In this talk, Christophe Bertossi will discuss the evolution of the categories that have been used in the French politics of ethnicity and religion over the last four decades.
How do public institutions deal with religious and ethnic diversity? In answering that question, politicians and scholars alike tend to revert to simplistic binary oppositions between “assimilation” and “accommodation”, based on “universalist” versus “multicultural” models. This binary logic however cannot account for the complex ways in which such categories and models are mobilized in the everyday reasoning of institutional actors.
This talk addresses the evolution of the categories that have been used in the French politics of ethnicity and religion over the last four decades. First, it emphasises the very recent invention of the lexicon now used to describe the French political tradition of republican / colour-blind inclusion. It then confronts this evolution to the impact such categories have had on the definition of minority groups as members of various institutional contexts.
Based on a comparative empirical research successively carried on in the military, hospitals, and trade unions of the private sector, this talk focuses on the inclusion or exclusion of postcolonial immigrants from Northern and Subsaharan African countries in these public institutions.
About Christophe Bertossi
Christophe Bertossi is the director of the Centre for Migrations and Citizenship at the French institute for international relations (Ifri). He has co-ordinated several international collaborative research projects on citizenship and ethnicity, notably with the Washington University in St-Louis, the American Sociological Association, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
This event is organised as part of the ACES / IMES Migration lecture series. This series presents new and inspiring scholarship on migration and migrants broadly defined: ranging from the politics of immigration, integration, and identity to migration drivers and trajectories, and from integration dynamics to ethnic and racial diversity. Speakers explore these dynamics in Europe and beyond. The series strives to promote interdisciplinary exchange between scholars in the social sciences and beyond, as well as between scholars, students, and practitioners.”