Le modèle français d’intégration dans tous ses états : entre réaffirmations républicaines et tentations populistes

Mélodie Beaujeu

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On the one hand, we read about the opening of the Cité de l’immigration (French Migration Museum) officially recognizing the role of immigration in French society. On the other hand, we hear about the creation of a Ministry which official title (Ministère de l’immigration, de l’identité nationale et du co-développement that translates into Ministry for immigration, national identity and co-development) and missions feed into a rather negative perception of immigration. This article explores different facets of this paradox within French society and political life. At the time when the implementation of the Contrat d’accueil et d’integration (welcoming and integration contract) seems to come to terms with years of political indifference vis-à-vis immigrant people and their children, the indifference between the two partners – the State the immigrant people – is set in stone through the relegation of the majority of contractants in the category of “imposed immigrants”. Although the Cité de l’immigration offers a dynamic definition of the national identity (putting forward the notion of “creuset francais” or French melting pot), the new Ministry redefines a well-delineated notion of “French identity”, gatekeeper of the French Nation against the undesirable products of globalization.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Beaujeu, Mélodie. Le modèle français d’intégration dans tous ses états : entre réaffirmations républicaines et tentations populistes. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2008, vol.10, no.1, pp. 29-39, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol10/issue1/art2

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