the Indigenous right to socio-cultural difference at the same time
Building on a long-term, multi-sited ethnographic research project, this article illustrates and interprets the transformation processes and empowerment strategies pursued by an originally Zazaki-speaking, multigenerational Alevi family in the Turkish-German transnational context. The family, which includes a number of Alevi priests (seyyid or dede), hails from the Dersim4 region of eastern Anatolia, and their family biography is closely bound up with a traumatic mass murder and crime against humanity that local people call “Dersim 38“ or “Tertele.“ Against the background of this tragedy, the family experienced internal migration (through forced remigration and settlement) thirty years before its labor migration to Germany. This family case study accordingly examines migration as a multi-faceted process with plural roots and routes. The migration of people from Turkey neither begins nor ends with labor migration to Germany. Instead, it involves the continuous, nonlinear, and multidirectional movement of human beings, despite national border regimes and politics. As a result, we can speak of migration processes that are at once voluntary and forced, internal and external, national and transnational. 5 In this particular case, the family members, even the pioneer generation labor migrants who have since become shuttle migrants, maintain close relationships with Dersim even as they spend most of their lives in a metropolitan German city. At the same time, they confront moments of everyday in- and exclusion in this transnational migration space that define them as both insiders and out- siders. Keeping these asymmetrical attributions in mind, I examine the family's sociocultural, religious, and political practices and resources from a transna- tional perspective, paying close attention to their conceptualization of identity and belonging as well as their empowerment strategies.
Abstract Universalism and the Unspeakable Making of Race
), the state body designated to lead the fight against all forms of discrimination. 1 Bernard belongs to the highest rank of state employees. In his mid-40s at the time of the interview, he is also White and belongs to the middle class. Throughout our