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 Debate on Ethnic and Racial Statistics in France
A Reflection on the 'Ways of Knowing' Conference
Stirred by the University of St Andrews’s 25th Anniversary Conference—celebrating twentyfive years of the anthropology department—entitled ‘Ways of Knowing’, my objective is to reflect on some of the works presented as they pertain to my own interests in shamanry and Amerindian perspectivism. As a master’s student, it was imperative to attend this conference, since it served as a forum in which to discuss the foundations on which (I think) anthropology is based: knowledge and what the individual accepts or rejects as being knowledge.