Beyond assimilation: The Second Generation in France. Patrick SIMON – INED Visiting Scholar Russell Sage Foundation Fulbright Fellow Center for Immigration Studies, San Diego University, La Jolla, .
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Patrick SIMON – INED
Visiting Scholar Russell Sage Foundation
Center for Immigration Studies, San Diego University, La Jolla,
“The real problem is the failure of white and Christian France to view their darker, Muslim compatriots as real citizens. The cumulative effect has been the creation of a generation of young males lacking parental control and unequipped to secure and hold a job, even if they could break through the formidable barriers of prejudice faced by young Arabs and young blacks in particular.”
Nov 9, 2005
Massive immigration begins at the end of the 19th Century (an outlier in Europe)
Mostly neighboring migration (Germans, Swiss, Belgians, Italians, Spaniards) and then Polish, Armenians and Russians …
What has happened to the “old second generation” of interwar immigrants?
Post-colonial migration and the “new second generation” issue
Categories in the Census since 1851 (and thus in public debate and social science): Foreigners (citizenship), immigrants (place of birth and nationality)
A cleavage between the metropole (mainland territory) and the colonial empire
In some surveys, place of birth and citizenship at birth of parents have been introduced: “second generation” (native born from immigrant parentage)
For this purpose, I use the TeO survey in which “ethnicity” will be defined as the country of birth/nationality at birth of the individual and of his/her parents
Race will be defined indirectly by the racialization of specific ethnic groups, i.e Arabs (north African mainly), Sub-saharan African and DOM natives and 2nd generation (Blacks) and Asians (South East Asians mainly)
« Mainstreampopulation »
76% of pop°
12% of total pop°
Of DOM native-born
10% of pop°
Born in Overseas department (DOM)
2% of pop
Around 22 000 respondents18 to 60 years old
- Metropolitan France -
Extract from the petition from SOS Racism
“I refuse to be asked about the color of my skin, my origin or my religion. (…) I refuse to have my identity reduced to criteria from bygone eras, eras like the French colonial period or Vichy. (…) I refuse that the attention and investigation be focused on the victims rather than the perpetrators of discrimination. The required knowledge of the reality of discrimination should be gathered by other means, for example, through individual in situ investigations of racist conduct.”
Statistics make visible the invisible
Statistics reflect and emphasize the diversity of the population : a threat to unity
Statistics bring bad news : the model of integration is not successful anymore (and it may never have been)
Statistics challenge the French political model of “equality through uniformity”
Data collection for positive action rely on a huge engineering of categories, questionnaire, files, administrative regulations which bring race and ethnicity at the heart of everyday life
Ethnic and racial classifications are reproducing racists stereotypes and re-activating colonial categories
Migrants and Second Generation Immigrants count for 2.7 millions (10% of population aged 18-50) and 5 millions for all ages2nd Generation make up 3.1 millions (12% of 18-50)
Persisting segregation or residential mobility?
% living in neighborhoods in top decile of immigrant concentration
% living in neighborhoods from the top 2 deciles of unemployment rates
Relative risk of living in an immigrant segregated neighborhoodOdds Ratio, control for gender, age, education, occupation, size of metropolitan area and social background
Relative risk to live in a deprived neighborhoodOdds Ratio, control for gender, age, education, occupation, size of metropolitan area and social background
Relative risk of being unemployedOdds Ratio, control for gender, age, education, occupation, size of metropolitan area, religion, neighborhoods and social background
Source : Trajectoires et Origines, INED-INSEE, 2008.
Champ : 18-50 years old.
Question in the survey “People see me as a French person”
Answer: disagree and totally disagree
Source: Trajectories and Origins Survey, 2008-2009, INED and INSEE
Questionnaire and publications in English
Dataset publicly available