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.
The Name Taboo, the Number Taboo
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.
Caribbean Activism and the Invention of a National Memory of Slavery in France
republican system. In the early phases of its existence, the CRAN’s first president, the UDF member Patrick Lozès, focused the organization’s strategy on conducting ethnic statistics to show that the politics of diversity and representation was compatible
The Political Economy of Desire and Competing Matrimonial Emotions
women were, first of all, workers and biological reproducers, rather than “lovers.” In the late Soviet period, official encouragements to have larger families were backed up by informal practical measures on Yamal: to keep the ethnic statistics high